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Author Topic: QE2 and the Falklands War  (Read 58987 times)

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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #40 on: Dec 22, 2011, 07:23 PM »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Pat Curry

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #41 on: Dec 22, 2011, 08:01 PM »
With 3500 troops on board there was less damage than with regular passengers.

Amazing.  But pax don't face court martials for damage done. They just complain this doesn't work or that the water isn't hot enough or what have you trivia to the pursers.

That aside the Argies are sabre rattling.  >:(  Since dear Mr Cameron has decimated our forces it was inevitable that the Argies would.  

Time for a show of force, but goodness knows how.  Ark Royal is rotting in Portsmouth, the Harriers have been sent to the US for spare parts, so no more "I counted them off and I counted them back" ... but hey  ;) ... I know of the whereabouts of a troop ship whose cv reads:

"Ship capable of carrying 3,500 troops plus crew, available for immediate sailing with gilt-edged track record.  Previous experience in same role in Falklands well documented.  Volunteer crew available, contact  QEstory website.  Governments interested in hiring the ship, please contact Nakheel +971 4 390 333 any time in the next few days.  First come, first served.
(Note: Nakheel don't celebrate Christmas  ??? so please ring any time).

« Last Edit: Dec 22, 2011, 08:03 PM by Queet-two »

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #42 on: Feb 03, 2012, 02:54 PM »
'They Couldn't Have Done It Without Us: The Merchant Navy in the Falklands War.
By John Johnson-Allen
Pub. Seafarer Books 2011
£9.95 and available on Amazon.

It will be interesting to know if / when others have read this;
at first glance, it looks comprehensive and well written.
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #43 on: Feb 03, 2012, 10:50 PM »
There are a handful of really superb photos here

http://homersykes.photoshelter.com/search?I_DSC=qe2&I_DSC_AND=t&_ACT=search

The pic to me that exemplifies the Brits is the one of the girlfriend hooking the bra on to the crane and having it delivered to her Welsh Guard on the ship. Where else in the world would you get that?

bobso

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Re: QE2 Items on Ebay
« Reply #44 on: Mar 08, 2012, 08:06 PM »
Any member of the Forum on the QE2 when it went to the Falklands?---


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150773950315?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:VRI&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2661

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 Items on Ebay
« Reply #45 on: Mar 08, 2012, 11:02 PM »
Any member of the Forum on the QE2 when it went to the Falklands?---


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150773950315?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:VRI&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2661

200 pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have 2 of them sitting in the attic!Believe it or not...they were flown out to the ship, by chopper along with uniforms for the survivors of the sunken ships. One of the RN Naval Party ordered them to make a few bob on the side!

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #46 on: Mar 31, 2012, 11:04 AM »
Good article here about HMS Courageous keeping QE2 safe from underneath!

 http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/ken-proud-of-subs-war-role-1.939937?referrerPath=news/
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Offline highlander0108

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #47 on: Mar 31, 2012, 06:18 PM »
Good article here about HMS Courageous keeping QE2 safe from underneath!

 http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/ken-proud-of-subs-war-role-1.939937?referrerPath=news/

That was a very interesting article.  So QE2 had an escort, abeit a hidden one!  I wonder if there are more stories to "surface" as time goes on. 
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
My Blog:  http://qe2-prideoftheclyde.blogspot.com/

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #48 on: Mar 31, 2012, 06:31 PM »
That was a very interesting article.  So QE2 had an escort, abeit a hidden one!  I wonder if there are more stories to "surface" as time goes on.

I have absolutely no doubt. As time goes on and people are no longer worried about Security, weapons etc etc more will come out. To this day though there are still things that can be "given away" to our future enemies.

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #49 on: Apr 01, 2012, 08:22 AM »
Rod - The media over here has been 'talking' about the conflict and the anniversary a fair bit recently.
I was wondering how long the notice was that You and the Crew were given about the 'trip' south?
Was there time for a bit of leave before she sailed?
Then after QE2 was back home - was there a break for you guys before the next passenger trip?
Rosie

« Last Edit: Apr 01, 2012, 08:29 AM by Twynkle »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

RMS Queen Elizabeth 2

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #50 on: Apr 01, 2012, 12:28 PM »
Really brave what those soldiers went through.

Heres a picture gallery of the Falklands war. QE2 is mentioned many times.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/photos/30-years-on-falklands-war-in-pictures-1333120848-slideshow/

