Forty years to the day since Portsmouth-based County Class Destroyer HMS Antrim entered San Carlos Water to start the landing operations to retake the Falklands Islands, a day-long free seminar at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s National Museum of the Royal Navy will reunite key members of the ships’ company to share their memories of events, reflect on lessons learnt and their meaning today.
South Georgia: The Santa Fe and San Carlos: Re-examining HMS Antrim’s Falklands War on Saturday 21 May 2022 will be led by leading defence analyst Rear-Admiral Chris Parry who was Flight Observer in Antrim’s Wessex helicopter. He will also place the ship’s role in the context of the wider war.
The Portsmouth-based County Class Destroyer HMS Antrim can make claim to be the Royal Navy ship with the most intense and impactful Falklands War. Through a deployment of 121 days – with 110 spent at sea – Antrim steamed over 20,000 miles, overcoming multiple enemy threats and the challenges of planning, logistics, refuelling and repair.
As head of the Task Group for ‘Operation Paraquet’ – the re-capture of the island of South Georgia – Antrim, and her Wessex helicopter led the first-ever helicopter-only sinking of a submarine, the Santa Fe, and the landing of forces who forced the Argentinian surrender.
By 20th May Antrim was deploying Special Forces at Fanning Head to start the landing operations to retake the Falklands Islands.
The days spent in ‘Bomb Alley’ which followed were well-named when the ship was hit by a 1,000lb bomb which did not explode; it was removed after 10 hours and, ‘dropped gently into the sea on leaving Falklands Sound.’
The day will include a presentation by Rear-Admiral Chris Parry, discussion, a performance by the Royal Marines Association Concert Band and a previously recorded streamed talk: The Falklands Myth & Memory, a tri-service examination of The Falklands Conflict with partners National Army Museum, the Royal Air Force Museum and chaired by TV and radio presenter Caroline Wyatt.
To register for free tickets to the event only please visit https://bit.ly/3sofG43 Tickets do not give access to any of the historic ships and museums at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Antrim’s Wessex helicopter affectionately known to as “Humphrey” and one of the most famous aircraft of the conflict, is now on display at the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton.