Falklands 40: Headlines from June 1, 1982, as frigates stop deadly missile attacks against Royal Navy aircraft carriers

THESE are the headlines for June 1, 1982, as Royal Navy frigates did their best to stop an Argentine air attack.

By Sophie Murray
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 4:55 am

Frigates rescue carriers by stopping missile attacks

Argentine air attacks, aiming deadly Exocet sea-skimming missiles for the Portsmouth aircraft carriers HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes, have been beaten off by defending frigates.

The Exocet missiles of the type which badly damaged the destroyer HMS. Sheffield, were fired by Super Etendard fighter-bombers - and both were destroyed, almost certainly by Sea Wolf missiles.

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Four men scrubbing the flight deck on HMS Hermes during the Falklands conflict, May 1982. (Photo by Martin Cleaver/Pool/Getty Images)

One of the Super Etendard jets is believed to have been shot down by a frigate.

The Exocet missile attack happened only hours before the fleet moved to bombard Port Stanley on Sunday. At least two Super Etendards, backed by Skyhawks, carried out the raid.

A frigate in the defensive screen believes she took out one of the Exocet missiles. Another frigate is understood not only to have destroyed the second missile but one of the Etendards as well. Aircraft wreckage and human remains were found later.

British troops on the Falklands are poised for their toughest battle yet - the final assault to take Port Stanley.

Already there had been reports of clashes with Argentine forces just 12 miles from the capital, in the vital Mount Kent area.

In a statement announcing this last night, the Ministry of Defence said Harriers had attacked the airfield at Port Stanley and nearby military installations, probably damaging some Argentine aircraft.

It was reported that the British merchant vessel Atlantic Conveyor, damaged in an Exocet missile attack, had sunk. The ship, chartered from Cunard, had been carrying heavy-lift Chinook helicopters.

MP joins growing anger over Falklands burials

A Tory MP has joined the growing chorus of demands that the bodies of British Servicemen killed in the Falklands be flown home to Britain for burial.

Andrew Bowden (Brighton, Kemptown) has said he will be writing to the defence secretary - and might raise the issue in the Commons.

He thought the families who want the bodies of the soldiers killed at Goose Green returned home ‘should have their wishes met whenever it is reasonably possible to do so’.

The government is coming under increasing pressure, particularly from relatives of the dead, since the disclosure that those killed at Goose Green were buried in a mass grave overlooking San Carlos Water.

Bob comes back on the airwaves

The faint voice of Bob, the Falklands Islands radio ham, crackled over the air waves again last night as he made his first contact with Britain since the invasion.

And, although his words were barely audible, the message of relief was clear.

For Bob and his wife Janice, were among the 114 men, women, and children, who were detained in the Goose Green community hall until British troops recaptured the settlement.

Now Bob, a 30-year-old-plumber, is back home again at his sheep station.

In other news: staff rejig set for museum

A £30,000-a-year staff reshuffle at Portsmouth City Museum ‘will be an investment in the future and will upgrade sales’, claims museums officer Anthony Howarth.

The reorganisation includes creating two new posts, upgrading others, and filling two vacancies. But the chief reason for the changes is to tap the reservoirs of local knowledge held by the present Keeper of Local History (Mr. Bill Corney).

Later this year, Mr. Corney, 58, who will be created Keeper Emeritus until his retirement, will begin committing his knowledge of Portsmouth’s past to paper.