RNA 10 Area
Unity, Loyalty, Comradeship and Patriotism
 

HMS Ardent - May 21st 1982

On May 21, 1982, whilst lying in Falkland Sound and supporting Royal Marines, Ardent was attacked by Argentines A-4 Skyhawks and struck by nine 500 lb bombs, three of which exploded. The first two blew up in the hangar, destroying the Westland Lynx helicopter and blowing the Sea Cat launcher 80 ft (24 m) into the air before it crashed back down onto the flight deck. The third smashed the aft Auxiliary Machinery Room.

Power was lost to the ship and the 4.5 inch (110 mm) gun was put out of action. Ardents hangar was a shambles and there were fires spreading in her stern. However, the ship could still make 17.5 knots (32.4 km/h). Minutes after the first attack three IAI Dagger aircraft attacked her, but scored no hits. Twenty minutes later, as Ardent was sailing for San Carlos Water, three more Skyhawks scored two more hits on the ship's port stern. The fires now spread out of control and Ardent began to slow. Three Mirage aircraft attacked her, but scored no hits. Ardent stopped in the shallow waters of Grantham Sound, the fires in her stern out of control.

HMS Ardent The Rothesay-class Yarmouth then came alongside to take off survivors. Ardent continued to burn throughout the night, accompanied by the occasional explosion, until she sank the f ollowing morning, with only her foremast remaining above the water. The last man to leave was her Commander, Cdr. Alan West, who was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and served as First Sea Lord from 2002-2006. Withindays navy divers removed her light AA guns for fitting to other ships and her foremast was used as Navigational warning and datum by her sister ship Arrow whilst she bombarded Goose Green. 22 men died when Ardent sank. HMS ArdentThe wrecksite is designated as a controlled site under the Protection of Military Remains Act.

 

Read the Board of Inqury report into the loss of HMS Ardent.

Roll of Honour - HMS Ardent.

* Able Seaman Derek D. Armstrong
* Lieutenant Commander Richard W. Banfield
* Able Seaman Andrew R. Barr
* Petty Officer Peter Brouard
* Cook Richard S. J. Dunkerley
* Leading Cook Michael P. Foote
* Marine Engineering Mechanic Stephen H. Ford
* Acting Steward Shaun Hanson
* Able Seaman Shaun K. Hayward
* Able Seaman Stephen Heyes
* Weapons Engineering Mechanic Simon J. Lawson
* Marine Engineering Mechanic Alistair R. Leighton
* Air Engineering Mechanician Allan McAuley
* Acting Leading Seaman Michael S. Mullen
* Lieutenant Brian Murphy
* Leading Physical Training Instructor Gary T. Nelson
* Cook John R. Roberts
* Lieutenant Commander John M. Sephton
* Leading Marine Engineering Mechanic Stephen J. White
* Leading Marine Engineering Mechanic Garry Whitford
* Petty Officer Weapons Engineering Mechanician Andrew K. Palmer
* Marine Engineering Mechanic Gilbert S. Williams