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Some History from the 60's

'The following history was supplied by Frank (Shiner) Wright and is apparently the same as that on the original website.  Any non-classified corrections or additions most welcome.


The voyages of HMS Dreadnought (not complete)



21st October 1960, launched on schedule 18 months after the first steel plates were delivered to the yard.  The launching by Queen Elizabeth II was watched by over 1,100 ticket holders and up to 30,000 onlookers.  She was the 295th submarine launched at Barrow, on the 155th anniversary of The Battle of Trafalgar.


11th November   Dreadnought entered the floating dock for preliminary trials

10th December   Trials continued in Morecambe Bay.


10th January   Dreadnought made her first dive in Ramsden Dock.

17th April 1963   Dreadnought completed and commissioned, her first Commanding Officer was Commander BFP Sambourne.  Dreadnought joined the 3rd S/M Squadron at Faslane based on the Depot Ship HMS Maidstone.

11th September   Dreadnought took part in Exercise Unison with HMS Hermes, HMS Tiger, HMS Hampshire, 5 escorts and 5 Frigates.

3rd to 11th December    Dreadnought took part in Exercise Lime Jug with HMS/M Olympus, HMS/M Porpoise, HMS Hermes, HMS Hampshire, 5 escorts and 5 frigates.

14th December   Dreadnought arrived at Rosyth for docking and A’s & A’s.


10th May   Docking completed and she departed for trials.  On completion of trials sailed for Rosyth and Faslane, and then onto the North Western Approaches.

10th to 12th May   Carried out trials in the Clyde area and Loch Fyne, and then took surface passage to Portsmouth via the Irish Sea.  In Portsmouth she was visited by C-in-C Portsmouth.

16th to 20th May   Dived passage to Gibraltar,

20th May to 12th June   Torpedo discharge trials in the Gibraltar areas.

30th June   Surface passage through the Gibraltar Straits and when over the 100 fathom mark dived for passage to Norfolk, Virginia.

24th June   Sailed from Norfolk for a short VIP cruise, then sailed on a 36 hour exercise with USS/M Dace and USS/M Hardhead.  This trial was shortened as FOSM had issued instructions that Dreadnought should not allow a direct comparison between her Type 2001 Sonar and Dace’s BQS6 Sonar, neither submarine completed an attack although Dreadnought was aware at all times of the Dace’s position.

27th June   Arrived at Exuma Sound Range for sound trials.

29th June   Sailed for Bermuda.

1st July 1964   Arrived Bermuda and docked astern of HMS Tartar in Island Dockyard.

4th July   Sailed for a dived passage to Gibraltar.  On arrival Dreadnought had steamed 8,926 miles of which 7,931 were submerged since the torpedo discharge trials in Gibraltar.

4th-7th August   Dived passage to Portsmouth.

8th-10th   August passage to Faslane for maintenance until the 14th September.

14th -18th September.   Work-up in the Clyde area with HMS Eskimo, anchoring each evening in Lamlash Bay, then passage to Exercise TEAMWORK with HMS/m’s Osiris, Alaric, Onslaught, Finwhale, Grampus, Opposum, Otus, Rorqual and Totem, 12 minesweepers,1 Minehunter,13 Costal minesweepers, 1 Coastal minelayer,2 Coastal Store Carriers, 1 Escort Vessel and 7 Frigates.  (Try mustering that number today!!)

2nd-3rd October   Passage to Faslane.

6th October   Sailed for SONAR trials in the Clyde.

9th-12th October   At Faslane.

12th-20th October   In the Western Approaches.

22nd-26th October.   Visiting Portsmouth.

27th-30th October   Exercising in the Londonderry area.

31st October to 1st November   On passage to Faslane.

2nd November   Passage to Gibraltar.

7th-8th November   At Gibraltar for trials.

9th November -4th December   Sonar trials off Gibraltar.

5th December.   Passage to Faslane.

9th – 11th December passage to Rosyth for Docking.


19th February   Docking completed.

23rd February   “Work-up” passage to Faslane with a visit to ARTE Dounreay.

27th February-2nd March.   At Faslane.

3rd-6th March.   Exercises in the Londonderry area.

7th March.   At Faslane

8th-12th March   Exercises in the Clyde area.

13th -20th March.   Maintenance at Faslane.

21st-22nd April.   “Workup” in the Clyde area

23rd-25th April.   At Faslane preparing for Captain 3rd Submarine Squadron inspection.

26th April.   Harbour inspection and sailed for sea inspection in Londonderry area.

27th April.   Sea Inspection.

