The Designator 11th Frigate Flotilla was assigned to the Loch-class Frigates when they were commissioned into the RNZN.  A number of questions have arisen

  1. Did the Loch’s ever go under the designation 11th Frigate Squadron?
  2. If so when did this occur? In August 1948 the six Loch frigates were designated the 11th Frigate Flotilla with the Senior Officer in HMNZS Taupo. Leaving Britain on 15 October 1948 four of the six ships arrived in Auckland 5 January 1949.   On arrival the four frigates the NZ squadron was reconstituted and the Senior Officer was on HMNZS Bellona.
  3. When did OTAGO, TARANAKI, WAIKATO and CANTERBURY become designated as  the 11th Frigate Squadron and when was it dis-established)
  4. When was Captain F11 was assigned did they used to paint a broad black stripe on the funnell to indicate who was the Captain?


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8 Responses to F11 SQUADRON

  1. Frank Lewis says:

    When we picked up Blackpool and went to the FES we joined the 24th Escort Squadron and it was not until we got back to NZ did we join the 11th Frigate Squadron.

  2. John Howell says:

    I joined the Kaniere September 1948 and we became part of the 11th Frigate Flotilla with Taupo having a broad black band on her funnel as Senior ship. Memory is a bit hazy now but think we departed from Weymouth. Crew was a mixture of the Arbutus^s old crew and ex RN who has joined up with RNZN

  3. Jim D says:

    A thick black band on the funnel denoted that Captain F11 was a Commander. When a thin white stripe was added underneath the thick black band, it indicated that Captain F11 was a Captain.

  4. Fred Wilson says:

    The squadron leader, i.e. F11, was designated by a black funnel band at the top. The stripe (half way down the funnel) was a gimmick to designate the half-leader (in effect the deputy who lead the second division). It was used in the RNZN Lochs when six were running and enough for 2 divisions, but never used with the Type 12/Leanders. The funnel top was painted on Captain F11’s ship, and also Commander F11’s ship when there wasn’t a Captain afloat – which was more often than not. Who was Captain/Commander F11 was formally designated via the Officer’s Postings (RNZN 224).

  5. Tony Bullock says:

    I don’t think there was a Loch class 11FS and a Type12/Leander 11FS – I think the squadron notionally included both ship types after OT and TN arrived, until the withdrawal of ROTOITI and KANIERE in 1967. OTAGO was F11 in 1968. CANTERBURY was F11 in 1978-1980. I recall that when OT came out of refit in 1967 we had a ‘half stripe’ on the funnel because although Richard Hale was a Captain, he was junior to Ted Thorne who was still in WAIKATO at that time (and who had the full black top). Certainly in 1980 the black top was still being painted on the funnel of the senior frigate. I couldn’t be sure, but it is possible the practice of doing this may have died out when four stripe Captains stopped getting drives.
    As regards the formal designation of the 11th Frigate Squadron, I don’t recall that being done in my time – the F11 moniker was a custom. I’m fairly certain nobody was posted as F11 – although I stand to be corrected.

    An interesting footnote – when Somerford Teagle drove CY in 1978/79 he used the designation ‘Cdr F11’ on the gangway lifebuoy and the ship’s Moke because he was only a Commander (but we had the black funnel top!). I think he turned down the opportunity to be promoted T/Captain, which was the normal practice at that time. The senior frigate CO always got the extra stripe – the Establishment for a frigate was for ‘Cdr (X) (may be Capt (X))’ but I think the ‘may be Capt’ was dropped when other demands for captains necessitated a redistribution of establishment numbers.
    ‘F11’ was still available as a signal address in 1980 although it was not used much – and seldom for admin traffic. I recall an incident off Sydney in 1979(?) when WT made a bad RAS approach to CY, and was chided with a NEGAT BZ from F11 to WT info CY. F11 was CY…

    PS – I see in Navy Today 218 that Capt Garin Golding’s posting as CO AOTEAROA will be the first time a seagoing ship has had a captain in command since Ian Hunter left WT in Dec 1984.

    Fred Wilson might be able to add to this?

  6. Alan Peck says:

    The last Captain F11 was the late Commodore John Leonard. He was captain of SOUTHLAND. I relieved him as a Commander on 15 December 1987 and we never had a Captain at sea after that date. We briefly toyed with the title Commander F11 but that was really just an artifice. It meant nothing except to show who the senior officer afloat was. I became Commander F11 towards the end of my time in SOUTHLAND in 1989 and refused to paint the black band on the funnel.

    The squadron system was an RN arrangement. The Captain F ship always had senior staff who would be responsible for monitoring the performance of the squadron as a whole. The idea meant very little in the RNZN as COMAUCK’s staff performed those functions. We never operated as a squadron. I think you can count the number of times the ships of the 11FS all operated together on the fingers of one hand. I can recall two occasions in Wellington and they were little more than OOW manoeuvres.

  7. Mie Franklin says:

    I have a photo of Canterbury with a black stripe with small white stripe underneath dated November 1991 but by the time of the Fleet review the following year it was gone. I was in command at the time and I remember we were told to remove it but I cannot be sure who by. I think it was when Tony Lewis became Commodore he felt the tradition had no substance so directed it be removed but I cannot be sure.

    Mike Franklin

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