Discovery II - image taken by Chief Engineer J Birnie RFA - donated by Leith Birnie

Discovery II 01


DISCOVERY II 1928-1962 

Discovery II with Royal Australian Airforce aircraft which had been loaded on her at
Melbourne on 24 December 1935 together with crew members of the RAAF 
Lower image from the State Library of Victoria


Official Number:                        161322                                                                         

Class:                                      Royal Research Ship

Pennant No:

Laid down:
Builder:                                   Ferguson Brothers, Port Glasgow
Launched:                                2 November 1928
Into Service:                            20 April 1950
Out of service:                         7 September 1962
Fate:                                       Broken up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:   At some stage during their lives, 3 of the Royal Research Ships saw service as RFA’s

2 November 1929  launched by Ferguson Bros (Port Glasgow) Ltd, Newark Works, Port Glasgow as Yard Nr: 295 named DISCOVERY II for the Natural Oceanographic Council.  Captain Scott’s ship of the same name was still afloat, serving with the Falkland Islands Government, hence the ‘II’ suffix to this one’s name


DUNIH 2008.60.15

Crowds of the good and worthy at the ships launch

image kindly donated by the Dundee Heritage Trust


November 1929 completed at a cost of £70,000

10 December 1929 at St Katherine's Dock, London the ship was inspected by the Duke of Gloucester

14 December 1929 sailed St Katherine's Dock, London under the command of Commander William M Carey Royal Navy (retired)

  DUNIH 2008.60.4

RRS Discovery II sails from St Katherines Dock to the
Southern Ocean for the first time

image kindly donated by the Dundee Heritage Trust


January 1930 sailed Montevideo for Antartica

26 February 1930 at Zavodovski, part of the Traverse Islands in South Sandwich Island Group

18 March 1930 at Leskov, part of the Traverse Islands in South Sandwich Island Group

June 1930 at Cape Town, South Africa

October 1930 after a visit to Cape Town sailed to Bouvet Island

31 May 1931 berthed at Falmouth after conducting a hydrographical survey around the South Sandwich Islands

5 June 1931 berthed at St Katherines Dock, London

29 September 1931 Doctor G M Gibbon appointed as Ships Surgeon

3 October 1931 sailed London for Dartmouth

6 October 1931 sailed Dartmouth for St Vincent, Cape Verde Islands and research in Antarctic Waters

2 February 1932 reported in the Times of this day that the ship, while in the vicinity of South Georgia, through ice damaged her hull and her rudder post was twisted. She undertook repairs at South Georgia

9 April 1932 sailed Simonstown, South Africa

10 May 1932 arrived at Fremantle, Western Australia

13 June 1932 sailed Melbourne Australia

4 July 1932 berthed at Auckland, New Zealand from Melbourne, Australia for a refit

5 July 1932 at Government House, New Zealand the Officers and scientists were entertained at luncheon by the Governor General and Lady Bledisloe

15 August 1932 sailed Auckland, New Zealand to Wellington, New Zealand via the Three Kings Islands arriving 22 August 1932 to refuel

12 April 1933 the ships Master, Captain William Melvin Carey, suffered a complete nervous breakdown and was confined to bed on the Discovery II.

2 May 1933 Captain William Melvin Carey (Commander RN retired) Captain of the Discovery II lost overboard off Ushant this day.

 Captain Carey Discovery II

Captain William M Carey
(Commander RN retired)

3 May 1933 berthed at Falmouth

5 May 1933 returned to London

18 October 1933 at St Katherines Dock, London the ship was visited by  Ramsey MacDonald, Prime Minister and Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, Secretary of State for the Colonies. The ships Master was Captain Andrew Laidlaw Nelson (Lieutenant RNR)

20 October 1933 sailed London arrived Tristan da Cunha 16 November 1933 off loaded mail and 3 tons of cargo for the islanders

11 February 1934 sailed Auckland, New Zealand for Port Chalmers

20 April 1934 sailed South Georgia for Cape Town

1 August 1934 sailed Cape Town, South Africa

Discovery II sailing Capetown

RRS Discovery II sailing from Cape Town
Image courtesy of National Oceanographic Library

