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Captains Diary




Captains Diary
HMS Sheffield
HMS Ardent

Many thanks to George Hubbard for the original material


Duncan MacGregor for hours of transcribing

Saturday      May 1st

Arrived in the TEZ. CTG sent us in close with HMS BRILLIANT to hunt for a submarine. Took 3 big dippers in with us. We spent all of the daylight hours at action stations. Prosecuted many contacts, fired 30 mortar bombs, and the helos dropped several torpedoes and depth charges. At the time we thought we had had no success but were told a few days later that a submarine had been in harbour. HMS ARROW, ALACRITY, and GLAMORGAN had been bounced by Argentinean aircraft and had sustained some minor damage.

Sunday        May 2nd

A quiet day. Some suspected air raids but none attacked the main force they were later thought to be spurious contacts. Spent the day patrolling the Eastern part of the TEZ.

Monday        May 3rd

Some air raids today but were seen off by the cap stations. Spent the day patrolling TEZ. We learned that the Argentinean Cruiser, the General Belgrano was sunk by one of our submarines, HMS Conqueror.

Tuesday       May 4th

During the afternoon HMS SHEFFIELD whilst out on Air Defence picket duty was hit by an air-launched Exocet missile fired from a Super Etendard. Ourselves and HMS ARROW were sent to render assistance. Whilst on our way there we also came under an Exocet missile attack. We fired chaff and took evasive action. The missile missed us, passing in front of our bow by 100 yards. HMS Arrow then went alongside Sheffield's port side and started to boundary cool, on our way alongside Sheffield's starboard side we came under torpedo attack. Ourselves and a dipper then proceeded to prosecute the submarine. We did so for about 1 hour coming under several more torpedo attack some of which were taken out by the mortar bombs, the rest were avoided by using TCM's. We then went back alongside Sheffield's starboard side to recommence boundary cooling. The missile had entered her starboard side about 5 feet above the water line and the resulting explosion had blown a hole in the side 15 X 4 feet. We succeeded in getting lines across and started to try and fight the fire however the condition of Sheffield grew steadily worse and Captain Salt gave the order to abandon ship as the fire had come to within 12 feet of the seadart magazine and the danger of an explosion was too high to risk loosing ourselves and Arrow. HMS ARROW took on the survivors and we then broke away.  Whilst proceeding to pick up 5 survivors in a Gemini we again had to take TCM's to avoid another suspected torpedo.

Wednesday  May 5th

All quiet due to foggy weather. Patrolled the TEZ.

Thursday      May 6th

Again quiet. Patrolled the TEZ.

Friday        May7th

Again quiet. Patrolling

Saturday      May 8th

Patrolled the TEZ. After dark we were ordered to close SHEFFIELD and to take her in tow. We were to tow her out of the TEZ and then rendezvous with the tug Salvageman to transfer the tow to her. We went to within 45 miles of the shore in complete silence, no air cover or escort. Whilst on our way there , there was an air raid warning red called and we about turned and started to make our way back to the main group but the raid came nowhere near us. We then continued on our way to Sheffield arriving shortly before midnight.

Sunday        May 9th

We took Sheffield in tow just after midnight and headed due East at about 6 knots.

Monday        May 10th

As the weather steadily deteriorated SHEFFIELD shipped more and more water through the hole in her side and started to develop a list. At 0700 Sheffield slipped on to her side and we had to slip the tow. She was immediately lost in the fog. After a tow of some 29 hours and 150 miles she finally gave the ghost and settled beneath the waves. The weather continued to worsen as we headed back to the main group.

Tuesday       May 11th

Continued to patrol the TEZ. Storm now at force 10 with no sign of abating.

Wednesday  May 12th

Storm still blowing but beginning to slacken off now. Went to action stations during the dogs, Broadsword shot down 3 skyhawks with her Sea Wolf.

Thursday      May 13th

All quiet. Patrolled the TEZ.

