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HMS Glamorgan - 12th June 1982

HMS GlamorganHMS GlamorganHMS Glamorgan (D19) was a County-class destroyer, built by Vickers Armstrong in Newcastle Upon Tyne. With a displacement of 5,440 tonnes, she was launched on June 9, 1964, and was delivered to the Navy two years later. In the mid- 1970s Glamorgan had her 'B' turret replaced by four Exocet launchers. In the spring and early summer of 1982 Glamorgan was involved in the Falklands War and was badly damaged by an Exocet missile in the last days of the war. She spent many months in late 1982 being refitted, and was back at sea in 1983. Her last active deployment for the Royal Navy was to the coast of Lebanon, assisting British peace-keeping troops there in 1984.

At the start of the Falklands campaign (2 April 1982) Glamorgan was already at sea off Gibraltar about to take part in exercises; she was immediately diverted to join the main Royal Navy task force, and served as flagship for Admiral Sandy Woodward during the voyage south. Her most useful armament proved to be her remaining twin 4.5 inch guns, which were used primarily to bombard enemy positions on shore.

Glamorgan was first in action on the evening and night of 1 May when she joined forces with HMS Arrow and HMS Alacrity to bombard Argentine positions around Port Stanley. The three British ships soon came under attack by Mirage III jets with two 500 lb bombs falling close alongside Glamorgan and causing minor underwater damage.

Two weeks later on 14 May she was again in action, this time supporing British special forces on Pebble Island (West Falkland), and for the next two weeks until the end of May she was almost continuously engaged bombarding various shore positions on the east of the islands mainly as part of a plan to distract attention from the landings at San Carlos, but also against the airfield at Port Stanley and in support of British forces ashore. She twice survived unsuccessul Exocet attacks.

At the beginning of June, the task force having been reinforced with other ships, Glamorgan was detached to protect shipping in the Tug and Logistics Repair Area (TARLA), some 200 miles away from the islands, but as the campaign reached a climax she was recalled in the evening of 11 June to support the Royal Marines fighting the Battle of Two Sisters.

Land Based Exocet LauncherAt 06:37 the following morning, following an intense but unsuccessul air raid, she was struck by an Exocet missile fired from a shore-based launcher improvised on the back of a lorry trailer. Glamorgan was some 18 miles off shore at the time and steaming at about 20 knots. Her radar systems failed to detect the incoming missile (which was smaller and faster than anything they had been designed for), so the only warning was a visual contact. Fortunately the ship was moving fast enough to be able to turn rapidly away from the missile in the few seconds available, and the missile struck her port side towards the stern. Instead of penetrating the ship's side at right angles (as it was designed to do), it hit the angle of the deck coaming and ricocheted into the hangar, causing the Wessex helicopter to explode and starting a severe fire both in the hangar and in the main galley immediately below. In all thirteen crew members were killed, and a number wounded. The ship was underway again with all fires extinguished by 10:00.

On the following day, repairs were made at sea, and after the Argentinian surrender on 14 June, more extensive repairs were undertaken in the sheltered waters of San Carlos Bay. She sailed for home on 21 June, and re-entered Portsmouth on 10 July 1982 after 104 days at sea.

Roll of Honour - HMS Glamorgan.

* Lieutenant David H. R. Tinker
* Petty Officer Michael J. Adcock
* Petty Officer Colin P. Vickers
* Cook Brian Easton
* Air Engineering Mechanician Mark Henderson
* Air Engineering Mechanician Brian P. Hinge
* Acting Chief Air Engineering Mechanician David Lee
* Air Engineering Artificer Kelvin I. McCallum
* Cook Brian J. Malcolm
* Marine Engineering Mechanic Terence W. Perkins
* Leading Cook Mark A. Sambles
* Leading Cook Anthony E. Sillence
* Steward John D. Stroud