22 March 1935 arrived at Simonstown, South Africa

27 March 1935 sailed Simontown, South Africa

1 April 1935 Captain Andrew Laidlaw Nelson (Lieutenant RNR) was the ships Master

Captain A L Nelson

Captain Andrew Laidlaw Nelson
(image taken in 1920 when Captain Nelson was a Cadet)

12 April 1935 arrived at Table Bay, South Africa

19 April 1935 sailed Port Natal, South Africa

23 April 1935 berthed at Durban, South Africa

26 April 1935 sailed Durban, South Africa for London via the Suez Canal

15 May 1935 sailed Port Said

4 June 1935 arrived Port of London

1 October 1935 at St Katherine's Dock, London Fireman James Thomas Kyle discharged dead. An inquest at East London Coroner's Court held on 3 October 1935 touching upon the death of Fireman Kyle found he died of atheroma of the aorta. Fireman Kyle had previously served on RRS Discovery

3 October 1935 Captain Leonard C Hill (Lieutenant RNR) was the ships Master. Sailed south from London to the Southern Oceans

3 November 1935 arrived at Table Bay, South Africa

5 December 1935 the American explorer and aviator Lincoln Ellsworth and his English co-pilot Herbert Hollick - Kenyon ditched their plane named POLAR STAR near the Bay of Whales in the Ross Sea after it had run out of fuel and they were forced to walk to and take shelter at 'Little America' in an abandoned base built by Admiral Richard E Byrd USN some years previously

9 December 1935 Discovery II berthed at Melbourne, Australia and joined the LINCOLN ELLSWORTH RELIEF EXPEDITION – 1935/36 – in Antarctica 


 Polar star afloat 

The sea plane 'Polar Star'

 Lincoln EllsworthHerbert Hollick-Kenyon on RRS Discovery 2

      Lincoln Ellsworth                    Herbert Hollick-Kenyon

Chart of Ellsworths Flight

Chart of Lincoln Ellsworth's flight showing where they
were found by the rescue party on RRS Discovery II
above three images kindly donated by Sally E Douglas and the 
Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection


17 December 1935 before Williamstown Magistrates' Court Fireman Alfred William Cooper appeared charged with the theft of a 10/- note from the ships Mess Boy John Harty. He pleaded Guilty and was fined £2 of 7 days imprisonment by the Magistrate Mr Mohr

24 December 1935 at Melbourne, Australia Discovery II loaded two aircraft of the Royal Australian Airforce together with their crews with aircraft spares, fuel and additional food and stores -

The Royal Australian Airforce detachment consisted of -

Flight Lieutenant (Gilbert) Eric Douglas RAAF - 1st pilot and i/c of the RAAF Flight
Flying Officer Alister M Murdoch RAAF - navigator and 2nd pilot
Flight Sergeant Frank S Spooner - engine fitter and emergency pilot
Sergeant E Frank Easterbrooke - metal rigger
Corporal Norman E Cotte - metal rigger
AC1 Charles W Gibbs - engine fitter
Sergeant James W Reddrop - wireless operator mechanic
 RAAF crew
from the Queensland ANARE – Antarctic Club




two images above from the State Library of Victoria

RAAF Gipsy Moth

RAAF Gipsy Moth at Discovery's lifting hook

Discovery ii aircraft spares

Loading aircraft spares at Melbourne 


Loading deck stores on RRS Discovery II at Melbourne, 1935

RRS Discovery 2 - b

RRS Discovery II sailed from Melbourne in December, 1935 


 Deck Cargo

Deck stores were stowed everywhere

above five images all kindly donated by Sally E Douglas
and the Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection


23 December 1935 sailed Melbourne, Australia for Dunedin, New Zealand

Tommy Dalton RRS Dis II

Tommy Dalton from Melbourne - the ship's Mess Boy
kindly donated by Sally E Douglas and the Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection


