Falklands 40: Royal Navy heroes who dodged death in Falklands visit new Type 26 frigate HMS Glasgow

FALKLANDS veterans who dodged death when a 1,000lb bomb ripped through their ship but failed to explode have been given a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ tour of the Royal Navy’s newest hi-tech submarine hunting warship.

By Tom Cotterill
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 2:23 pm

Some 44 sailors who served on the Falklands destroyer HMS Glasgow have visited the latest ship to bear the name of the Scottish city.

The formidable Type 26 frigate is currently under construction at BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard in Scotland.

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Veterans who served on the former HMS Glasgow during the Falklands war are pictured in front of the new frigate bearing the Scottish city's name. They are flanked by serving sailors from the Royal Navy based on the new frigate.

The veterans’ visit came as the Royal Navy continued its efforts to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the conflict, which took place in 1982.

Many of those invited on the trip were part of the HMS Glasgow Association and were joined by Rear Admiral (Retired) Paul Hoddinott, who commanded Glasgow during the Falklands.

Commander Mark Quinn, the weapon engineering officer with the new HMS Glasgow, was thrilled to welcome the veterans and said: ‘To be able to offer them a glimpse of the next generation Type 26 frigate and the capabilities that it will afford the Royal Navy, particularly in this 40th anniversary year of the Falklands conflict, has really made it a day to remember.’

The Falklands war lasted 74 days and saw seven Royal Navy ships, nine aircraft and some 225 UK military personnel lost to enemy action.

A Falklands veteran, centre, marvels at a model of the former destroyer HMS Glasgow, which survived being bombed during the Falklands War in 1982.

Among the ships which participated was the Portsmouth-based destroyer HMS Glasgow. On May 12, 1982, she and fellow Royal Navy vessel HMS Brilliant came under attack from Argentine Skyhawk aircraft.

Although HMS Brilliant’s Sea Wolf missile system shot down the first wave of aircraft, a second saw a bomb damage HMS Glasgow.

The bomb tore through the ship’s hull, disabling two of her engines but mercifully, it failed to detonate.

The new HMS Glasgow, pictured under construction, was visited by veterans of the former Falkands-era destroyer, HMS Glasgow, during an event marking the 40th anniversary since the start of the conflict.

President of the HMS Glasgow Association, Gary Easton, was a Marine Engineering Mechanic on the ship during the attack and narrowly dodged death.

‘The bomb entered the ship starboard side and travelled through the engine room on the port side, holing us just above the water line,’ said Gary.

‘I didn’t know what had happened at the time. I came to and found myself lying on the plates between two diesel generators.’

It wasn’t until afterwards that it hit home how close Gary had come to losing his life.

‘Someone presented me with a valve which had flown through the air and penetrated the bulkhead between two spaces. It had landed at the spot where I normally operated,’ he said.

During the tour, veterans were told about the new frigate's powerful set of weapons and sensors - set to make her one of the most advanced warships in the world when she hits the water.

Retired Commander Ian Danbury, who was an officer under training on HMS Glasgow during the Falklands War, said it was a ‘privilege’ to see the new frigate.

‘For all of us who sailed and fought in the old HMS Glasgow this has been a very rewarding experience,’ he added. ‘We all feel that the name HMS Glasgow will be in good hands as she takes shape and joins the fleet.’

HMS Glasgow is the first of the City-class vessels for the navy. She will focus on hunting submarines but can also carry out maritime security, humanitarian relief and counter-piracy and counter-terrorism roles.