HMS ALACRITY return

 

The first of the Taskforce returns home

A proud but tired ALACRITY passes Plymouth Hoe to a huge and unexpected welcome

Falklands Flag

Falkland Islands Flag

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JUNE: the end of our war and return
 

 

1st June: NGS taking targets between Two Sisters Ridge and Moody Brook and with return fire from 155mm howitzers. 130 shells fired but the 4.5 gun was out of its planned life.

2nd June: ALACRITY departs to the repair area to the east for repairs by STENNA SEASPREAD. Reduced top weight in preparation for icing during the South Atlantic winter.

5th June: Admiral tells ALACRITY that she is to return home. Captain shares his dream of taking ALACRITY into Stanley and of wanting to be with the Taskforce at the final, and now inevitable surrender of the Argentine forces on the Falklands. We all felt the same way. The Captain flew to Hermes to request that we stay but to no avail. In the ship's worn out state we were of little use to the Taskforce.

6th June: After giving up all stores and munitions that would aid the fighting ALACRITY heads for home. Though pleased to be going home there is a general air of frustration at not being allowed to remain until the end.

14th June: We receive the news that General Menendez had surrendered.

Ascension Island for stores, fuel and advance party departure.

Crossing the line and the sods opera

24th June: Arrival . No-one could have expected the welcome we received from the people of Plymouth. We were genuinely surprised that anyone would turn out to welcome us back but did- in their thousands. Tug boats with fire hoses spraying arches of water escorted us through Plymouth Sound; small boats by the dozen provided a secondary escort; local sea cadets rowed out to give us three cheers and the Hoe was covered by throngs of well-wishers. By now we were down to a single engine which severely limited the ships maneuverability but the Captain brought us alongside with his usual style to the welcome of family and friends. Our war was over and we would never be the same again.

 

Reflections

Distance steamed since leaving Devonport in April
30,000 nautical miles
Average speed
14 knots
4.5 shells fired
>500

 

 

 

 

 
 

Neptune

A return to normality - Neptune demands homage: crossing the line homeward bound