31 December 1935 berthed at Dunedin, New Zealand to refuel and load stores

2 January 1936 ship sailed Dunedin, New Zealand to head for the Bay of Whales to search for the two missing men

      RRS Discovery 2

RRS Discovery II in the Bay of Wales with two aircraft on deck
(the RAAF Gipsy Moth and a RAAF Westland Wapiti)

kindly donated by Sally E Douglas and the Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection


9 January 1936 The Scotsman newspaper reported -

Press Cutting The Scotsman 1936

12 January 1936 the first flight by the Gipsy Moth sea plane at 71.45S 178.00W took off in a pool of water in the pack ice. The flight was to reconnoitre the pack ice and lasted 30 minutes. The aircraft could only climb to 1,200 feet due to low cloud

15 January 1936 the ship reached the Bay of Whales


      RRS Discovery 2 in the pack ice

RRS Discovery II in the pack ice
Anchor work on RRS Discovery II in Ross Bay, January 1936
Poling off

 RRS Discovery II had problems getting through the pack ice, or in this case getting off the pack ice

above three images all kindly donated by Sally E Douglas
and the Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection


13 January 1936 the second flight by the Gipsy Moth sea plane occured at 73.00S 178.00W. Again restricted to 1,200 feet due to low cloud. This flight lasted 1 hour. A fairly strong wind, some ice obstruction and a choppy sea. The conditions were reported as severe for this type of machine. Again the flight was to reconnoitre the pack ice

RSS Discovery II

RRS DISCOVERY II still in ice

15 January 1936 the Gipsy Moth was lowered into the sea by the ships crew once more and flew from 78.30S 164.00W to the 'Little America' base to look for Ellsworth and Hollick-Kenyon just inland from the Bay of Wales. Over 'Little America' and at 500 feet one man was seen. Provisions and instructions were dropped by parachute. This flight lasted 1 hour and the conditions were described as 'most difficult' 


   Eric Douglas  Alister Murdoch at Little America

The two RAAF pilots - Flight Lieutenant (Gilbert) Eric Douglas RAAF and Flying Officer Alister M Murdoch RAAF - at 'Little America'

kindly donated by Sally E Douglas and the Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection


16 January 1936 Ellsworth arrived onboard and had medical treatment for his frost-bitten foot

20 January 1936 Ellsworth's expedition ship WYATT EARP arrived at the Bay of Whales


Wyatt Earp 

Wyatt Earp 
kindly donated by Sally E Douglas and the 
Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection

22 January 1936 sailed Bay of Whales with Ellsworth on board. Hollick-Kenyon remained behind to assist in the salvage of the POLAR STAR

27 January 1936 WYATT EARP sailed Bay of Whales with POLAR STAR and Hollick-Kenyon aboard


Polar Star 

Polar Star in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum


Painting of the Polar Star


Painting of the 'Polar Star' by Sydney Austin Bainbridge in1936 (albeit that it is dated 1935) and signed by Lincoln Ellsworth
kindly donated by Sally E Douglas and the Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection

28 January 1936 at 73.00S 175.00E a further flight was made to reconnoitre the pack ice and lasted 1 hour. Having been off loaded from Discovery II the aircraft took off and climbed to 1,500 feet in what was described as ideal conditions. A second flight this day when the ship was at 72.30S 175.00E was made to reconnoitre the pack ice and lasted 1 hour and 5 minutes reaching an altitude of 1,200 feet.




to view click on the above image (opens another window) 

 Copyright - British Pathe

14 February 1936 Captain Leonard Charles Hill (Lieutenant RNR) appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services in searching for Lincoln Ellsworth and Herbert Hollick - Kenyon


Burgee of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club


Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Victoria, Australia Burgee
signed by Lincoln Ellsworth and Herbert Hollick-Kenyon

kindly donated by Sally E Douglas and the Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection


Radio Office Discovery II 

The Expedition Radio Officer & his equipment

kindly donated by Sally E Douglas and the Eric Douglas Antarctic Collection


Copy of Officers

Ships Officers pre World War 2 on RRS Discovery II
image kindly donated by Jim Small

