HMS Glasgow


Glasgow was among five Type 42 destroyers sent as part of the Task Force sent to retake the Falkland Islands after invasion by Argentina in 1982. Armed with Sea Dart anti-aircraft missile system, Glasgow along with her sister ships, Sheffield and Coventry were among the first ships to arrive in a 200-nautical-mile exclusion zone imposed by the British around the islands.

Glasgow saw early action in the war when, on 2 May, her Lynx helicopter badly damaged the Argentine naval vessel Alferez Sobral. On 3 May, Glasgow detected an Exocet missile fired at the Task Force and warned the fleet. However Sheffield failed to receive the warning and was hit, later sinking. Down to two Type 42s (Exeter and Cardiff would not arrive until the end of May), Glasgow and Coventry were left to long range defence of the fleet.

On 12 May, Glasgow and the Type 22 frigate Brilliant were on a "42-22" combo; Glasgow's Sea Dart long range missiles would complement Brilliant's short range Sea Wolf missiles on anti-aircraft attacks. The ships attracted the attention of the Argentine Air Force, and a wave of four A-4B Skyhawk jets of Grupo 5 attacked. Although Glasgow's Sea Dart system failed, Brilliant's Sea Wolf shot down 1st Lt Oscar Bustos (C-246) and Lt Jorge Ibarlucea (C-208), whilst Lt Mario Nivoli (C-206) crashed into the sea evading a missile. All three pilots died in the action.

When a second wave of Grupo 5 Skyhawks attacked, Brilliant's Sea Wolf became confused and the jets each released three bombs. One bomb from Skyhawk (C-248) piloted by Lt Gavazzi, damaged Glasgow, although it did not explode, passing clean through the aft engine room, damaging fuel systems and disabling the two Tyne cruise engines. On his returning flight, Lt Gavazzi was shot down by friendly fire over Goose Green and killed. His bomb had hit the rear of the ship just above the waterline on the port side; the ship manoeuvered in a tight circle to keep the area exposed while damage control teams plugged the hole. The ship returned home to be repaired in Portsmouth dockyard, returning to the South Atlantic in August 1982 when the conflict over.


Falklands War | British Ships





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by Stephen Luscombe