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WEEK ONE, 29th March-4th April 1982

HMS Glamorgan

on to 18. Carrier Battle Group follows


Summary of British Ships & Aircraft Departing or on Passage - Forces in Theatre

Royal Navy
All with Advanced Group:
Antrim, Capt B G Young (awarded DSO) RN - Advanced Group
Arrow, Cmdr P J Bootherstone (DSC) RN
Brilliant, Capt J F Coward (DSO) RN
Coventry, Capt D Hart-Dyke MVO RN
Glamorgan, Capt M E Barrow (DSO) RN
Glasgow, Capt A P Hoddinott OBE RN
Plymouth, Capt D Pentreath (DSO) RN
Sheffield, Capt J F T G Salt RN
Nuclear Submarines:

Conqueror, Cmdr C L Wreford-Brown (DSO) RN - from UK
Spartan, Cmdr J B Taylor (MID) RN - in Central Atlantic
Splendid”, Cmdr R C Lane-Nott (MID) RN - from UK 

Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Appleleaf, Capt G P A McDougall RFA - from Gibraltar
Fort Austin, Comm S C Dunlop CBE (DSO) RFA - in Central Atlantic
Sir Tristram, Capt G R Green (DSC) RFA - from Belize
Tidespring, Capt S Redmond (OBE) RFA - Advanced Group
Typhoon, Capt J N Morris RMAS and NP 1820 - from UK

Royal Air Force
VC.10's of 10 Sqdn RAF, Wing Cmdr O G Bunn MBE RAF
Hercules of Lyneham Wing RAF

Disembarked at Gibraltar - No.824 NAS, B Flt, 2 Sea King HAS.2A's

Falklands area
British Ice Patrol Vessel Endurance

Task Force Departures - Quite fortuitously, warships of the First Flotilla commanded by Rear Admiral Woodward (pictured below) were in the Gibraltar area for "Operation Springtrain", and before the week was out, many were heading south. But even before the question of a Task Force arose, lone "Endurance" needed replenishment, so on Monday, RFA "Fort Austin" under the command of the Fleet Commodore sailed from Gibraltar. She left behind her two assigned Sea King's of No.824 NAS which played an important part supplying other ships passing by. Once the go ahead was given, next to leave on Thursday 1st April and after loading live torpedoes at Gibraltar was nuclear submarine "Spartan" whose job was to help establish a credible maritime exclusion zone.

Then on Friday an "Advanced Group" of "Springtrain" ships started to head for Ascension. Included with Admiral Woodward's flagship, destroyer "Antrim" was sister ship "Glamorgan", Type 42's "Coventry", "Glasgow" and "Sheffield", frigates "Arrow", "Brilliant", "Plymouth", and RFA fleet tanker "Tidespring". Previously on passage from Curacao to UK, RFA support tanker "Appleleaf" also sailed from Gibraltar to refuel Task Force ships on the way south. Two more nuclear submarines followed "Spartan" to the South Atlantic, but this time from Faslane in Scotland. First to go on Thursday was "Splendid" and within three weeks she was on patrol off the Argentine coast to shadow carrier "25 de Mayo".

On Sunday, "Conqueror" left, later to sink the "General Belgrano". Also departing on Sunday was the first of many support ships - RMAS ocean tug "Typhoon" which sailed from Portland for Ascension before later heading on to South Georgia. Far to the west of the "Advanced Group" as it started south, RFA landing ship, logistic "Sir Tristram" sailed from Belize in Central America for Ascension as the first of the many ships that later merged as the Amphibious Task Group.

The RAF also began building the vital air-bridge to Ascension and beyond when the first Hercules flew from Lyneham to Gibraltar. However beating them to the South Atlantic was a VC-10 of 10 Sqdn which left on Saturday for Montevideo to pick up Rex Hunt and the men of NP 8901. They arrived back at Brize Norton on Monday.  By the end of the week, the first special forces units were on their way south or about to leave. Some SBS may have sailed with "Conqueror" from Faslane, but most appear to have flown direct to Ascension.

Rear Admiral J F Woodward RN, Commander, Carrier Battle Group
(Courtesy - MOD, Navy)


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revised 31/5/13