18 February 1936 ship arrived at Melbourne

22 February 1936 at Williamstown Pier, Melbourne Keith Gawley, aged 9 fell into the sea alongside the ship. Seaman Alfred Lashmar of the crew jumped into the water and saved the boy

Press Cutting Williamstown Chronicle 29 Feb 1936

Press Cutting from the Advocate newspaper of 24 February 1936 

23 February 1936 having berthed at Williamstown Pier, Melbourne - the ship was open to the public - trains between Melbourne to Williamstown also stopped at Williamstown Pier between 13.05hrs to 1650hrs

7 April 1936 berthed at Fremantle, Western Australia to refuel and for provisions

14 April 1936 sailed Fremantle, Western Australia for Cape Town, South Africa

19 April 1936 WYATT EARP arrived New York and was welcomed by Ellsworth

15 May 1936 at Cape Town

14 June 1936 sailed Melbourne for the Antartic pack ice


Discovery Calendar


6 January 1937 landed survey party on the north shore of Esther Harbour, King George Island in the South Shetland Islands with the intention of returning to pick them up on 13 January.

16 January 1937 returned to pick up the survey party having been delayed by bad weather. The survey party could not be found. HMS AJAX despatched to assist in searching for the party. The party were found and only required very limited medical assistance

24 May 1937 arrived at Plymouth from the Antartica and New Zealand

7 August 1937 at the Port of London the ship was fumigated with Hydrogen Cyanide - details from the Medical Officer of Health for the port

7 October 1937 sailed London for Cape Town

1 February 1938 berthed at Otago, New Zealand to refuel

7 February 1938 sailed Otago, New Zealand

Discovery 11 down south in 1938 


20 March 1939 at Cape Town

26 April 1939 sailed Dakar

9 May 1939 berthed at Tilbury Docks, London

November 1939 Commander Penrose Owen Davies RD RNR appointed as Commanding Officer

DUNIH 2008.99.1

RRS Discovery II Christmas card

image kindly donated by the Dundee Heritage Trust



14 January 1940 sailed London for Gravesend and then to Scapa Flow

20 January 1940 the Norwegian ss Miranda (Master Asser Hiorth) was hit by one torpedo fired by the German Submarine U57 (Kapitänleutnant Claus Korth) when about 30 miles NW of Peterhead at 58.14N 02.05W 

 miranda ss 1940

ss Miranda


The explosion broke the keel of the Miranda and she sank within five minutes. Fourteen of the crew were killed and three survivors were saved the following day when picked up by HMS Discovery II and landed at Kirkwall.

1 February 1940 at Kirkwall Harbour

2 February 1940 sailed Kirkwall Harbour to Scapa Flow 

6 February 1940 alongside RFA BROOMDALE to refuel and for an overnight mooring

7 February 1940 sailed from RFA BROOMDALE to Kirkwall Habour

22 February 1940 berthed alongside RFA BROOMDALE to refuel and for an overnight mooring

23 February 1940 sailed from RFA BROOMDALE to Kirkwall Harbour

21 March 1940 Danish SS Christiansborg (carrying 4,107 tons of maize from USA) was torpedoed by U-38 (Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Liebe) and broke in two.


The Danish ship SS Christiansborg


The fore part sank at 60°15N/02°40W the after part did not sink (1 dead) and so was shelled and sunk by the armed boarding vessel HMS Discovery II. 24 survivors were rescued and taken to Kirkwall, Orkney

22 May 1940 off the East coast of Iceland joined the Armed boarding vessels HMS KINGSTON ONYX and HMS KINGSTON TURQUOISE and the armed merchant cruiser HMS CALIFORNIA 

31 May 1940 sailed Scapa Flow 

15 June 1940 joined HMS AMAZON, which was escorting the oiler ROSEWOOD, and had come from Sullom Voe and the destroyer HMS KELVIN which had come from Scapa Flow to assist in the rescue of the entire crew of 347 of HMS ANDANIA had been sunk by the German Submarine U A together with other ships. The crew were landed at Scapa Flow

