HMS Argonaut

On the 19th April, Argonaut, along with Ardent and two Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships Regent and Plumleaf headed for Ascension Island. On the 29th, the group finally arrived at Ascension, and on the 6th May the Argonaut Group departed the island for the Falklands. On the 16th, the Group joined the large Amphibious Group centred around Fearless and Intrepid, and on the 18th the Group met up with the Carrier Battle Group.

On the 21st May, Argonaut, along with other destroyers and frigates, provided close escort for the amphibious vessels during the successful landing at San Carlos Water. On that day, Argonaut was attacked twice by Argentinian aircraft. The first attack, by an Argentinian Navy Aermacchi MB-339, flown by Lieutenant Crippa, caused some damage, including to her Type 965 Radar, while the second attack was launched by five A-4 Skyhawks call sign Leo, which hit Argonaut with two bombs. Neither exploded, although one killed two sailors, Able Seaman Iain M. Boldy and Able Seaman Matthew J. Stuart, when it entered the ship's Sea Cat missile magazine, detonating two missiles. Plymouth came to the assistance of Argonaut and towed her away from immediate danger. Both bombs were still active, and it took a number of days to deactivate them, as this was very risky work, proven on the 24th May when Antelope sank after an unexploded bomb detonated while experts were attempting to deactivate it.

Falklands War | British Ships

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by Stephen Luscombe