.
Deckpennants of the Royal Navy
                  .

Aircraft carriers and vessels operating aircraft have a deck code painted on the flight deck to aid identification by aircraft attempting to land. This is in a position clearly visible on the approach path. The Royal Navy uses a single letter (typically the first letter of the ship's name) for aircraft carriers and large vessels operating aircraft, and pairs of letters (usually letters from the ship's name) for smaller vessels.

The deck letter system was introduced around the end of WW2 when for the first time RN carriers began to operate together in numbers as part of the BPF (British Pacific Fleet).

                  -

Ships

 
   

Carrier

 
   

A

HMS Indomitable R92

1945 - 1953

 
   

A

HMS Albion R07

1962 - 1972

 
   

B

HMAS Melburne R21 (RAN)

1955 - 1982

 
   

B

HMS Bulwark R08

1954 - 1981

 
   

C

HMS Implacable R86 1945 - 1954  
   

C

HMS Centauer R06

1954 - 1965

 
   

D

HMS Illustrious R87 1945 - 1954  
   

E

HMS Eagle R05

1958 - 1972

 
   

H

HMS Hermes R12

1959 - 1985

 
   

J

HMS Warrior R31

1948 - 1949

 
   

J

HMS Eagle R05 (later Tailcode E)

1951 - 1958

 
   

K

HMAS Sidney R17 (RAN)

1948 - 1958

 
   

L

HMS Centaur R06 (later Tailcode C)

1953

 
   

L

HMS Illustrious R06

1982 - present

 
   

M

HMAS Melburne R21 (RAN)

1955 - 1982

 
   

N

HMS Invincible R05

1980 - 2005

 
   

O

HMS Ocean R68

1945 - 1955

 
   

O

HMS Ark Royal R09 (later Tailcode R)

1955 - 1959

 
   

P

HMS Triumph R16

1946 - 1957

 
   

P

HMS Prince of Wales R09

2023

 
   

Q

HMS Vengeance R71

1945 - 1952

 
   

Q

HMS Queen Elizabeth R08

2020

 
   

R

HMS Formidable R67

1945 - 1947

 
   

R

HMS Glory R62 1947 - 1956  
   

R

HMS Ark Royal R09 1959 - 1978  
   

R

HMS Ark Royal R07

1985 - 2011

 
   

S

HMS Victorious R38 1945 - 1947  
   

T

HMS Theseus R64

1946 - 1957

 
   

U

HMS Unicorn R72

1949 - 1953

 
   

V

HMS Victorious R38

1958 - 1968

 
   

Y

HMS Victorious R38 (later Tailcode V)

1947 - 1948

 
   

Y

HMAS Melburne R21 (RAN)

1955 - 1982

 
   

Z

HMS Albion R07 (later Tailcode A)

1954 - 1961

 
   

Crusier

 
   

TG

HMS Tiger C20

1972 - 1978

 
   

BL

HMS Blake C99 (later Tailcode B)

1969 - 1979

 
   

Destroyer

 
   

AN

HMS Antrim D18 (County class)

1970 - 1984

 
    BM HMS Birmingham D86 (Sheffield class / Type42) 1976 - 1999  
   

BS

HMS Bristol D23 (Bristol class / Type 82)

1973 - 1991

 
    CF HMS Cardiff D108 (Sheffieldclass / Type42)

1979 - 2005

 
    CO HMS Coventry D118 (Sheffieldclass / Type42)

1978 - 1979

 
    CV HMS Coventry D118 (Sheffieldclass / Type42)

1980 - 1982

 
   

DA

HMS Daring D32 (Daring class / Type 42)

2009 - present

 
   

DF

HMS Defender D36 (Daring class / Type 42)

2013 - present

 
   

DM

HMS Diamond D34 (Daring class / Type 42)

2011 - present

 
   

DR

HMS Dragon D35 (Daring class / Type 42)

2012 - present

 
   

DT

HMS Dauntless D33 (Daring class / Type 42)

2010 - present

 
   

DU

HMS Duncan D37 (Daring class / Type 42)

2013 - present

 
   

DV

HMS Devonshire D02 (County class)

1962 - 1978

 
   

EB

HMS Edinburgh D97 (Manchester class / Type42)

1985 - present  
    EX HMS Exeter D89 (Exeter class / Type42)

1981 - 2009

 
   

FF

HMS Fife D20 (County class)

1969 - 1987

 
   

FI

HMS Fife D20 (County class)

1966 - 1969

 
   

