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HMS Argonaut - May 21st 1982

On Monday, the 19th April ,1982, a newly-commissioned HMS Argonaut left Devonport Dockyard with HMS Ardent and two Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels - her destination the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. The ship was to join the existing naval task force in San Carlos Bay. Under the command of Captain Layman RN, and on the 21st of May, 1982 , the ship was badly damaged while patrolling in San Carlos Bay.

In an earlier attack that day, her Type 965 Radar had also been damaged and then at 17:30, the ship was further attacked by six A4 Skyhawk Aircraft and hit by two bombs , neither of which, fortunately, exploded. The first entered the ship through a bulkhead shared by the Boiler Room and Engine Room and just above the waterline; the other hit five feet below the waterline and entered the forward Seacat magazine, killing two seamen instantly, Able Seaman Iain M. Boldy and Able Seaman Matthew J. Stuart, detonating two missiles.

In response to the incident, HMS Plymouth now joined Argonaut and towed her to a comparatively safe mooring. After a long and dangerous voyage, she arrived back in Devonport for repairs on the 26th June, 1982.

The following pictures show the damage caused to the Seacat Magazine, and were kindly supplied by the HMS Argonaut Association. Click to view larger versions of these images.