They led the navy’s task force ordered to the South Atlantic by the government.
Invincible, fully loaded with supplies, was waiting for her flight of Sea Harrier jump jet fighter aircraft to arrive from Yeovilton.
But Hermes, berthed nearby, was still many hours away from readiness.
Dockyard workers swarmed over the warship, racing against the clock to get the elderly vessel fit for action.
Portsmouth Naval Base was a hive of activity as the navy gathered its strength for the confrontation with the Argentinians.