28th-29th   Passage to Exercise RED KNIGHT with HMS/m’s Ocelot, Olympus, Cachalot, Oppossum, Otus and 1 Escort.

13th-17th May.   At Faslane.

18th-19th May.   Passage to Southampton.

19th-22nd May.   At Southampton.

22nd-26th May.   At Portsmouth.

26th-29th May.   Passage to Gibraltar and on to Malta.  Denied entry to Malta by Dom Mintoff.

29th-30th May.   At Gibraltar for visit.

31st May-10th June   OPEVAL (Palmas Bay 5-6th June)

19th June-4th July.   Daily Sea trials off Gibraltar.

5th-9th July.   Passage to Rotterdam.

9th-14th July   Visit to Rotterdam with HMS Maidstone

15th -17th July.   At Portsmouth.

17th-19th July.   Passage to sound range for trials.

19th-24th July.   Sound range and Noise trials.

26th-30th July.   Trials off Londonderry

31st July-6th August.   Faslane Sports, Dreadnought teams beat them all.

7th-11th August.   The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Lord Louis Mountbatten and a multitude of VIPs visited Dreadnought during the Fleet Review at the Tale of the Bank on the Clyde.




















12th-13th August.   Passage to Rosyth

14th August-2nd February 1966.   Docking at Rosyth.


2nd-4th February.   Sailed for Trials.

4th February-23rd May.  Rosyth for maintenance and repairs.

23rd-27th May.   Sea Trials and passage to Faslane.

27th May-1st June.   At Faslane.

2nd-4th June.   Exercise with HMS/m Osiris.

4th-7th June.   Passage to Gibraltar.

8th-13th June.   At Gibraltar for well earned visit.

14th-17th June.   On Exercise.

17th-20th June   Faslane and passage to Loch Fyne.

27th-30th June.   Passage to Rosyth.

30th June-25th July.   Docked at Rosyth.

26th July.   Sailed for trials, returned to Rosyth 29th July.

30th July 1966 to 25th January 1967   Docking and repairs at Rosyth.


26th January-8th February.   “Workup” in Londonderry and Clyde areas.

9th February.   Passage to Faslane

10th-13th February.   At Faslane.

14th-16th February.   Torpedo trials in Clyde area.

17th-19th February.   At Faslane.

20th February.   Passage to Loch Fyne.

21st-28th February.   Trials in Loch Fyne.

1st March.   Passage to Faslane.

3rd March.   Passage to Rosyth.

6th -29th March.   Docked at Rosyth for maintenance and repair.

29th March.   Passage to Faslane.

4th April.   Passage to Forth area to exercise.

5th-25th April.   Exercise QUICK PURSUIT with HMS/m’s Otter, Porpoise, Grampus, Olympus and Truncheon.

26th-27th April.   Passage to Rosyth.

1st-25th May.   Docked at Rosyth for survey.

8th June.   Arrived at Faslane.

8th June,   Left Faslane on passage to Gibraltar with various exercises on the way.

19th-21st June.   Docked in Gibraltar.

22nd June.  Ordered out of dock to sink Essberger Chemist which was a hazard to shipping off the Azores.  Fired 4 torpedoes along the breadth of the target with a 68 second delay, 3 torpedoes struck, the 4th going past.  Vessel was eventually sunk by gunfire from HMS Salisbury.

28th June-4th July.   Docked at Gibraltar

4th-14th July.   On exercise in Atlantic and Gibraltar areas.

17th-21st July.   Sailed for UK with HMS/m Alliance.

22nd-26th July.   In Loch Fyne.

26th July.   Sailed for Faslane

27th July-6th August.   Squadron sports at Faslane, Dreadnought won (of course)

7th-12th August.   Exercise and on passage to Rosyth.

14th August.   Arrived Rosyth for Docking and Survey.

18th September.   Completed maintenance.

19th September.   Left Faslane

21st-23rd September.   Clyde areas.

23rd-26th September.   Arrived Faslane and sailed for Gibraltar.

26th September.   Overnight at Gibraltar.

27th September.   Sailed from Gibraltar for Singapore.

16th October.   Surfaced in the Andaman Sea for trip to Langkawi Island.

17th October   Arrived Langkawi.

17th Oct-3rd November.  Trials and Exercises in Bay of Bengal completed on Nov 1st.

3rd -20th November.   Arrived at Singapore.

20th-30th November.   Under maintenance?

December   Exercised with HMAS Yarra and HMAS Stuart in Malacca Straits and passage to Faslane.

15th December   Arrived Faslane. The round trip finished as 4,640 miles on the surface and 26,545 dived.

