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Falklands War - HMS Argonaut

Had heard of them before but not in any detail. Thanks.

Does any country currently operate a MCMV that could do it?
The UK certainly does. In early July 1982, the Hunt Class minehunters HMS BRECON and HMS LEDBURY arrived in theatre and confirmed by sonar that all poised mines had been cleared. Further utilising their submersibles and divers, the two mine hunters then located and disposed of remaining married mine failures and mine sinkers. In 2014, the ships' companies became entitled to wear the South Atlantic Medal without rosette.

The UK still has Hunt class MCMVs although only 6 of the original 13 survive in RN operation. The rest have been sold abroad, are awaiting sale, or have been converted into training ships.
 
I don't actually recall seeing much of the QE2 during the fighty bit. I remember the troops were cross-decked in South Georgia to the landing ships from the QE & distinctly remember seeing Canberra in Bomb Alley (San Carlos) but don't remember seeing the QE2 inside the TEZ.
Quite correct Ninja. Except for General Moore and his advance Headquarters, of which I was one. We rendezvoused with HMS Antrim on the edge of the TEZ, and cross-decked in a gradually increasing swell inside the QE2's "Jolly Boats" to be confronted by scramble nets which we had to ascend (as opposed to descend) in the swell, with the unstable boats bobbing to the full height of Antrim's decks at times. We had to manoeuvre around the deck of the "Jolly Boat" using only a very thin hand rail, and then grab the cargo net (on the up swell) whilst the matelots stood ready to grab us with boat hooks. My life was saved by "Spike", a Royal Marines illustrator, who caught me when the guy immediately in front, a Royal Signals SNCO, attempted to grab the net on the down swell and was caught between the Jolly Boat and Antrim's Hull, breaking his leg and catching me in the face with the boot of his free leg.

We then sailed into the TEZ and cross-decked two days later to HMS Fearless by helicopter, which was infinitely more convenient!

By the way, when the rest of the Pongos on board were being violently sea-sick on Antrim, I had my first (and last) hot shower in one of the POs Mess Decks. (Privilege of Rank, myself and a RM JNCO, were the most senior Corporals in the party.
 
I regret to report that Lt Cdr Brian Dutton DSO QGM RN passed away at his home last night. He had been ill for some time.

Vernon Monument Dinner at Trinity House 19 Jul 2017 (115) med.jpg

On 8 October 1982, he was gazetted for the award of the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of service during operations in the South Atlantic:

"During Argentinean air attacks on 21st May 1982 HMS ARGONAUT was struck by a 1,000 Ib bomb which did not explode. The bomb caused extensive damage and lodged between two missiles in the forward magazine where it was also surrounded by damaged and extremely dangerous ordnance.​
Lieutenant Commander Dutton, as Officer in Charge of Fleet Clearance Diving Team 1 was tasked to remove the bomb. He decided that it was too dangerous to defuse in situ. Instead he took the decision to lift the bomb from the magazine and hoist it overboard. The task proved extremely complex and hazardous requiring clearance of ammunition from the magazine and cutting through sections of the ship's structure. The operation took the team seven days during which HMS ARGONAUT came under further air attacks. The slightest jar or disturbance to the precise lifting angle would have resulted in an explosion which would almost certainly have caused the loss of the ship.​
In spite of these difficulties the bomb was successfully removed, largely due to the skill and ingenuity of Lieutenant Commander Dutton. He displayed staunch determination, steadfastness and courage of the highest order."​

RIP to a friend, former colleague and a fine gentleman.
 
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I came across this link (shared on social media) yesterday:

https://www.spink.com/lot/9033228#

What struck me was the story behind the medal about events on Sir Galahad:
Must admit I've not heard that story previously.

It does make one wonder why a person witnessing such a desperate act did not also feel they were trapped, but the account states he concentrated on treating casualties rather than make good his escape.

Presumably there are other first hand accounts of this occurrence.
 
Not wishing to criticise the recipient, he was in a truly horrific situation, but he stated that he was moved from Port Stanley to Fitzroy on the RFA Sir Galahad. The majority of 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards and some attached elements, less the Prince of Wales Company, were moved from San Carlos to the Fitzroy area on HMS Fearless, and then embarked on RFA Sir Galahad for a landing at Bluff Cove with the RFA Sir Tristram where they were attacked and bombed by two flights, each of 5 x Daggers (Dassault Mirage V) and 5 x A4-C Skyhawks. I was on HMS Fearless when they arrived and bedded down on her tank deck. Port Stanley was still under Argentine occupation on 08 June 1982 and would not be re-captured for another 8 days.

I cannot comment on his account of witnessing Two Welsh Guardsmen shooting each other in a final death pact, save only to state that no reports, either official or heresay, of such an incident, or accounts from other casualties made their way up the Chain of Command. Both Tristram and Galahad remained afloat long enough to recover both the dead and survivors. Survivors from both vessels, including some from 2 Field Ambulance and RFA Chinese crewmen were later taken on board HMS Fearless for a short time, and we, (embarked) troops gave up our Mess Decks, Sleeping Bags and Bunks and slept on the Tank Deck for that period.