5 September 1940 at Hartlepool for repairs

12 March 1941 directions were given by the Flag Officer i/c Tyne to lay and tend buoys as far north as the Farne Islands. C in C Rosyth was asked to arrange fighter cover - source Admiralty War diary of this day

27 June 1941 at London for repairs which were completed on 10 July 1941

31 July 1941 sailed Harwich to Loch Ewe arriving 4 August 1941

8 August 1941 sailed from Loch Ewe to Reykiavik, Iceland arriving on 13 August 1941

1 September 1941 sailed from Reykiavik, Iceland to Loch Ewe arriving 5 September 1941

7 September 1941 sailed from Loch Ewe to Harwich arriving 10 September 1941

7 September 1941 the following members of the crew or former members of the crew awarded the Polar Medal for service on the ship between 1925 to 1939 and reported in AFO 4830 of this date

Arctic Medal in Bronze both sides Dix Noonan Webb

Arctic Medal in Bronze
 courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb

Clasp to the Polar Medal (Posthumous)

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Ault Horton, Royal Navy (retired)

Clasp to the Polar Medal

James William Slessor Mar Esq., MA., B.Sc. (now Temporary Lieutenant RNVR)

George Ayres, Able Seaman (the netman)

John Matheson, Boatswain (the Boatswain's Mate)

The Polar Medal (Bronze, Posthumous)

Commander Willaim Melvin Carey, Royal Navy (Retired)

Dennis Noble Daley, Fireman

The Polar Medal (Bronze)

Lieutenant-Commander Richard Walker RNR

Lieutenant Henry Lirkwood, Royal Navy

Lieutenant Richard Arthur Blyth Ardley RNR (Retired)

Lieutenant Leonard Charles Hill OBE, RNR

Lientenant Archibald Frederick Macfie OBE, RNR

Lieutenant Andrew Laidlaw Nelson RNR (Retired)

Lieutenant Thomas Herbert Beveridge Oates Royal Navy

Paymaster Sub-Lieutenant Sydney Austin Bainbridge RNR

Edward Hillis Marshall Esq., DSO, MRCS, LRCP

John Colman Cook, Leading Fireman

Archibald John Clowes Esq., MSc, ARCS (now Sub-Lieutenant RNVR)

George Edward Raven Deacon Esq., DSc

Francis Charles Fraser Esq., DSc

Walter Frederick Fry Esq.,

Thomas John Hart Esq., DSc

Henry Franceys Porter Herdman Esq MSc

David Dilwyn John Esq., MSc

Stanley Wells Kemp Esq., ScD., FRS

Alex Hibburd Laurie Esq., MA (now Temporary Lieutenant RNVR)

Neil Alison Mackintosh Esq., DSc ARCS

Francis Downes Ommanney Esq., PhD (now Temporary Lieutenant RNVR)

George WIlliam Rayner Esq BSc (now Temporary Lieutenant RNVR)

Alfred Saunders Esq., FRPS

Robert George Gourlay Esq

Andrew Nichol Porteous Esq (Second Engineer Officer RFA)

Frank Douglas Swan Esq., (now Engineer Sub-Lieutenant RNVR)

Alfred Thomas Berry, Chief Steward

Heinrich Bockel, Fireman

Albert Thomas Braillard, Able Seaman

Cecil Douglas Buchanan Esq (Fourth Engineer Officer RFA)

John Cargill, Able Seaman (the Boastwain)

Norman Frank Cobbett, Able Seaman

John Richard Connolly, Third Officer (then Ordinary Seaman)

John Edward Dobson, Ordinary Seaman

Charles Gobart, Assistant Steward

James Grant, Carpenter

Walter J Hewitt, Fireman

James Charles Jameson, Able Seaman

Harold Alfred Johns, Albert Seaman

Herbert Lloyd Jones, Fireman

William Rhodes Clarke Kebbell, Chief Cook

Duncan Kennedy, Boatswain (the Netman)