19th-20th December.  Sailed Faslane for Rosyth.

21st Dec.   Arrived at Rosyth for maintenance.


7th-8th February   Passage to Faslane.

9th-11th February.   At Faslane.

12th-16th February.   Sailed Faslane for Kiel.

16th -22nd February   At Kiel.

22nd February-3rd March.   Sailed Kiel for Gibraltar.

3rd-8th March.   At Gibraltar.

8th March.   Sailed from Gibraltar.

9th-15th March   On passage and exercise to UK.

16th March.   Faslane to embark torpedoes and pick up Capt (S)

17th March.   Sailed Faslane for Captain (S) sea inspection.

18th-20th March.   On exercise and Sea Inspection.

21st March.   Arrived Faslane.

22nd-29th March   At Faslane for Harbour Inspection.

29th-30th March.   Sailed Faslane for Rosyth.

31st March.   For the first time wives and families were allowed to go to sea on Dreadnought. A third of the ships complement were disembarked to make way for 30 adults and 10 children. She dived off May Island for over an hour in the Firth of Forth.  It was Dreadnought’s last day at sea before docking at Rosyth for her first core change.  The docking took place behind electrified wire barriers.  In the last 5 years she had sailed a distance equivalent to nearly six times round the world and her reactor core had reached the end of its design life.

12th September.   Lunch at the North British Hotel in Edinburgh for selection of Officers and Crew with the underwriters of Essberger Chemist.  The plane carrying the underwriters was delayed by fog and until they arrived the drinks were free.  “Lunch” eventually finished at 17:30 and some of the underwriters came back to the Narvik for an evening out at the Ugly Bugs Ball in Inverkeithing.


6th February.   Finished re-fueling.   Dreadnought encountered serious problems at Rosyth Dockyard which delayed the refit by nearly 10 months.


10th September 1970.   Dreadnought Re-Commissioned.

25th September    Completed her first major refit during which her reactor core was changed and her ballast tank valves were changed to reduce noise.

28th September   Departure delayed from Rosyth due to an air leak on one of the air systems. (already a year behind schedule in a 2.5 year refit)

2nd October.   Sailed Rosyth for Forth and Clyde areas.

6th-13th October   Clyde areas.

14th October   At Faslane.

15th-19th October   Trials.

19th October    Rana-range.

20th-23rd October   Trials

24th Oct-5th November   Maintenance at Faslane.

6th-14th November   Loch Striven for trials.

15th November   At Faslane.

17th-22nd November   At Clyde Area


11th-17th February: Arrived at Lerwick for Exercise “Creaky Nut”

17th-20th February   At Faslane.

20th-21st February   In the Clyde Area

23rd Feb-3rd March   On Exercise.

3rd March 1971.    Dreadnought became the first British submarine to surface at the North Pole.   After reaching the Pole an area thin ice was sought using, sonar, periscope, upward looking echo sounder and floodlights before breaking through.  The ice was around 2 ft thick when she pushed her way through.  Spending 7 days under the ice and surfacing 6 times, she sustained minor damage during her 1,500 mile voyage under the Arctic ice.  Two small dents noted on her bow and a panel of fibreglass was torn from the fin by the sea when she surfaced outside the Arctic Circle.  She travelled 5,200 miles in 19 days passing under the ice early on 28th February.  The submarine surfaced through the ice 3 times on her way to the Pole and once there some of the crew had a “jolly” time on the ice.  No Polar Bears were spotted although a rifleman was positioned to keep watch.

11th March.   Returned to Faslane.

11th-12th March.   In the Clyde areas.

12th March-24th October:   Program unknown.

25th October.   Sailed for Southampton.

28th October-1st November:   At Southampton.

3rd-5th November:   Clyde areas for Exercises.

5th-8th November   “Exercise JMC163” with HMS/m’s Onyx and Opportune and the GM destroyer HMS Antrim and 3 frigates.

9th-10th November.   Clyde Exercise area.

10th-27th November.   Faslane for maintenance.


7th-18th January   “Exercise Vendetta” with HMS/m’s Osiris, Aeneas, Oppossum and Ocelot

18th-19th January   At Faslane and exercising in the Clyde areas.

25th January.   Departed Clyde area.

1st-3rd February. “Exercise Linex” with HMS London, Dido and Jupiter.

4th-14th February.   “Exercise Lantreadex” with HMS Ark Royal.

29th February-2nd March.   British Virgin Islands.

3rd-8th March.   Mayport Florida USA.

17th March 9th   Arrived Faslane for maintenance.

9th July.   Completed maintenance.

17t h July.   Departed Faslane.

24th July.   Operational.

