ON May 12, 1982, the destroyer HMS Glasgow was taken out of action after Argentinian aircraft bombed the Portsmouth-based warship.
Glasgow, the first ship to arrive in the total exclusion zone in the Falklands when war was declared, was hit by a 1,000lb bomb which passed straight through the engine and didn’t explode.
The ship had been busy bombarding Argentine shore positions when the air attack came.
Rob Guyatt, 71, of Thrush Walk, Waterlooville, was a Petty Officer aboard the ship.
He said: ‘The bomb went straight through the ship – in through the starboard side and out the port side. I thought that was it, we were snookered. It left a huge hole right on the water line – a few inches lower and we would have sunk.
‘The stokers did a wonderful job pumping out the water and we filled up the holes with mattresses and anything else we could find.
‘We were extremely lucky the bomb didn’t explode. If it had exploded, I don’t think any of us would be here to tell the tale.’
Despite the severe damage, Glasgow returned to her air defence station within three days of being hit and stayed there until a relief ship arrived. On her journey home to Portsmouth, the engines and propellers had to be controlled manually and constant repairs were carried out.
Also on this day, the QE2 left Southampton for the Falklands carrying 3,000 soldiers from the Scots Guards, Welsh Guards and Gurkhas.