#HMSBelfast – The Thames floating landmark, HMS Belfast celebrates its 75th anniversary, coinciding with this weekend's St. Patrick festivities held on both sides of the Irish Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The Town-Class cruiser was launched on St. Patrick's Day 1938 from Harland & Wolff, Belfast. She is one of the last surviving WW2 warships remaining in UK waters. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy the following year and placed under the command of Captain G.A. Scott DSO.
During her career, HMS Belfast opened fire in support of Allied troops during the D-Day landing, was on escort duty during Artic convoys of merchant ships in addition to involvement in the Korean War.
To commemorate the historical significance of HMS Belfast, which has been moored on the Thames since 1971 as a major tourist attraction, a series of special events are to be held this weekend.
Her Belfast-based counterpart, the C-Class light cruiser HMS Caroline, which served in World War I having been built in 1914 at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, lies on the Lagan.
As previously reported, the fate of the former Battle of Jutland survivor was secured following last year's decision to protect the vessel from falling into disrepair with a £1m restoration grant.
On completion of the work on the veteran vessel now in her 99th year, she is to become a major tourist attraction likewise of HMS Belfast.