Friday          May 14th

Stormy weather again. During the night HMS HERMES took in some SBS/SAS to attack Pebble Island. We later heard that they were very successful and destroyed 11 planes, an ammo dump and several radar installations. There was only one casualty on our side and that was only a flesh wound. We continued to patrol the TEZ.

Saturday      May 15th

Still rather rough but nonetheless quiet. Now beginning to lose all track of time and getting rather bored.

Sunday        May 16th

Bright sunny day. Patrolled the TEZ as usual, we also did a couple of RAS's both stores and fuel.

Monday        May 17th

Another bright sunny day. Went to action stations twice. Several air raids thought to be closing the force, all turned out to be spurious. Topped up with mortar bombs from reserve. Patrolled the TEZ.

Tuesday       May 18th

Patrolled the TEZ. Went to action stations during the forenoon but the suspected air raid turned out to be spurious again. Rest of the day was quiet.

Wednesday   May 19th

Patrolled the TEZ. The main amphibious group joined us today. The group consisted of Intrepid, Fearless, Canberra, Norland, Nordic Ferry, Stromness, Sir Galahad, Sir Tristram, Sir Lancelot, Sir Geraint, Sir Percival. It was quite a sight  to see when they all formed up in a box formation. The ships to form a screen around them were Plymouth, ANTRIM, ARROW, and our-selves.

Thursday      May 20th

Headed West with the amphibious group for the islands. We went in ahead of the rest of the force as ASW picket.

Friday          May 21st          INVASION DAY.

Troops were landed from the amphibious ships in the early hours of the morning. We formed ASW patrol off the mouth of the sound until 1000. Went to action stations at day break and then proceeded into the sound to set up ASW patrol. Came under attack in the afternoon. ARDENT in her rush to clear her gun of HE shells just fired them indiscriminately and just missed us by approximately 50 yards, this was the nearest so far for us being hit. ARDENT had just joined us off north west island to set up ASW patrol when we were attacked by 3 mirage jets. We immediately opened up with everything we had and succeeded in deterring them from attacking us unfortunately ARDENT was not so lucky and took on two bombs. Whilst this attack was going on BRILLIANT splashed two more skyhawks with her Sea Wolf as she came under attack. Also ARGONAUT took on two unexploded bombs. 456 was airborne at the time and saw the attack on ARGONAUT and reported that she did even opened fire on the attacking planes. The first wave of Mirage jets that attacked ARDENT then veered towards us but again we opened up with everything we had, including 4 Sea Cat missiles and succeeded in forcing one of the planes into the water whilst it took avoiding action. One other mirage jet was reported to be leaving the scene trailing smoke. ARDENT managed to get the fire in her hanger under control when another wave of skyhawks came in and attacked her this time though she was completely at their mercy as she had no power to her weapon systems. She took on more bombs and started to burn fiercely around her stern. There was a feeling of total helplessness as there wasn't a damn thing we could do to help her whilst the attack was going on. After the attack was over we closed ARDENT to offer assistance. The scene was total devastation about her stern. The flight deck was peeled back along the port side, the hanger was just a mass of  torn and twisted metal. Incredibly we saw two men climb out of the hole at her stern, from out of the flames, I still don't know how they managed to do it. We came alongside ARDENT to take off all the survivors. It was a quiet and efficient operation. Her Captain being the last to abandon the ship. He brought with him a couple of ARDENT's machine guns. As we started to pull away from ARDENT our port rudder became trapped around her anchor cable. It was a nerve wracking experience being alongside a floating bomb that was threatening to explode and then the possibility of being attacked from the air whilst totally immobilised. Fortunately we managed to free ourselves. The survivors were completely shocked, they had only been in the TEZ for two days and had not expected it to be anything like it was.  We transferred the survivors to CANBERRA which was in San Carlos Water.. After dark we set up ASW patrol in the entrance to the sound.  Some time during the morning watch she finally settled beneath the waves.