GC

HMS Gloucester D96 (Manchester class / Type42)

1985 - present  
   

GL

HMS Glamorgan D19 (County class)

1966 - 1986

 
    GW HMS Glasgow D88 (Sheffield class / Type42)

1979 - 2005

 
   

HA

HMS Hampshire D06 (County class)

1961 - 1976

 
   

KE

HMS Kent D12 (County class)

1963 - 1980

 
   

LN

HMS London D16 (County class)

1963 - 1966

 
   

LO

HMS London D16 (County class)

1965 - 1981

 
    LP HMS Liverpool D92 (Exeter class / Type42)

1982 - present

 
   

MC

HMS Manchester D85 (Manchester class / Type42)

1982 - present  
   

MP

HMS Matapan D43 (Battle-class)

1975 - 1977  
   

NC

HMS Newcastle D87 (Sheffield class / Type42) 1978 - 2005  
   

NF

HMS Norfolk D21 (County class)

1970 - 1981

 
    NM HMS Nottingham D91 (Exeter class / Type42)

1983 - 2010

 
    SD HMS Sheffield D80 (Sheffield class / Type42) 1975 - 1982  
    SN HMS Southampton D90 (Exeter class / Type42)

1981 - 2009

 
   

YK

HMS York D98 (Manchester class / Type42)

1985 - present  
   

Frigates

 
   

AB

HMS Ambuscade F172 (Amazon class / Type21)

1975 - 1993

 
   

AC

HMS Achilles F12 (Leander class / Type12)

1970 - 1990  
   

AD

HMS Ardent F182 (Amazon class / Type21)

1977 - 1982

 
    AE HMS Ariadne F72 (Leander class / Type12)

1973 - 1992

 
   

AG

HMS Avenger F185 (Amazon class / Type21)

1978 - 1994

 
   

AJ

HMS Ajax F114 (Leander class / Type12)

1963 - 1985

 
   

AL

HMS Alacrity F174 (Amazon class / Type21)

1977 - 1994

 
    AM HMS Andomeda F57 (Leander class / Type12) 1968 - 1993  
   

AO

HMS Antelope F170 (Amazon class / Type21)

1975 - 1982

 
    AP HMS Apollo F70 (Leander class / Type12)

1972 - 1988

 
   

AR

HMS Arethusa F38 (Leander class / Type12) 1965 - 1980  
   

AS

HMS Ashanti F117 (Tribal-class / Type 81)

1961 - 1981

 
    AT HMS Argonaut F56 (Leander class / Type12)

1967 - 1993

 
    AU HMS Aurora F10 (Leander class / Type12)

1964 - 1987

 
   

AV

HMS Active F171 (Amazon class / Type21)

1977 - 1994

 
   

AW

HMS Arrow F173 (Amazon class / Type21)

1976 - 1994

 
    AY

HMS Argyll F231 (Duke class / Type 23)

1991 - present

 
   

AZ

HMS Amazon F169 (Amazon class / Type21)

1974 - 1993

 
   

BA

HMS Brave F94 (Boxer class / Type22)

1986 - 1999

 
    BC HMS Bacchante F69 (Leander class / Type12) 1969 - 1992  
    BK HMS Berwick F115 (Rothesay class / Type12) 1961 - 1985  
    BR HMS Brighton F106 (Rothesay class / Type12) 1961 - 1981  
   

BT

HMS Brilliant F90 (Broadsword class / Type22)

1981 - 1996

 
   

BW

HMS Broadswoard F88 (Broadsword class / Type22)

1979 - 1995

 
   

BX

HMS Battleaxe F89 (Broadsword class / Type22)

1980 - 1997

 
   

BZ

HMS Brazen F91 (Broadsword class / Type22)

1982 - 1996

 
   

CA

HMNZS Canterbury F421 (Leander class / Type12)

1973 - 2005

 
   

CL

HMS Cleopatra F28 (Leander class / Type12) 1975 - 1992  
   

CL

HMS Cumberland F85 (Cornwall class / Type22)

1989 - present

 
   

CM

HMS Chatham F87 (Cornwall class / Type22)

1990 - present

 
   

CP

HMS Cleopatra F28 (Leander class / Type12) 1966 - 1973  
   

CS

HMS Charybdis F75 (Leander class / Type12) 1969 - 197?  
   