As for £1200 being realised at Auction for a South Atlantic Medal with Rosette, its a pretty paltry sum. I think I'll hang on to mine a little longer!
 
I never heard any rumours of anything like that (either then or later) and I was sat nearby when CO Welsh Guards was going through the casualty lists with his coy comds etc at the end of the day.
 
Not wishing to criticise the recipient, he was in a truly horrific situation, but he stated that he was moved from Port Stanley to Fitzroy on the RFA Sir Galahad. The majority of 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards and some attached elements, less the Prince of Wales Company, were moved from San Carlos to the Fitzroy area on HMS Fearless, and then embarked on RFA Sir Galahad for a landing at Bluff Cove with the RFA Sir Tristram where they were attacked and bombed by two flights, each of 5 x Daggers (Dassault Mirage V) and 5 x A4-C Skyhawks. I was on HMS Fearless when they arrived and bedded down on her tank deck. Port Stanley was still under Argentine occupation on 08 June 1982 and would not be re-captured for another 8 days.

I cannot comment on his account of witnessing Two Welsh Guardsmen shooting each other in a final death pact, save only to state that no reports, either official or heresay, of such an incident, or accounts from other casualties made their way up the Chain of Command. Both Tristram and Galahad remained afloat long enough to recover both the dead and survivors. Survivors from both vessels, including some from 2 Field Ambulance and RFA Chinese crewmen were later taken on board HMS Fearless for a short time, and we, (embarked) troops gave up our Mess Decks, Sleeping Bags and Bunks and slept on the Tank Deck for that period.

As for £1200 being realised at Auction for a South Atlantic Medal with Rosette, its a pretty paltry sum. I think I'll hang on to mine a little longer!
I think we're pretty much of the opinion the guy is probably a bullshitter, to be perfectly honest. Doubtless, that's how he chooses to remember things and I guess if you tell your story enough times, it becomes believable.

The amount of machine gun nests my Granddad stormed in WWI in the Somme was truly remarkable (for a Royal Marine Musician, aged 14).

There's no doubt there will have been some pretty awful things encountered on that ship and the individual flogging his SAM may well have good reason, but it was a campaign medal like any other, not a gallantry award
 
The UK certainly does. In early July 1982, the Hunt Class minehunters HMS BRECON and HMS LEDBURY arrived in theatre and confirmed by sonar that all poised mines had been cleared. Further utilising their submersibles and divers, the two mine hunters then located and disposed of remaining married mine failures and mine sinkers. In 2014, the ships' companies became entitled to wear the South Atlantic Medal without rosette.

The UK still has Hunt class MCMVs although only 6 of the original 13 survive in RN operation. The rest have been sold abroad, are awaiting sale, or have been converted into training ships.
..are the Hunts the ones with the three Deltics?
 
I think we're pretty much of the opinion the guy is probably a bullshitter, to be perfectly honest. Doubtless, that's how he chooses to remember things and I guess if you tell your story enough times, it becomes believable.

The amount of machine gun nests my Granddad stormed in WWI in the Somme was truly remarkable (for a Royal Marine Musician, aged 14).

There's no doubt there will have been some pretty awful things encountered on that ship and the individual flogging his SAM may well have good reason, but it was a campaign medal like any other, not a gallantry award
The problem I have is this. Whilst your Grandads stories remained stories this tale of suicide pact or however you wish to phrase it is now in the public domain. Someone may wonder if the explanation on how their son, brother or husband died is true, its also is something future historians could use to denigrate those involved that day, to distort truths.
 
I regret to report that Lt Cdr Brian Dutton DSO QGM RN passed away at his home last night. He had been ill for some time.


On 8 October 1982, he was gazetted for the award of the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of service during operations in the South Atlantic:

"During Argentinean air attacks on 21st May 1982 HMS ARGONAUT was struck by a 1,000 Ib bomb which did not explode. The bomb caused extensive damage and lodged between two missiles in the forward magazine where it was also surrounded by damaged and extremely dangerous ordnance.​
Lieutenant Commander Dutton, as Officer in Charge of Fleet Clearance Diving Team 1 was tasked to remove the bomb. He decided that it was too dangerous to defuse in situ. Instead he took the decision to lift the bomb from the magazine and hoist it overboard. The task proved extremely complex and hazardous requiring clearance of ammunition from the magazine and cutting through sections of the ship's structure. The operation took the team seven days during which HMS ARGONAUT came under further air attacks. The slightest jar or disturbance to the precise lifting angle would have resulted in an explosion which would almost certainly have caused the loss of the ship.​
In spite of these difficulties the bomb was successfully removed, largely due to the skill and ingenuity of Lieutenant Commander Dutton. He displayed staunch determination, steadfastness and courage of the highest order."​

RIP to a friend, former colleague and a fine gentleman.
The funeral of Lt Cdr Brian Frank Dutton DSO QGM RN will take place at 1600 on Wednesday 23 May at Portsmouth Cathedral with a reception afterwards at the nearby Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club.