Saturday      May 22nd    INVASION DAY + 1

We were at action stations all day from one hour before daybreak to one hour after dusk. No air raids managed to get as far as San Carlos Water. We were providing air cover for all the landing ships in San Carlos Water. We were stationed at the Northern end of the water. ARGONAUT had been towed into San Carlos Water by PLYMOUTH. ARGONAUT still had power to her weapon systems. One Pucara was shot down by the CAP as it closed San Carlos Water. We now have a total of 7 Machine guns mounted at several points on the upper deck. Through the night we did the usual ASW patrol.

Sunday        May 23rd  INVASION DAY + 2

In the early hours of the morning we were detached with BROADSWORD to intercept an armed merchantman to the south-east of the Falklands. The MV Monsunen had been commandeered by the Argentineans to ferry troops from one island to the other. We made a high speed dash through the narrow part of the sound. BROADSWORD's Lynx it up on her radar and we then closed. We chased it round to the south of east island where we illuminated it with starshell. After refusing to stop when asked we fired several warning shots across her bows. In her panic to evade capture she ran aground. They then abandoned ship. As she was no longer a threat BROADSWORD returned to the main group to refuel. This left us all alone to make it back to the relative safety of San Carlos Water in the remaining few hours of darkness. We did a 28 knots passage back to San Carlos Water and only just made it as the dawn was breaking. We were given the Northern part of the water to protect again along with BRILLIANT and ANTELOPE who had just arrived about 5 mins before us. There were 3 air raids during the dogs by skyhawks and mirages. BRILLIANT downed one with her Sea Wolf but not before it had dropped its bombs on ANTELOPE, both bombs did not explode on impact, also pieces of the skyhawk had hit the top of ANTELOPE's mast. After dusk we left to refuel just outside the sound. As we left there were several explosions seen from ANTELOPE.

Monday        May 24th              INVASION DAY + 3

We returned to the San Carlos Water just before daybreak. On entering the water we proceeded to take up our normal place at the  Northern end of the Water, but PLYMOUTH decided that she would have a go at the Northern end so we were sent to the Southern end. During this manoeuvre we came under another attack.  As the Southern end of the water was unguarded we rang on revolutions for 20 knots and stormed up the channel with a total of 20 weapons firing, this included SLR's that people had up on the flight deck. This dash down the channel was made all the more difficult by the ships that were anchored there, all in all it was more like a slalom course. There was a total of 14 aircraft attacked us in 3 waves. We hit 2 mirages with cannon and machine gun fire, CAP stations got 3 and the Rapier sites took out another 3. We don't know how many will get back as some undoubtedly were hit by machine gun fire and will therefore have punctured fuel tanks and as they are at the extreme range of their endurance it is likely that they will not make it back to Argentina. 2 of the LCL's were hit by 1000lb bombs that failed to explode. The crews were taken off and then the ammunition that they were carrying had to be unloaded to enable the bomb disposal guys to get at the bombs. During the dogs an LCM came alongside to take off the gash and described our antics as 'F------ magic! I've never seen anything like it in my life. It was just like a scene in the war films with an incredible amount of s--- in the air'. During the evening we embarked 4 SBS guys with all their gear for a covert operation in the Port Salvador area tonight. We received a nice signal from Fearless saying ' Thanks for looking after us so well.'

Tuesday       May 25th         INVASION DAY + 4

The SBS raid on Port Salvador had to be cancelled due to duff gear. Their engines on the seariders refused to co-operate. So we headed back to San Carlos Water and at daybreak we took up our usual station at the Southern end of the water. SBS boat has gone back to INTREPID for repair. Possibly try again tonight. We can still see the bow section of ANTELOPE just pointing above the waterline. The 2 LCL's that were hit yesterday are still OK and the disposal experts are going in today. We got a mention on the world service this morning. Brian Hanrahan who is in one of the RFA's here was describing yesterdays raid. He said that a frigate dashed up the water at high speed firing all her guns. We heard this morning that there were only 3 casualties onboard ANTELOPE, One killed when the bomb entered, the disposal expert when the bomb went off and one guy who lost an arm. The rest of the crew were evacuated successfully. We now have another 3 machine guns on the upper deck - the SBS have positioned themselves around the ship with their equipment. One of the SBS has positioned himself up the mast. At 1530 we were bounced without any warning. 4 skyhawks came from the South over the hills and up the valley. They attacked in pairs. The first pair were past before anyone knew about them but the second pair weren't so lucky. As they over flew the LCL that was about 200 yards away from us they dropped their bombs. The 20mm gun crew had fired at them just as they came over the LCL and one was smoking as it flew past and the pilot ejected as he passed our quarterdeck. The bombs that they had dropped bounced and landed 50 yards away from our port side and exploded. Again we were the only vigilant ship. Out of that raid we splashed one and sent another away smoking, and COVENTRY who was out on picket duty to the North of the Islands splashed another with her Sea Dart. During the last dog 3 air raids closed from the West. They took on BROADSWORD and COVENTRY. COVENTRY has taken a bomb onboard and it has blown a hole in the bottom of her. She now has a 70 degree list 15 mins later BROADSWORD was also hit by a bomb but this passed through her flight deck and out the other side without exploding. BROADSWORD is now taking the survivors off now. We are also told that the ATLANTIC CONVEYOR was hit by 2 Exocet missiles and was abandoned burning. SBS left us this morning and their plans had been changed. They were pretty sad to go and reckoned that they had had a great time onboard and had never enjoyed themselves so much. They were a little disappointed however that they had missed that air attack where we had shot down the aircraft as they were down below at the time.

Wednesday   May 26th        INVASION DAY + 5

Refuelled from TIDEPOOL at about 0330. On completion we returned to San Carlos Water (Bomb Alley) escorting Europic Ferry in with us. Took up the usual position at the Southern end of the water. From the information now received from BROADSWORD it seems that they were attacked by 4 skyhawks. None of these aircraft were splashed, BROADSWORDS seawolf system had tripped out twice. There are 20 missing on COVENTRY which is now floating upside down. In ATLANTIC CONVEYOR there are 12 missing. It seems as though the big push has started ashore as a tremendous amount of gear has gone ashore and there are a lot of helicopters of various shapes and sizes flying constantly overhead. There were no air raids today but there were several false alarms. Still better safe than sorry. We may be required to do some NGS tonight.

Thursday      May 27th      INVASION DAY + 6    

We are back in Bomb Alley. We did not get the chance to do NGS last night never mind I'm sure our turn will come. Apparently the communications with the spotters ashore refused to co-operate. We have been told that the Para's took goose green last night. This means that we have effectively cut the East island in two. We now have a problem with the starboard screw. The divers went down this morning to investigate and found that there was a large chip in the trailing edge and a hole big enough to put their fist in in the cone. There are only 4 ships left to guard now. INTREPID, FEARLESS, SIR LANCELOT, and SIR GALAHAD. ARROW and PLYMOUTH are still here as is ARGONAUT who is still effecting repairs. She had a small fire as a result of welding but it wasn't too serious. The weather has deteriorated somewhat. Since the invasion it has been clear and relatively warm but now it is turning windy and cloudy. We got 2 more machine guns from GLASGOW today as she is returning home after being repaired. The troops ashore have now named us the 'Crazy Y'. Whenever there is an air raid they keep their heads down. 1930 air raid. Two pairs of skyhawks came in low with no warning. They tried a different tactic this time. One pair came in from the South-West and went for the Brigade HQ and attacked it with parachute bombs. We opened up with all our guns and Sea Cats but the range was too great. Their bombs missed and was taken out by the rapiers. The other pair came in low over skyhawk pass and went for ammunition dumps in Ajax Bay. We opened up with the machine guns and hit both of them. One went trailing smoke and the other was seen to be loosing fuel.  One then crashed in the sound and the other was finished off by the Rapier sites. One bomb that the skyhawks had dropped landed in the dump and exploded. This set off some of the ammunition and set fire to one of the buildings. We took on two sections of SBS and NGS spotters tonight. We are to go and do some NGS on Port Howard tonight.

Friday          May 28th           INVASION DAY + 7

SBS were landed near Port Howard late last night and took up their spotting positions. In the early hours of the morning we set up the gun line and then under their direction we proceeded to do NGS. We fired a total of 296 rounds destroying Supply dumps, Troop enhancements and Radar installations. We then took the SBS guys back onboard and returned to Bomb Alley just before sunrise. We then took up our normal position in Ajax Bay. There are now just INTREPID, SIR GALAHAD, SIR LANCELOT and ARGONAUT to --- and there are still the three escorts. One bomb has been removed from ARGONAUT, they are going to try the one that is still in SIR GALAHAD later today. Told that the Pucaras are now attacking the troops at Goose Green. Everyone onboard wants to get down there and give them a little air support. Captain F6 and staff paid us a visit today. Have just heard that the Para's have now just taken the Darwin settlement area. There was no air raids on the force today.

Saturday      May 29th              INVASION DAY + 8

We were sent to give NGS to the troops at Goose Green and Darwin Settlement but weren't needed. We went to action stations at 0500 as we were over flown by two aircraft but no attack materialised. Sunrise saw us again in Ajax Bay. It had been announced that Goose Green and Darwin Settlement now have the Union Flag flying over them. There are approximately 1000 prisoners, including 6 VIP's. Not a bad little haul for some 500 Paras. Air raid closed but did not attack, one Skyhawk was shot down by the Rapier sites.

Sunday        May 30th               INVASION DAY + 9

Last night we left the sound and RV'd with British Elk. Escorted her back into San Carlos Water to unload her cargo. Back in the old familiar spot' again. We have heard that the troops have now taken Teal Inlet and Douglas as well now. News from the main body is that they have had to sink the ATLANTIC CONVEYOR after taking as much undamaged stores as possible from her it now means that we are unable to operate the Harriers from shore at the moment as she had all the shore support facilities on board her. Have heard that AVENGER was attacked by Exocet and Skyhawks. It seems that se has shot down one of the Exocets with her 4.5 inch gun. No air raids today. Another covert operation tonight. We are to go and pick up some Paras from Great Island tonight.

Monday        May 31st               INVASION DAY + 10

We picked up the Paras using our sea boat during the early hours. A heavy swell had dropped the sea-boat on to the rocks and had holed it but it returned OK. Another 26 knot passage back to Bomb Alley before sunrise. We are becoming the local experts at these high speed dashes. Lots of activity ashore at the moment. Landing craft and Barges are ferrying gear up to Port San Carlos. Perhaps this means the long awaited push on Stanley is in the air. No air raids today.

Tuesday      June 1st                  INVASION DAY + 11

We did a RAS with TIDEPOOL during the middle and returned to Bomb Alley with MINERVA, BLUE ROVER, BALTIC FERRY, ATLANTIC CAUSEWAY, and NORLAND. We set up the usual ASW patrol in the sound until just before daybreak. Went to air raid warning red a few times during the afternoon but nothing transpired. CAP shot down a C130 that had been doing long range bombing by rolling the bombs out of the back. We found out they had in fact hit an American Tanker. We left the sound with MINERVA and BLUE ROVER to join up with the main group. We will stock up with essentials and then proceed to the TRALA (temporary repair and logistics area). Here we will have a few days rest and carry out important repairs and maintenance. It will be a break from a very tiring routine that we have become accustomed to.

