The name ‘Danae’ first appears in the Royal Navy in the year 1759 when a French gun
Frigate of 941 tons named ‘La Danae’ was captured after a fierce running battle by H.M.S. Southampton. She was purchased by the Admiralty and in recognition of her stiff resistance the name ‘Danae’ was retained. Later she took part in the successful blockade of Dunquerque and in 1761 captured the French privateer ‘Colibry’
The second ‘Danae’ also captured from the French off St. Malo in 1779, was a smaller
vessel of 689 tons and 32 guns. Apart from convoy duty to Newfoundland in 1782 little
is known of her subsequent service.
In 1798 the French corvette ‘Valiante’ captured by H.M.S. Indefatigable became the third ship to bear the name ‘Danae’. After refitting in Plymouth she returned to service in 1799 and captured the French lugger ‘Le Sans Quartier’. In 1800 the crew mutinied alleging poor and overcrowded accommodation (with, probably, some justification as her Captain, Lord Proby, had written to the Admiralty some time before complaining bitterly about thelack of of living space and enclosing the dimensions of his own cabin which was five feet in height and some six feet by nine in area). The mutineers sailed the ship into Brest and returned her to the French.
The first British built ‘Danae’ was a single screw steam and sail corvette commissioned at Portsmouth in 1867. She took part in the blockade of Dahomery, Niger, in 1876/77
followed by police duty in the Pacific Islands. She ended her days in 1905 having been
moored in the Mersey as a submarine mining hulk for the last fourteen years of her life.
The fifth ‘Danae’ a light cruiser built by Armstrong Whitworth Co. of Newcastle was
completed in 1918. Between the world wars she saw service in the China station during
the troubles in 1923 and took part in the world cruise in company with H.M.S. Hood. She was commissioned from reserve shortly before the outbreak of World War II and despite her age carried out patrol and escort duties around the world. Her last operational task In the Royal Navy was in support of the Normandy landings after which she was loaned to the Polish Navy and renamed “O.R.P. Conrad” (see ‘The Ship’ link for more information). She was returned to Britain for scrapping after the war.
The last ‘Danae’ to which this site is dedicated, was a General Purpose improved type 12
Leander class frigate. The Leander class is a derivative of the Whitby class of frigate
having a similar hull form and machinery, however, ships of the Leander class had
improved and more diversified weapon systems and were in general more sophisticated
ships. Our ‘Danae’ was primarily an Anti-Submarine frigate but could be used in an
Anti-Aircraft protection role. She carried a complement of 17 Officers and 246 Ratings.
(Go to ‘The Ship’ link for more information on Leander class frigates).
‘Danae’ was laid down at Devonport on the 16th of December 1964 and launched by Miss
Anthea Talbot, daughter of Vice-Admiral Fitzroy Talbot on the 31st of October 1965. She
was completed on the 7th of September 1967 and commissioned on the 10th of October
the same year.
After completing a long and eventful career, including escorting the Aircraft Carrier
Illustrious during the Falklands war in 1982 she was finally sold off to Ecuador in April