Charles Edward Jack Lashmar, Able Seaman

John Livermore, Mess Boy

Robert Wood Mackay, Scientific Assistant

John Donald MacKenzie, Able Seaman

James Russell Matheson, Fireman

Daniel Milford, Sailor

Leslie John Miller, Assistant Steward

Arthur Moore, Boatswain's Mate

Harold Vale Moreton, Able Seaman (the Boatswain's Mate)

Albert Edward Morris, Telegraphist

Allan Arthur Osgood, Able Seaman

Arthur Parry, Able Seaman

George McKay Patience, Able Seaman

Willaim Arthur Peachey, Fireman

James Purvis, Able Seaman

Joseph Reid, Able Seaman

Jerry Ryan, Greaser

Edward WIlliam Saddler, Second Steward

Horace William Sandford, Fireman

Frank Albert Smedley, Chief Cook

D. Stegmann, Able Seaman

Albert Edward Stevens, Assistant Purser (then Writer)

William Suffield, Boatswain

Leonard Henry Thomas, Greaser (the Fireman)

Victor Vidulich, Fireman

Albert Edward Wyatt, Assistant Steward

While having been awarded the Polar Medal etc - the presentation was by post -

Copy of Letter from King George

Letter received by 2nd Engineer Andrew N Porteous RFA with his Polar Medal
Copy kindly donated by Jim Small


26 September 1941 arrived Great Yarmouth

1 November 1941 arrived at Harwich 

13 February 1942 arrived Southend

 HMS Discovery II

HMS Discovery II

7 July 1942 sailed Harwich to Southend

11 July 1942 sailed Southend to Dover

17 October 1942 sailed Harwich to assist ss Nurjehan which had fouled moorings of the Humber L/F - source Admiralty War Diary

23 November 1942 arrived at Blyth

18 December 1942 undergoing repairs on the Tyne. The repairs were completed by 21 December 1942

22 December 1942 sailed Blyth

18 March 1943 sailed Southend to Harwich

9 June 1943 sailed Southend to Harwich

5 July 1943 sailed Harwich

3 July 1944 sailed from Southend in convoy ETM25 arrived Seine Bay 4 July 1944

19 November 1944 sailed Harwich to lay the Wenduyne Bank Buoy off Ostend escorted by HMS PICKLE - Source Admiralty War Diary

24 January 1945 arrived at Southend

7 February 1945 at Southend

5 April 1945 sailed Harwich to service Bravore Wreck Buoy and to lay Domiant Castle wreck buoy - source Admiralty War Diary

4 June 1945 sailed the Downs to re-establish Brake Buoy, re-establish S. Goodwin No 2 Buoy in charted position, thence re-establish Longnose and Foreland Buoys while en route to Harwich - source Admiralty War Diary for 3 June 1945 

31 July 1945 at Seine East

8 October 1945 at Gravesend

22 November 1945 at Le Havre

18 June 1946 Chief Engineer Officer Alfred George Bramhall appointed as an additional Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

12 March 1947 berthed at Dover sailing later the same day

Press Cutting Dover Express 14 Mar 1947

Press Cutting from the Dover Express of 14 March 1947

20 April 1950 RFA manning and maintenance

21 April 1950 sailed London on an 18 month voyage on oceangraphical research - engine trouble developed and the ship called at Devonport for repairs. The ship's Master was Commander J F Blackburn DSO and bar

11 May 1950 sailed Devonport after repairs

21 May 1950 arrived at Malta and berthed at Bormia Wharf

June 1950 just prior to the ship arriving at Colombo the ships cat Minnie gave birth to four kittens which were named Tornado, Cyclone, Hurricane and Typhoon by the crew

all weather kitens

Able Seaman Fred Winterton and CPO Bob Hunter with mum and her brood
Image from the Daily News, Perth

6 July 1950 berthed at Berth 9, North Wharf, Fremantle, Western Australia

14 August 1950 sailed Fremantle, Western Australia. Her departure had been delayed due to defective steering

12 September 1950 berthed at Melbourne, Australia from Fremantle

3 October 1950 sailed Melbourne, Australia to sea

10 October 1950 arrived Sydney, NSW from Melbourne, Australia

1951 the ships crew included two cats 'Ginger' (a tom) and 'Seaboots' 

