HMS York to fire guns on homecoming to Portsmouth

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HMS York will sail into Portsmouth for the last time tomorrow, firing a 17-gun salute in the harbour as the curtain comes down on her 27-year Royal Navy career.

The Type 42 destroyer, pictured, will fly a white decommissioning pennant and fire her saluting guns as she approaches Southsea shortly after 2pm.

The saluting gun at Fort Blockhouse, Gosport, will return fire and, weather permitting, York’s Lynx helicopter will perform a flypast.

The ship’s final entry comes a week before she is officially decommissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base on September 27.

York has clocked up 750,000 miles since entering service in 1985. She saw active service in the 2003 Iraq invasion, rescued refugees from the Lebanon in 2006, and delivered aid to Libya last year.

Her 240 sailors exercised their Freedom of the City of York for the final time last weekend.

York’s captain, Cdr Rex Cox, said it had been an ‘absolute privilege’ to command the ship during the last 12 months of her service.

‘As York makes her final entry to Portsmouth, she does so with pride,’ he added.