Wednesday June 2nd                INVASION DAY + 12

We joined up with the main group on the Eastern edge of the TEZ. During the Afternoon, dogs and first we carried out Vertrep with Regent and Fort Austin. We took on stores and more ammunition. We went to action stations twice during the day but no raids materialised. Vertrep complete and then RAS with tanker.

Thursday     June 3rd                INVASION DAY + 13

Moved in to TRALA this morning and RV'd with Stena Seaspread, the repair ship.  She is quite an unusual ship to look at.  We transferred various stores and then brought on the FMG to help with the defect repairs. ARGONAUT was also there and will start her trip back home shortly when her repairs are complete.

Friday        June 4th                  INVASION DAY + 14

A very peaceful day. Repairs continuing as we drift in the vicinity of Stena Seaspread. All the repairs were completed by 2000 and the FMG men were disembarked. Sgt. Fisk had gone across to  Stena Seaspread to give a quick sitrep on how things were going as they weren't being informed of these things.

Saturday     June 5th                 INVASION DAY + 15

We left the TRALA during the early hours of the morning and joined up with the main group at 1000. At midday we RAS'd with Olna and took on Avcat. During the afternoon we carried out various Vertreps. At 2000 we collected a spare part for the 4.5 inch gun and dispatched at great speed for Port Stanley in company with CARDIFF. We will be carrying out NGS during the morning.

Sunday        June 6th                 INVASION DAY + 16

We arrived at the Gun-Line at about 0330. Hands to Emergency stations was piped at about 0300 as there was a suspected fire in the boiler room uptake. We went to action stations at 0330 to pass through the Exocet zone. The gun-line was set up to the south of Port Stanley near Fitzroy and opened fire even though we were being illuminated by a fire-control radar. We eventually fired 151 rounds and left at great speed. On the way out we picked up 4 unidentified contacts on Radar. We closed them and CARDIFF fired Starshell to illuminate them. They were the identified as 4 of our own landing craft. We then returned to the main body and stayed on the Eastern edge of the TEZ.

Monday       June 7th              INVASION DAY + 17

We eventually finished the RAS at 0030. We then did a RAS with Olmeda. After completion of all RAS's we rejoined the main group. We carried out more Vertreps during the forenoon, afternoon and first dog. Tonight we should head back to the islands to do some more NGS.

Tuesday      June 8th              INVASION DAY + 18

Moved in towards Bluff Cove again tonight, South-West of Stanley. Took up our position along with CARDIFF. We both opened up but after a short while CARDIFF's gun decided that it had had enough so we had to fire another 80 rounds to make up for CARDIFF. We fired 181 rounds in total. As before we were illuminated by the fire control radar but this time we came under shore fire. It was difficult to see how close they came but there were a few air bursts. No damage was done. We then steamed back to the main group at 27 knots. Went to action stations at 1715 as an air raid was thought to be closing the force. It did not close us but attacked the San Carlos Area gain. Possibly 3 or 4 Pucaras were splashed. Plymouth was hit but no details as to the extent of her damage as of yet. During the afternoon we took on more ammunition and fuel ready for the new nightly dash into the Islands for NGS. at 1800 we detached and went into the Bluff Cove area again. This time though we were doing it all ourselves. The earlier raid on San Carlos was made by 3 mirages, one, possibly two, were splashed. PLYMOUTH was damaged but still no details. In a later raid of 9 mirages we believe that 5 were splashed and possibly the other 4 as well.