CT

HMS Campeltown F86 (Cornwall class / Type22)

1989 - present

 
   

CV

HMS Coventry F98 (Boxer class / Type22)

1988 - 2001

 
   

CW

HMS Cornwall F99 (Cornwall class / Type22)

1988 - present

 
   

CY

HMS Charybdis F75 (Leander class / Type12) 197? - 1991  
   

DA

HMS Danae F47 (Leander class / Type12) 1967 - 197?  
   

DI

HMS Dido F104 (Leander class / Type12)

1963 - 1978

 
   

DM

HMS Diomede F16 (Leander class / Type12) 1971 - 1988  
   

DN

HMS Danae F47 (Leander class / Type12) 197? - 1991  
    DO HMS Dido F104 (Leander class / Type12)

1978 - 1983

 
   

ES

HMS Eskimo F119 (Tribal-class / Type 81)

1963 - 1980

 
    EU HMS Euryalus F15 (Leander class / Type12)

1964 - 1989

 
    FM HMS Falmouth F113 (Rothesay class / Type12) 1961 - 1984  
    GA HMS Galatea F18 (Leander class / Type12)

1964 - 1987

 
   

GU

HMS Gurkha F122 (Tribal-class / Type 81)

1963 - 1984

 
   

HM

HMS Hermione F58 (Leander class / Type12) 1969 - 1992  
    IR HMS Iron Duke F234 (Duke class / Type 23)

1993 - present

 
    JO HMS Juno F52 (Leander class / Type12) 1967 - 1992  
    JP HMS Jupiter F60 (Leander class / Type12) 1969 - 1992  
   

KT

HMS Kent F78 (Duke class / Type 23)

2000 - present

 
    LA HMS Lancaster F229 (Duke class / Type 23)

1992 - present

 
    LD HMS Londonderry F108 (Rothesay class / Type12) 1961 - 1984  
   

LE

HMS Leander F109 (Leander class / Type12)

1971 - 1987

 
   

LO

HMS London F95 (Boxer class / Type22)

1987 - 1999

 
   

LR

HMS Leander F109 (Leander class / Type12)

1963 - 1970

 
    LT HMS Lowestoft F103 (Rothesay class / Type12) 1961 - 1985  
    MA HMS Marlborogh F233 (Duke class / Type 23)

1991 - present

 
    MI HMS Minerva F45 (Leander class / Type12)

1966 - 1968

 
    MM HMS Mermaid F76 (Leopard class /Type 41)

1973 - 1977

 
    MM HMS Monmouth F235 (Duke class / Type 23)

1993 - present

 
    MO

HMS Mohawk F125 (Tribal-class / Type 81)

1963 - 1980

 
    MR HMS Montrose F236 (Duke class / Type 23)

1994 - present

 
    MV HMS Minerva F45 (Leander class / Type12)

1969 - 1992

 
   

NA

HMS Naiad F39 (Leander class / Type12)

1965 - 1987

 
    NF HMS Norfolk F230 (Duke class / Type 23)

1990 - 2007

 
    NL HMS Northumberland F238 (Duke class / Type 23)

1994 - present

 
   

NU

HMS Nubian F131 (Tribal-class / Type 81)

1962 - 1979

 
    PB HMS Phoebe F42 (Leander class / Type12) 1966 - 1974  
   

PD

HMS Portland F79 (Duke class / Type 23)

2001 - present

 
    PE HMS Penelope F127 (Leander class / Type12)

1963 - 197?

 
    PH HMS Phoebe F42 (Leander class / Type12) 1975 - 1991  
    PL HMS Plymouth F126 (Rothesay class / Type12) 1961 - 1988  
    PN HMS Penelope F127 (Leander class / Type12)

197? - 1991

 
    RL HMS Rhyl F129 (Rothesay class / Type12) 1960 - 1983  
    RM HMS Richmond F239 (Duke class / Type 23)

1995 - present

 
    RO HMS Rothesay F107 (Rothesay class / Type12) 1960 - 1988  
    SC HMS Scylla F71 (Leander class / Type12) 1970 - 1993  
   

SD

HMS Sheffield F96 (Boxer class / Type22)

1988 - 2002

 
   

SM

HMS Sommerset F82 (Duke class / Type 23)

1996 - present

 
    SS HMS Sirius F40 (Leander class / Type12) 1966 - 1993  
   

TA

HMS Tartar F133 (Tribal-class / Type 81)

1962 - 1984

 
   

UD

HMS Undaunted F53 (Type 15 )

1967 - 1973  
   

VB

HMS Beaver F93 (Boxer class / Type22)

1984 - 1999

 
    WM HMS Westminster F237 (Duke class / Type 23)

1994 - present

 
   

XB

HMS Boxer F92 (Boxer class / Type22)

1983 - 1999

 
    YM HMS Yarmouth F101 (Rothesay class / Type12) 1960 - 1986  
   

ZU

HMS Zulu F124 (Tribal-class / Type 81)

1964 - 1984

 
   

?

HMNZS Waikato F55 (Leander class / Type12)

1966 - 1998  
   

?

HMS Grafton F80 (Duke class / Type 23)

1997 - 2006

 
   

?

HMS Sutherland F81 (Duke class / Type 23)

1997 - present

 
   

?

HMS St. Albans F83 (Duke class / Type 23)

2002 - present

 
   

Landing Ships

 
   

AB

HMS Albion L14

2003 - present

 
   

BK

HMS Bulwark L15

2004 - present

 
   

FS

HMS Fearless L10

1965 - 2002  
   

ID

HMS Intrepid L11

1967 - 1999  
   

OC

HMS Ocean L12

1995 - present

 
   

Others

 
    AS RFA Argus A135 (Argus) 1988 - present  
    BD RFA Sir Bedivere L3004 (Round Table class)

1967 - 2008

 
    BE RFA Blue Rover A270 (Rover class)

1970 - 1993

 
    BV RFA Black Rover A273 (Rover class)

1974 - present

 
    CB RFA Cardigan Bay L3009 (Bay class) 2007 - present  
    DC HMS Dumbarton Castle P265 (Castle class)

1982 - 2010

 
    DL RFA Diligence A132 (Stena class)

1984 - present

 
   

ED

HMS Endurance A171 (Antarctic patrol vessel)

1967 - 1991

 
   

ED

HMS Endurance A171 (Antarctic patrol vessel)

1991 - Present

 
    EN RFA Engadine K08 (Engadine)

1967 - 1989

 
    FA RFA Fort Austin A386 (Fort Rosalie class)

1978 - present

 
    FG RFA Fort Grange A387 (Fort Rosalie class)

1978 - 2000

 
    FR RFA Fort Rosalie A387 (Fort Rosalie class)

2000 - present

 
    GD RFA Sir Galahad L3005 (Round Table class)

1966 - 1982

 
    GH RFA Sir Galahad L3005 (Round Table class)

1987 - 2006

 
    GN RFA Green Rover A268 (Rover class)

1969 - 1992

 
    GR RFA Sir Geraint L3027 (Round Table class)

1967 - 2003

 
    GV RFA Gold Rover A271 (Rover class)

1974 - present

 
    GY

RFA Grey Rover A269 (Rover class)

1970 - 2006

 
    HD HMS Hydra A144 (Hecla class)

1974 - 1986

 
    HE HMS Hecla A133 (Hecla class)

1964 - 1969

 
    HE HMS Herald A138

1978 - 2001

 
    HL HMS Hecla A133 (Hecla class)

1969 - 1990

 
    HR HMS Herald A138

1972 - 19777

 
    HT

HMS Hecate A137 (Hecla class)

1967 - 1990

 
    HY HMS Hydra A144 (Hecla class)

1965 - 1973

 
    LB RFA Largs Bay L3006 (Bay class) 2006 - present  
    LC HMS Leeds Castle P258 (Castle class)

1982 - 2010

 
    LN RFA Sir Lancelot L3029 (Round Table class) 1964 - 1989  
    LT HMS Lofoten K07 (Lofoten)

1965 - 1967

 
    LY RFA Lyness A339 (Ness-class)

1966 - 1981

 
    MB RFA Mounts Bay L3008 (Bay class) 2006 - present  
    OA RFA Olna A123  (OI class)

1966 - 1974

 
    OD RFA Olmeda A124  (OI class)

1965 - 1974

 
    OL RFA Olmeda A124  (OI class)

1975 - 1994

 
    ON RFA Olna A123  (OI class)

1975 - 2000

 
    OW RFA Olwen A122 (OI class)

1965 - 1999

 
   

PC

HMS Protector A146 (Antarctic patrol vessel)

1956 - 1966

 
   

PR

HMS Protector A146 (Antarctic patrol vessel)

1966 - 1970

 
    PV RFA Sir Percivale L3036 (Round Table class)

1968 - 2004

 
    RE  RG RFA Regent A486 (Regent class)

1969 -

 
    RS RFA Resource A480 (Regent class)