2nd-10th August.   CANMARCOM operations.

10th-15th August.   Visit to Halifax Nova Scotia for exercise with the Royal Canadian Navy.

15th-21st August.    Canmarcom operations.

24th August – 3rd September   Faslane for maintenance.

4th-10th September.    On trials.

11th-12th September.   Exercise “Highland Fling” with an unidentified frigate, HMS Bildeston and HMS Iveston.

14th-18th September.   Exercise “Strong Express” with HMS/m’s Conqueror, Oberon, Alliance, Grampus, Rorqual and Walrus. HMCS/m Onondaga and the support ship HMCS Margaree.from the Canadian Navy, and the surface ships, HMS Ark Royal, Fearless, Albion, Blake, Fife, Norfolk, 6 Frigates, 6 Mine countermeasure vessels, 1 ME officers training ship, 3 store ships, 1 helicopter support ship.

30th September.    Arrived Faslane.

4th October.    Sailed for Chatham for A’s & A’s.


16th February.    Completed A’s & A’s. and sailed for Faslane.

19th February.    Clyde areas.

12th March.    Sailed for Gibraltar.

17th March    Arrived Gibraltar.

9th April.    Sailed for Faslane.

13th April.    Arrived Faslane for maintenance.

11th June.    Sailed Faslane for the Far East.

15th-18th June.    Visit Gibraltar, then sailed for Penang and the start of the first Group deployment with HMS Tiger, Hermione and Dido, RFA’s Tidespring and Regent and two Dutch frigates (names unknown).  Dreadnought made an underwater passage of 10,000 miles to Penang, Malaysia.

3rd-9th July.    At Simonstown, South Afirca.  First nuclear powered vessel to ever publicly enter South African waters.

9th July    Sailed for Singapore.

22nd-27th July.   Arrived at Penang.  During the passage Dreadnought rescued 35 crewmen from the merchant vessel Carnation which had been in a collision with the Anchor Ansen.

27th July.   Arrived Singapore and berthed alongside HMS Forth in the Johore Straits.

23rd-31st August.   Exercise “Green Light” with HMS Tiger, Rhyl, Hermione and the RFA’s Tidespring and Regent.

31st August- 5th September.    At Subic Bay in the Philipines.

11th-25th September   At Guam.

5th-22nd October.    Singapore.

22nd October.    Sailed for Mauritius.

6th-9th November.   At Mauritius.

16th-26th November.   At Simonstown, South Africa.

26th-30th November.    Exercise “Capex” with HMS Tiger.

21st December.    Returned to Faslane flying the flag of Rear Admiral Dick Clayton (FOF2) at the end of a 194 day deployment during which time she had travelled 38,273 miles.


18th February.   Exercise “Stem Turn” with HMS/m’s Courageous and Valiant.

6th-12th March.   Trials off Campbeltown.

12th March.    Sailed for Faslane.

22nd March.   Arrived Faslane.

25th-27th    March Trials in the Clyde areas.

30th March-2nd April.   At Faslane.

4th-7th April.    At Southampton

4th April-22nd October.   At Chatham, departed after maintenance and trials.

25th-30th October.   Exercising in the Clyde areas

.30th October.   Arrived Faslane.

25th November.   Trials at Faslane.

Very little Details available for the period 25th November 1974 until 1st December 1980 when the decision was made to take her out of service due to cracking in the hull and secondary cooling system.

March 76 to February 78    (Details provided by Arthur (Tanzy) Lee who joined Dreadnought as a Junior RO in March 1976).

March 1976 to October 1976    Back end of refit in Chatham, then surface passage to Faslane



January to March 1977      Safety and Operational Workups (approximate dates)

April 1977   23 day operational deployment (Operation Paved I think it was called)

August 1977  Group 6 Deployment to Far East, Gibraltar, Salonika (Greece) got as far as the Suez Canal before being turned back, while the rest of the Task Group went through (HMS Tiger was the  flagship)

November 1977    Visit to Lisbon, then Gibraltar to store for Operation Journeyman.

November 1977 to January 1978   Operation Journeyman to Falkland Islands in company with HMS Phoebe and Alacrity, RFAs Resource and Olwen.

February 1978   (approximate date) visit to Augusta in Sicily, Gibraltar.

February 1978   Visit to Liverpool (Seaforth Docks)


Fleet Review


The Queens arrival[10134].jpg

Her Majesty the Queen is piped onboard.

SIDE PARTY[10133].jpg

The Coxn - CPO Tony Smith 

Lt Charles Dallmeyer - with the telescope

LS Chauncey Chapman - back right

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