Local media reported that “the massive ship on the horizon got bigger and bigger as it approached the mouth of the St. Johns River, and U.S. Navy personnel rushed to receive the special vessel holding hundreds of sailors from across the pond.”

The Florida-Times Union reported:

“As the Queen Elizabeth eased into the basin with the help of four attending tugboats, it was clearly the largest ship in sight. The USS Iwo Jima — a big-deck amphibious assault ship that’s normally the biggest Navy ship by far at Mayport — looked much smaller tied up on a separate pier.

Once the Queen Elizabeth was tied to the pier, it took another hour or so to get the gangplank in place. But before the sailors could leave on liberty, a group of high-ranking U.S. Navy officers boarded to see what the new ship was all about.”

News4Jax reported that the UK’s newest aircraft carrier docked at Mayport for her first US visit, saying:

“HMS Queen Elizabeth will take part in training exercises with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The 65,000-ton ship began its sea trials in June 2017. It departed the UK in August for its first trans-Atlantic voyage.

There are 1,500 service members on board the airship. On Wednesday, Donna Lee saw her goddaughter for the first time in over a decade.

“She’s one of the first crew members on here, and I haven’t seen her since 2007, Lee said. “It’s definitely challenging when your loved ones are overseas and away from home but we have such a strong community that the support is amazing.”

The warships in the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers are the largest ever built for the Royal Navy and carry up to 60 aircraft. The HMS Queen Elizabeth will depart Mayport over the weekend for its training exercises.”

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That puts a whole new perspective on the upcoming flying trials!


Oops. From that last tweet it looks as if there’s been at least one arrest already. And she’s a SHIP sheriff, not a boat! [ Note to Hellions & other US folks here – I know it probably wouldn’t have been a sheriff making the arrest but “officer” wouldn’t have given the same alliteration as “sheriff”. ]

Anyway, great to see QE come out of that news black hole she seemed to be in while crossing the Atlantic. Looking forward to her getting out to sea again and the F-35B tests getting underway.


“Deputy” – Julian, Deputy Sheriff is the title held by a sheriff’s department LEO. They get quite huffy if you refer to them as “officer”. Fastest way to get a ticket if they were wavering between giving you one and a warning. Now you know!



David Taylor

Is the Leading Regulator still referred to as ‘the Sheriff’ or is that another part of old navy culture that has gone by the by in the age of the web?


Correct David,

There are even still “High Sheriff” titles left in remote Appalachia (along with Elizabethan accents among the older folks believe it or not – some areas are that remote). The office is responsible for law enforcement in non-incorporated areas outside towns and cities. Hence the terms “County Mountie” Deputy vs “Local Yokel” town police as described in “Smokey and the Bandit” (RIP Burt Reynolds) – Lord I miss my IROC Z Camaro!!! 😀



Are this amount of arrests normal when a RN ship comes to town?

Am a being naive in being a bit alarmed by this?

Dave L

You should of been on HMS Boxer for Kiel Week in the 80’s – RN and Nato Allies 1 – French Navy 0!!


Some prat from the Danish Navy smashed half of the glass panels of a pedestrian footbridge in Belfast on his way back to the boat about 6 months ago, so causing havoc seems to be standard practice then.

David Taylor

I think what it is with the Scandi’s is that beer is cheap here compared to home and they go a bit OTT. I know Norwegians get very excited about a run ashore here…….


Yeah, naive. It’s a common occurrence with every navy, at sea for weeks and even months, when you get shore leave you want to relax and have fun, makes guys do things that they wouldn’t have dreamed of before they joined the service.


Boys will be boys. It’s why the USN has the Shore Patrol and everyone and the Army and AF have MPs. Same as every service.
To quote – “An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your faincy paints. Why single men barricks don’t grow into plaster saints.- Kipling 1890
In that matter not much has changed.

John Erker

As a former sailor in the U.S. Navy, I have enjoyed liberty with Royal Navy sailors, both in the USA, Norfolk, Va. and overseas. in various ports the Pacific and we’re all basically the same, out to relax and have fun and after weeks at sea. Sometimes, we have a little too much to drink and become acquainted with local law enforcement, most rowdies are just returned to the ship, some who damage property, etc. end up in the ‘pokey’ and are released to the proper military authorities after damage repair costs are paid, it’s all in the life of… Read more »


Captain Kydd will be disappointed his Pirates didn’t do more damage …

JOKE… Put your PC monitors away ….


When John Bull came to the US, the US requested he stay (the women at least)


The sailors having fun ashore rather reminds me of this moment from the Ark Royal Documentary:

“You are not coming aboard my War Canoe with hair like that!”


Chris J

That made me laugh! Thanks for the link.


Mayport has been begging the USN to station a carrier at the NAVSTA again. Now they’ve got one. I’m not sure they’re going to let her go. Better check for chains holding her to the dock before they try to depart! Also, bikini clad boaters trying to block exit…



Hopefully a part of the US Navy will now shimmy up and say… not bad and damn cheap to operate… Now, about those T26s…

Sorry Y’all, dreaming again.


Sailors getting drunk on leave and kicking off in bars? How very un PC but very RN!
All good fun and all very minor incidents no doubt. At least the Americans have openly welcomed and admired the QE on its arrival. Lots of space for parking 40 F35’s!!

Shawn Dunn

When will she show up on the West Coast?


First day in is always a nightmare…nevervolunteered for duties You will be busy booking them in all night.
From the reports its pretty minor stuff and no worse than most baby matelots get up to.
Wait till someone takes a JCB for a joy ride or phones the ship from another country having woken up on an overnight ferry!


Well, now we now what that tweet above was about…. Must have been a pretty good time to get banned from a Navy town bar!!! 😀




For what its worth the ‘Sheriff’ concerned has deleted his account:


So I am now not sure who did what as most of the stories of drunken behaviour and fighting seem to have emanated from him …


Reminds me of the one American ‘invasion’ of Britain during the revolutionary war. Apparently the sailors rampaging got no further than the local Inns partook in some friendly banter and as the night wore on a few got involved in the odd drunken brawl with at least one sailor managing to get left behind as they did a runner.