1967 - 1997

 
    ST RFA Stromness A344 (Ness-class)

1967 - 1983

 
    TB RFA Tarbatness A345 (Ness-class)

1967 - 1981

 
    TM RFA Sir Tristam L3036 (Round Table class)

1967 - 2005

 
    TP RFA Tidepool A76 (Tide class)

1963 - 1982

 
    TR HMS Triumph A108 (Colossus class)

1965 - 1975

 
    TS RFA Tidespring A75 (Tide class)

1974 - 1991

 
    VI HMS Vidal A200 (Vidal)

1954 - 1976

 
    WK RFA Wave Knight A389 (Wave class)

2003 - present

 
    WL RFA Wave Ruler A390 (Wave class)

2003 - present

 
    YB RFA Lyme Bay L3007 (Bay class) 2007 - present  
    ? RFA Fort Victoria A387 (Fort Victoria class) 1994 - present  
    ? RFA Fort George A388 (Fort Victoria class) 1993 - 2011  
                   

Shore Base

 
   

AC

RNAS Abbotsinch Renfrewshire

1946 - 1963  
   

AH

RNAS Anthorn Cumbria

1946 - 1957  
   

AO

RNAS Arbroath Angus

1946 - 1970  
   

BL

RNAY Syndenham, Belfast Co. Antrim

1972  
    BQ

RAF St. Davids Pembrokeshire

1953 - 1956  
   

BR

RNAS Bramcote Warwickshire

1946 - 1958

 
   

BW

RNAS Sembawang Singapore

1954 - 1955

 
   

BY

RNAS Brawdy Pembrokeshire 1952 - 1971  
   

CF

RAF Church Fenton North Yorkshire 1970  
   

CH

RNAS Culham Oxfordshire 1947 - 1953  
   

CM

RNAS Culham Oxfordshire (later CH) 1945 - 1946  
   

CU

RNAS Culdrose Cornwall

1953 - today  
   

CW

RNAS Culdrose Cornwall (later CU)

1945 - 1953  
   

DL

RNAS Dale Pembrokeshire 1946 - 1947  
   

DM

RNAS Dartmouth Devon 1974  
   

DO

RNAS Donibristle Fife 1946 - 1959  
   

EV

RNAS Evanton Highland 1946 - 1948  
   

FD

RNAS Ford West Sussex

1946 - 1958  
   

FL

RNAY Fleetland Hampshire 1983 - today  
   

FN

RNAS Fearn Highland 1946  
   

GS / GJ

RNAS Gosport Hampshire 1946 - 1956  
   

GN

RNAS Eglington Co. Londonderry 1950 - 1963  
   

HF

RNAS Hal Far Malta

1946 - 1956  
   

HR

RNAS Henstridge Dorset 1951 - 1952  
   

JA

RNAS Stretton Cheshire (later ST) 1946 - 1953  
   

JB

RNAS St. Merryn Cornwall (later SR) 1946 - 1953  
   

JR

RNAS Eglington Co. Londonderry (later GN) 1946 - 1949  
   

LM

RNAS Lossimouth Moray 1946 - 1979  
   

LO

RAF Linton-on-Ouse North Yorkshire 1967  
   

LO

RNAS Lossimouth Moray 1969  
   

LP

RNAS Lee-On-Solent Hampshire (later LS) 1946 - 1955  
   

LS

RNAS Lee-On-Solent Hampshire 1955 - 1996  
   

LU

RAF Leuchars Fife 1972  
   

MA

RNAS Machrihanish Argyll & Bute 1951 - 1952  
   

MF

RNAS St. Merryn Cornwall ?  
   

MV

RNAS Milltown Moray 1946 - 1953  
   

NW

RANAS Nowra Australia (RAN)

1946 - 1982

 
   

PO

RNAS Portland Dorset 1959 -19??  
   

PQ

RNAS Belfast Co. Antrim 1955  
   

PW

RNAS Prestwick South Ayrshire

1971 - today  

SJ

RAF Syerston Nottinghamshire

1954  

SR

RNAS St. Merryn Cornwall 1953 - 1956  

ST

RNAS Stretton Cheshire

1953 - 1958  

SZ

RNAS Belfast Co. Antrim 1955  

VL

RNAS Yeovilton Somerset

1946 - today  

VM

RNAS Worthy Down Hampshire

1946 - 1947  
   

WU

RAF Wroughton Wiltshire

1972 - 19??  
                  .

-

last update 10. September 2016

written 1. November 2011

-

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