No flowers but there will be donations in lieu to one of the charities Brian supported.
 
The funeral of Lt Cdr Brian Frank Dutton DSO QGM RN will take place at 1600 on Wednesday 23 May at Portsmouth Cathedral with a reception afterwards at the nearby Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club.

No flowers but there will be donations in lieu to one of the charities Brian supported.
Thanks @Dunservin, I imagine it will be a full house, but will nevertheless give my Number 1s an airing.

There are still a few SAM holders still in uniform, but I think I may be one of the last of the Argonauts.
 
At the age,of 16 I too went to sign on in the RN, however after to much f’ing about I lost interest and joined the Army. Having read your experiences and thinking back to mine (2 Para) I am very thankful that I was on terra firma when the Argies were having a pop at me. Tucked up in a tin-can with the best of the Argie bad boys dropping bombs on me would not have been much fun, and looking back in reflection I think the wind and rain wasn’t as bad as I oft recall.
 
By the way, when the rest of the Pongos on board were being violently sea-sick on Antrim, I had my first (and last) hot shower in one of the POs Mess Decks. (Privilege of Rank, myself and a RM JNCO, were the most senior Corporals in the party.
Look, credit where its due and all that; but its been the best part of forty years.......
:eek:
 
I'll look out for you, Ninja.
I nearly had to wear a carnation to be recognised in my civvies....what an idiot I am.

Currently working in Portsmouth and commuting weekends to my home in 'rural' Liverpool. I managed to get a first class advance rail ticket for thirty-odd quid, so feeling a bit posh/suave I had a celebratory cider as directed by the Emperor Mong on such occasions and fell asleep, waking just in time as the train pulled into Pompey and Southsea in the late of night. Phew, cheers EM.

Diving off the train without a thought, I bimbled to HMS Nelson mess and checked-in. Three a.m. I sat bolt upright in bed. Noooooooooooo-oo!

My Number One uniform for Lt Cdr Dutton's funeral - I'd left it on the train. How boneheaded am I?

Worse. My medals were in the suit carrier too. Idiot. What to do? "Download our 'Find your lost luggage' App". Obvs.

Then, get up at 04.30 to bimble down to Pompey Harbour Station before any morning train departs to see if the suit & gongs are still in the luggage rack. "Good idea, EM. Thanks". No-one about. Not a soul. Nothing on the dormant trains, not even a light. It's 04:45, who but a crazed trainspotter would want to be in a train station at that hour anyway?

Totally dejected and not a little gutted, I traipsed into work and flashed-up my computer (Told it that I'd make it duty over the Bank Holiday weekend). Why isn't there a cat in this office? I need something to kick besides myself.

05:55 an email from OOW HMS Nelson, to the effect "Oi bollix, someone's found your suit & medals".

I spend hours dripping about South Western Railways, but not today. The rolling stock is still crap but the staff? My heros. Thank you SWR.
 
I nearly had to wear a carnation to be recognised in my civvies....what an idiot I am.

Currently working in Portsmouth and commuting weekends to my home in 'rural' Liverpool. I managed to get a first class advance rail ticket for thirty-odd quid, so feeling a bit posh/suave I had a celebratory cider as directed by the Emperor Mong on such occasions and fell asleep, waking just in time as the train pulled into Pompey and Southsea in the late of night. Phew, cheers EM.

Diving off the train without a thought, I bimbled to HMS Nelson mess and checked-in. Three a.m. I sat bolt upright in bed. Noooooooooooo-oo!

My Number One uniform for Lt Cdr Dutton's funeral - I'd left it on the train. How boneheaded am I?

Worse. My medals were in the suit carrier too. Idiot. What to do? "Download our 'Find your lost luggage' App". Obvs.

Then, get up at 04.30 to bimble down to Pompey Harbour Station before any morning train departs to see if the suit & gongs are still in the luggage rack. "Good idea, EM. Thanks". No-one about. Not a soul. Nothing on the dormant trains, not even a light. It's 04:45, who but a crazed trainspotter would want to be in a train station at that hour anyway?

Totally dejected and not a little gutted, I traipsed into work and flashed-up my computer (Told it that I'd make it duty over the Bank Holiday weekend). Why isn't there a cat in this office? I need something to kick besides myself.

05:55 an email from OOW HMS Nelson, to the effect "Oi bollix, someone's found your suit & medals".

I spend hours dripping about South Western Railways, but not today. The rolling stock is still crap but the staff? My heros. Thank you SWR.
It's like something I would have done Ninga.:rofl: BZ on the recovery.:):salut:
 

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