Wednesday June 9th             INVASION DAY + 19

We went to action stations at 0200 and moved into the gun line. We fired 124 rounds as quickly as possible then headed back towards the main group again. During the NGS we again came under shore fire but still avoided damage. On our way out we came across an abandoned LCVP and also a requisitioned coaster. Guess who it was, the MV Monsunen, the same one that we attacked not so very long ago. She had been trying to tow the damaged LCVP back but had a hawser round her prop. Our divers then went down and managed to clear it. We then carried on back to the main group arriving there at about 1200. We now have the full information on all yesterdays air raids around the Islands. 4 Mirages attacked SIR GALAHAD and SIR TRISTRAN. SIR TRISTRAN had unloaded the majority of her troops and store but SIR GALAHAD had not been so lucky. She was hit and a fireball swept through the ship killing about 50 men. The 4 Mirages were bounced by two of our harriers that were on a training flight, all 4 were splashed. PLYMOUTH was quite badly damaged in the raid on her. Two bombs went through the mortar handling room without exploding, a rocket went through her funnel and cannon fire damaged her 4.5 inch turret and blew up a depth charge that was on her deck causing a 6 foot hole and a fire. Two aircraft were splashed, one by PLYMOUTHS Sea Cat. Out of total of 12 aircraft over San Carlos throughout the day, 7 were splashed with another 2 possibles. We spent another uneventful day with the main group topping up with ammunition and fuel. We then detached again to head for the Islands for the nightly NGS.

Thursday     June 10th               INVASION DAY + 20 

We now have been at sea for 9 weeks with no end to it in prospect. However we are near Stanley now and it is only a matter of time before we take it. The NGS went very well last night. The spotter reported that we had been very accurate and had taken out enemy batteries, tents, vehicles, stores, and ammunition and causing quite a few casualties in the process. On the way out again we had to go and investigate a contact that was in the Exocet zone. Guess who it was - yes our old friend the MV Monsunen. She was looking for the damaged LCU. We then left her and sailed back to the main group arriving at 1300. At 1400 we commenced a RAS (S) with Resourse. The rest of the day was very quiet.

Friday         June 11th          INVASION DAY + 21  

It's now 3 weeks since we re-invaded. Reasonably quiet day today. We did a RAS (A) with Fort Grange to top up with 4.5 ammunition. Then we headed once again to the gun line. ARROW and GLAMORGAN were in company, ARROW was going to the Northern gun line and ourselves and GLAMORGAN were heading for the Southern gun line where we were to meet up with AVENGER. We did the trip at 28 knots all the way so as to get there as soon as possible to give the guys ashore the best opportunities to get as far as possible. Each ship is programmed to fire approximately 300 rounds each. We have been informed that there are 6 of our batteries of 5 150mm set up ashore and they will fire about 1000 - 2000 rounds per battery, consequently I would not like to be an Argentinean tonight. If everything goes well Port Stanley should be ours in a few days.

Saturday     June 12th                INVASION DAY + 22

Went to action stations at 0001 and within 30 minutes we were in position on the gun line waiting for our spotter. We eventually got the call for fire at 0119 and continued to fire for some time at various targets selected for us by our spotter. All in all we fired 264 rounds before having to leave at 0610. Once again the 4.5 mark 8 gun had problems and GLAMORGAN did not seem to fire many rounds as usual. Again it was left to us to prove the Navy's worth in shore support. We were told by our spotter that our fire was very accurate again. We took out various targets such as machine gun posts, troop concentrations, small ammo dumps, and various vehicles. This was supported by the fact that through out the night there were several larger explosions when our shells were landing that could only be attributed to the fact that other things were exploding as well. The spotter came over the net again and said that the troops would be very glad to have us back tomorrow night for some more supportive work. At 0615 we headed back out to sea and to rejoin the carrier group, being told to follow GLAMORGAN this we did till she decided to cut through the Exocet zone. We came up on the radio to inform them that they were going through the Exocet zone but they replied that they knew that they were going through the Exocet zone but they had been through it recently and had not been threatened so they did not think that there was any cause for alarm. The famous last words. However we still took our normal route out of the area. At 0635 the OOW saw a bright light that he took to be a flare but then he realised that it was moving at a great speed towards GLAMORGAN. She fired a sea cat missile which caused the Exocet missile rise as if taking avoiding action seconds later the missile struck. At first there were several loud explosions and a large fire coming from her aft end. She slowed down but continued to make way out of the Exocet area. At this point a similar type of 'flare' was spotted and it looked as though it was heading towards us. All of our Chaff rockets were fired at once and a round of Chaff from the gun. Fortunately it was a false alarm, but I don't mind admitting that I have never felt so frightened in my life and I don't think that I will ever be as frightened again.  GLAMORGAN had now got the fire under some semblance of control and had managed to get her speed up to 22 knots and so we headed out to rejoin the main group. During the forenoon our Dcc went across to assist. There were a total of 12 dead or missing and a number seriously injured. The missile had apparently struck the port waist and had bounced up through the hanger door where it exploded taking fully fuelled Wessex III. The majority of the blast had funnelled downwards and the tail rotor of the helo was found 2 decks below. On joining the main group we carried out a RAS (L) with Tidespring. Our RAS(A) was cancelled. We were programmed to go back in tonight but the troops ashore had progressed further than expected and there was no need for harassing fire from the sea as they were busy consolidating their positions.

