SNIPPET

The first Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Commodore's in my time [1953-1983] were few and far between and rarely appointed to sea. I remember well COMAW [Commodore Amphibious Warfare] Commodore Michael CLAPP R.N., being perhaps the most important at sea commodore of his day, exercising that role particularly during the three month's Falklands War in April-June 1982.

It was then the practice to appoint commodores to sub-Commands i.e., COMHK [Commodore Hong Kong] in the Far East Command, and SNO's [Senior Naval Officer's] at a lower level of Command i.e., SNOWI [Senior Naval Officer West Indies] which was a sea Command. Other SNO's were appointed to shore Commands. All surface large vessels [with the exception of the Royal Yacht] from frigates and destroyers which were Leaders whose captains were appointed as either Captain F* or Captain D*, to private destroyers and above, had commanding officers who held the rank of captain R.N., no matter how large the vessel was.

* represents a number for the squadron the captain is in charge of. Half Leaders were commanded by officers holding the rank of commander R.N., senior to other commanders in the squadron.  For the rest of the fleet, the majority of other commanding officers were commanders [in a totally nuclear powered submarine fleet, all CO's are commanders] with a smattering here and there of lieutenant commanders for smaller vessels in the surface fleet.  Exceptionally, lieutenants commanded very small vessels.  Note. A commodore is one rank above a captain and a commander is one rank below a captain.

However, Commodore Clapp was in charge of amphibious warfare per se and he and his staff were embarked in HMS Fearless using the ships facilities to exercise his task. The Fearless had its own commanding officer, Captain Jeremy Larken R.N. Fearless incidentally, was the last steam ship in the Royal Navy.

Without doubt, the most "famous" vessel having a commodore as its commanding officer was the Royal Yacht Britannia. Its very last CO was Commodore Anthony Morrow R.N., who  was COMRY [Commodore Royal Yachts] whereas all his predecessors had been a rear admiral known as FORY [Flag Officer Royal Yachts].  The appointment was down graded after the sad political decision was taken to decommission the Yacht and take her out of Service, which didn't auger well with The Queen.

Now, from mid 2015, we will have a commodore as the commanding officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

This file, suitable for reading offline, has been 'crawled' from the Royal Navy site, so that if that site is altered and the story is dropped as being outdated and thus irrelevant for naval purposes in a time to come, we will not lose the story on this site.

Enjoy the read, and I am sure that you will all join me in wishing him well for this huge and vastly important command.  Good luck sir, and good sailing.

NEW COMMANDING OFFICER..... Now click on the URL and enjoy the story and meet this lucky and remarkable naval officer.