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MAY 21st 1982

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Map showing Falklands Sound

Falklands Sound

Courtesy Falklands Conservation

 

Martin Dunkin continues:

"So what do I remember about the 21st of May 1982?

The night before (20/21 May) we had cross-decked all the elements we needed to achieve our part in the landings. We proceeded into Falkland Sound which lies between East and West Falkland with a screen of ships.

We were at Action Stations from early on and were all awake - I don't think anyone on board slept. The embarked force (3 Para, Royal Marines etc.) were all around the ship trying to rest. They had to be above the waterline in case the passage had been mined. We had some Paras in our mess who were showing us how they would silence enemy sentries! I imagine they were apprehensive. We all knew our jobs on board and were confident but it must have been unnerving for them to be out of their environment.

We started our passage into San Carlos with HMS Fearless ahead of us."

 

Looking over Falklands Sound

Looking across Falklands Sound from San Carlos

©Martin Dunkin

 

"The escorting frigates were shelling various positions around Fanning Head where a group of Argentinean vessels were patrolling. I can remember the "boom boom" of guns going off as we made our way to the anchorage. What I can't remember is exactly what time we anchored but I think about 2.30 am.

Then began the task of getting the troops ashore. As in all wars, the programme had to be flexible. We heard that someone had fallen into a landing craft  and had a suspected broken pelvis so everything ran a bit late.

As the sun rose, we got our first glimpse of the Falklands. It was a strange sight - it looked very much like Dartmoor to me. Unfortunately, the weather was good. This did not suit us - but it suited the Argentine Air Force as we were to find out a little later on the morning of the 21st."

 

ROYAL NAVY SHIPS DAMAGED OR SUNK ON FRIDAY 21 MAY 1982



HMS Antrim

damage took some days to repair 

HMS Broadsword 

slightly damaged

HMS Argonaut

slightly damaged outside San Carlos then seriously damaged by two bombs 

which did not explode - repaired only sufficiently to enable return to UK.

HMS Brilliant 

slightly damaged

HMS Ardent 

bombed in Grantham Sound. Bombed again off North West Island. 

Sank the following day with the loss of 22 men. A further 37 were wounded..

 

The end of HMS Ardent

The end of HMS Ardent

Courtesy of Steve Johnson

 

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