Mon 24 May:Quite a few air raids â 3 Mirages right overhead, no bombs dropped â relief
Burial at sea 2 sailors from Argonaut.
It had been a hectic couple of days since the Argonaut incident, by day we had been fending off air raids and at night escorting ships in and out of San Carlos to and from the main group a couple of hundred miles out to the East but that night we had another duty to perform. HMS Plymouth conducted the Burial At Sea of the two Argonaut sailors killed when they were bombed.
The burial at sea was a very moving occasion; all non essential men attended the service on the quarterdeck, along with a small contingent from Argonaut. Iâm sure I wasnât alone in shedding a tear as the bodies slid from under the Union Flags and into the icy black water, under a canopy of stars.
Sat 29:Again very quiet in Bomb Alley! Troops ashore now have 1200 prisoners, after a hard battle, odds were 600/1500.
Have orders to leave the AOA for a few days R&R.
We were relieved to be given permission to leave San Carlos that night, escorting ships out to the main group but this time staying there for a couple of days rest and recuperation, it would be a welcome break from the relentless hours at Action Stations when I would be either on watch on the bridge or acting as an extra pair of eyes on the bridge roof.
During an air raid the previous day I had actually fired a hand held flair at an incoming enemy Mirage V, as it was all I had to hand on the bridge roof and I had hoped it might be mistaken for a missile launching and put the pilot off his stroke. Whatever happened he didnât release any bombs, so who knows it may even have worked!
Sun 30:Met up with main group and at 1715 had an exocet attack â two fired, one taken out by Sea Dart, other fell dead. One A4 splashed. Another exocet false alarm at 2300.
If this was supposed to be Rest and Recuperation! We began to wish we were back in âBomb Alleyâ, the pet name given to San Carlos Water, out there in the open ocean, us small ships just seemed to be used as missile shields for the larger, âhigh value unitsâ.
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I am David Ramsden, owner of thebestof bolton.