18 January 1951 arrived at Gage Roads, Freenmantle from Melbourne, Australia

1 February 1951 at Fremantle, Western Australia the planned sailing of the ship to Antartica for this day was cancelled due to the Chief Cook deserting the ship

7 May 1951 berthed at Garden Island, Sydney, NSW

14 May 1951 sailed Sydney, NSW for Antartica

28 July 1951 berthed at Simonstown, South Africa

22 September 1951 berthed at Perth, Western Australia after visits to Heard Island and an attempted visit to Antarctica which was prevent by pack ice

2 October 1951 sailed Fremantle, WA for Colombo

29 November 1951 berthed at Gibraltar

6 December 1951 arrived back at Plymouth. The ship circumnavigated the Antartic continent. Four sea mounts were discovered, one in the Pacific Ocean and three in the Indian Ocean

29 May 1952 sailed Plymouth for oceanographic investigations in the North Atlantic

15 August 1952 sailed Plymouth for the further oceanographic investigations in the North Atlantic

11 September 1952 arrived back at Plymouth

24 September 1952 sailed Plymouth for the further oceanographic investigations in the Bay of Biscay

2 September 1954 returned to Plymouth after approximately one month of oceanic investigations in the North Atlantic

2 December 1954 returned to Plymouth after oceanographic investigations off Portugal and the Mediterranean

17 February 1955 chartered to the Metrological Office as a weather ship and deployed for 24 days at Ocean Station KILO in the Bay of Biscay. The normal ship for this service Weather Explorer suffered boiler problems and had to be withdrawn from service

November 1956 in the Atlantic off Maderia used for testing a deep sea camera made by the Institute of Oceanography -

Discovery II Deep Sea Photography 1956

7 September 1962 arrived Plymouth to be decommissioned

December 1962 replaced by the new DISCOVERY and was sold for scrap

25 March 1963 arrived for breaking up at Passage West


1. She was designed by Messrs Flannery, Baggallay and Johnson Ltd.

2. WYATT EARP was a former 400t herring vessel which was refitted as an expedition lead ship



Ships of the same name



Discovery. A discovery vessel that was in service between 1600 and 1620.


Discovery. A 20 guns hip purchased in 1651 and lost when she burned out at Jamaica on the 25 May 1655.

Battle Honours for this Vessel: PORTLAND 1653



Discovery. A ketch of 75 bm, 64 x 16 feet armed with 6 guns, launched at Woolwich Dockyard on the 9 May 1692.  Broken up at Portsmouth in 1705.


Discovery. A discovery sloop that was lost in the Arctic in 1719.


Discovery. A store ship of 154 bm, 74.5 x 22.5 feet, armed with 6 guns.  Purchased in April 1741.  Sold on the 6 May 1750.


Discovery. (ex Diligence) A discovery vessel of 299 bm, 91.5 x 27.5 feet, purchased in 1775.  Reduced to a dockyard transport in May 1781.  Broken up at Chatham in October 1797.


Discovery. A sloop of 10 guns, 337 bm, 96 x 27 feet launched by Randall of Rotherhithe in 1789 and purchased in November 1789.  Became a bomb in 1799, a convict ship in 1818.  Broken up at Deptford in February 1834.

Battle Honours for this Vessel: COPENHAGEN 1801.



Discovery. A survey vessel in Indian service 1800.  Sold in May 1828.


Discovery. A wood screw gun vessel of 425 bm, 145 x 25 feet, ordered in 1861 and cancelled on the 12 December 1863.


Discovery. (ex Bloodhound) A wood screw store ship of 1,247 tons, 160 x 29 feet purchased on the 5 December 1874.  Sold out of service to Mr Murray in February 1902.


Discovery. An inshore minesweeper in the Royal Australian Navy, 178 tons, 101.7 x 29.5 feet.  This ship was projected in the 1987 estimates, but never completed.

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website, by continuing to use the site you agree to cookies being used. More info.