HMS Daring was the first of six type 45 destroyers, introduced into service in 2009. She was a revolutionary new design and the ships of her class replaced the ageing type 42s that had been in service since the 1970s. The ship’s badge is taken from her predecessors and depicts a hand reaching into a brazier of burning coals, the image being drawn from the story of the Roman youth Gaius Mucius Scaevola who on being captured by an enemy had reputedly thrust his hand into the flames of a ceremonial fire to indicate that the body was cheap to men who sort great glory.
Tonight we are looking at a set of overalls from an engineering rating who served aboard HMS Daring:One of the most distinctive features of these overalls is the red patch on the right breast, with the ship’s name, badge and pennant number sewn onto it:I am unsure how common it is in the Royal Navy to have such a badge on a pair of overalls, but it was certainly something you see a lot of HMS Daring ratings wearing:I believe these badges were made to order by a Scottish company called ‘badgesuperstore’ and are possibly issued by the ship rather than RN. The overalls themselves are made of a dark blue fire resistant fabric, secured up the front with Velcro:Further Velcro is used to secure the cuffs:Each breast has a simple patch pocket on it:And two further pockets are attached to the upper thighs:The original owner’s name, M Stribling, is written in permanent marker on a strip of tape and sewn above the left breast pocket:On the right sleeve is his trade badge, which has clearly been on the uniform a while as it is slightly faded and worn:By contrast his leading hand’s badge is far newer indicating he had a promotion in the time he had these overalls:Interestingly although his rating badge is for a leading hand, his trade qualification badge is for an able seaman, as if he was trade qualified as well he would have a pair of stars on this badge.
Engineers on the new ships often had many technical teething troubles to deal with, as seen in this news report from 2010:
The Royal Navy’s new Type 45 destroyers continue to suffer from technical mishaps, with first ship of the class HMS Daring arriving a week late in Portsmouth on Saturday following emergency propulsion repairs in Canada. The £1.1bn+ ship had previously broken down in mid-Atlantic.
The News of Portsmouth reported on the breakdown and the destroyer’s delayed return to its home port, noting that a similar propulsion problem had occurred just four months previously during an outing in the Solent for families of the ship’s company.
Martin Carter, whose son Philip is a marine engineer aboard Daring, told the paper:
“They’ve been having lots of trouble with the drivers on the ship.
“It’s disappointing for them to get so many problems. It doesn’t reflect well on the navy, the government or the firms involved. It’s a shame because so much taxpayers’ money has been spent on this class of ships.”
The “drivers” which have been giving so much trouble on the Type 45s are the 20-megawatt electric motors which turn the ships’ propellors. Power for these is generated by gas turbine generators and passed through an electric transmission which avoids the need for a complex mechanical gearbox and heavy shafts linking the prime movers to the propellers.