Sunday        June 13th             INVASION DAY + 23

We spent a reasonably quiet day. Topped up with 4.5 ammunition and at 1600 we detached with AVENGER to go to the Northern gun-line. Tonight we will sit in Berkely sound and give supporting fire to the Scots Guards. They will try to take Tumbledown Hill tonight. The barrels of our gun have become very worn and the possibility is that we may have to limit our NGS tonight. at 1855 we went into action stations as there was an air raid closing, it turned out that the air raid attacked positions ashore. Just as we set off AVENGER developed problems with one of her shafts. She sent down divers to investigate and found that she had lost a blade so we stayed with her until dark then headed in towards the sound by ourselves. AVENGER is locking one shaft and then following at best speed. We went to action stations at 2355 ready to open fire when called upon. Again we are the only ship on the gun-line on time.

Monday       June 14th            INVASION DAY + 24

The NGS went very well this morning. We fired 244 rounds and our fire was extremely accurate. AVENGER and AMBUSCADE eventually arrived to give us a hand, ACTIVE was down on the Southern gun-line. We fell out from action stations at 0715 and headed out to sea with ACTIVE and AMBUSCADE, AVENGER made best speed back to San Carlos Water. On rejoining the main group we carried out a RAS(L) we should have followed that with a RAS(A) but the rig on the supply ship broke. At 1600 we detached with PLYMOUTH to go back to Berkely Sound for more NGS. As we were on our way we heard that there was supposedly temporary cease fire ashore. The commander of the Argentinean forces had asked to see our commander at 1600. As yet no news of the situation so plan is still to head to the sound and take up our usual spot just in case. We have had previous experience as to how the Argentineans treat the white flag.

Tuesday      June 15th             INVASION DAY + 25

Went to action stations at 0010 as we approached the sound. Still no news from ashore yet. At 0100 we heard that the Argentinean troops ashore had surrendered. We waited on the gun-line until 0330 then we headed back out to the main group. By now it had become quite rough and without our stabilisers it was rather unpleasant.  During the morning we had to slow down as there was quite a bit of damage done to the ship. At 0800 we heard the plans for us for the next few days. We are to proceed to the South Sandwich Islands to remove some Argentinean troops that have been on Southern Thule for 5 years.

Wednesday June 16th             INVASION DAY + 26

We detached at 1500 with Olmeda and proceeded to South Georgia. It was worked out that all in all we had discharged 31 tons of HE.

Sunday        June 20th             INVASION DAY + 30

Arrived at Southern Thule during the morning and took on maps and charts by heaving line transfer from the tug Salvageman. Landed the NGLO and a marine on Cook Island. Went to action stations at 1215 and was in position on the gun-line at 1230. Fell out at 1245 as the Argentinean troops didn't want to play.

Friday          June 25th             INVASION DAY + 35

Took the prisoners from Southern Thule into Port Stanley.

Wednesday   July 7th               INVASION DAY + 47


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