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #51 on: Apr 01, 2012, 09:16 PM »
Rod - The media over here has been 'talking' about the conflict and the anniversary a fair bit recently.
I was wondering how long the notice was that You and the Crew were given about the 'trip' south?
Was there time for a bit of leave before she sailed?
Then after QE2 was back home - was there a break for you guys before the next passenger trip?
Rosie
Rosie,
I was on leave when it was announced. Was in Sainsburys as it happens. When I got home I called the Office and they said you are on the list would you go. I said yes and was put on the list. Remember they had to get enough people that said yes and would pick whom they wanted...MOD had been in the Soton office for a while I believe. Later that day got a call saying leave cancelled until further notice. Report to ship upon arrival. I did. Then it was mad chaos and confusion... Many projects, Putting in washers and dryers in every room service pantry. A/C to bits of the barn that didn't have it. All the time working round the..."Sorry you cant go in there at the moment" We were called to meetings with the Naval Party sailing with us...everyone reacted like they did this kind of thing every week! BUT it was the MOD's money so it was great. It was very long hours. They told us they would be sailing at 1600 come hell or high water...there were boiler problems...we sailed on 2...hence all the tugs...got out of sight near the IOW and finished repairs to the third...Took on helicopters after they had tested landing at various speeds..And off we went!
Had to land a crew member with spinal meningitis by helo, sent ashore with one of our nurses ...she came back with that days papers. Daily Telegraph crossword,,,have to make 50 copies...small things. The 1 deck shop became a classroom for the Army... People had to take exams.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #52 on: Apr 01, 2012, 09:24 PM »
continued:
As far as when we came back....I was on the outs with my Dad at the time so volunteered to stay on board got about 2 weeks leave after 7 weeks.
I am going to a Falklands reunion next month here in FLA. One of the people I met last year was on of the survivors from Coventry that we took home. Another was a LT. in 2 Para and is now the Senior British Officer in Central Command just awarded the Order of the Bath  in the New years Honors list. Now a Maj Gen!

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #53 on: Apr 01, 2012, 09:29 PM »
If you have any questions I would be pleased to answer them.
QE2 was asked to do a task...we did it to the best of our ability. AND Damn well I might add...MOD did their job well and kept us informed. When we made friends with individual Officers from the MOD and plied them with drink we learned more and that we did not spread around!

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #54 on: Apr 02, 2012, 09:11 PM »
If you have any questions I would be pleased to answer them.
QE2 was asked to do a task...we did it to the best of our ability. AND Damn well I might add...MOD did their job well and kept us informed. When we made friends with individual Officers from the MOD and plied them with drink we learned more and that we did not spread around!

Thank you, Rod.


QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #55 on: Apr 15, 2012, 11:15 AM »
When the Queen went to war: Amazing pictures on QE2 as it sailed to the Falklands

Read more:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2128733/Queen-went-war-Amazing-pictures-QE2-sailed-Falklands.html#ixzz1s6QizjNL
« Last Edit: Apr 15, 2012, 02:16 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #56 on: Apr 15, 2012, 12:07 PM »
The pictures alone tell a story.  But the articles give a bit of an overview of what life was like onboard QE2 to and from the Falklands.

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #57 on: Apr 15, 2012, 05:28 PM »
the Harriers have been sent to the US for spare parts, so no more

In actual fact the Harriers are being sent to fly! Because of the delay in their replacement the USMC is actually assigning them to squadrons. Also trying to buy any others they can get their hands on!

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #58 on: Apr 15, 2012, 06:01 PM »
When the Queen went to war: Amazing pictures on QE2 as it sailed to the Falklands

Read more:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2128733/Queen-went-war-Amazing-pictures-QE2-sailed-Falklands.html#ixzz1s6QizjNL

 If I may take issue with some of the things in the article:
1st pic is titled "Returning to Soton: Too many army troops...must have been departure.
"Wooden planking" it was hardboard/masonite.
Steel plating attached to the hull....uh NO...we only had what John Browns gave us in 69!
Magnetic coils fitted...NO these were fitted at John Browns when the ship was built...called de-gaussing gear for use primarily in the North Sea and around Scandanavia where  there still a lot of magnetic mines.
Anti aircraft gun...well yes but it is actually a Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun that belonged to the regiments on board. When they left so did the guns. The platform for them were built by Harris Pye Marine whom we carried.

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #59 on: Apr 26, 2012, 06:28 PM »
The work of the War Artist on board QE2 throughout her time off S Georgia
Commentary by David Scott
Thanks too, to www.riversideappeal.org for the video

QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #60 on: Apr 26, 2012, 10:54 PM »
WOW! Thanks

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2012, 09:02 PM »
3 May 1982 was the date that Cunard received instruction from the UK Government that QE2 was to be used as a troop ship in the Falklands War.  I thought it would be useful to members to compiled this list of key dates which I had obtained from information contained in a Cunard commemorative menu.  I have cross checked this information against our QE2 timeline and noticed some key dates that could be added, which I will do later. 

There has already been a lot of information written on this topic board by members on the QE2’s involvement in the Falklands, which is all good stuff and adds to the detail of these key dates.


QE2 Falklands Key Dates:

3 May 1982: Cunard received instructions from the UK Government that the Queen Elizabeth 2 was to be requisitioned by the Secretary of State for Trade under the Requisitioning of Ships Order 1982. 

5 May 1982: Work to convert the ship to carry troops commenced

12 May 1982: Following the formal embarkation of the Fifth Infantry Brigade, who were 3000 troops made up of Scotts Guards, Welsh Guards, the Ghurka Rifles, the QE2 set sail at 16:00 with much media attention being focussed on the ship.

Captain Peter Jackson was in command of 650 ship’s crew volunteers.

18 May 1982:  QE2 arrived in Freetown where she took on 1,867 tons of fuel in addition to water. 

20 May 1982: QE2 reached Ascension Island where goods and personnel were ferried between the QE2 and the island by helicopters.

27 May 1982: QE2 Anchored in Cumberland Bay

28 May 1982: The transfer of troops and stores to the waiting Canberra and Norland.  The Norland brought survivors to the QE2 from HMS Antelope. 

29 May 1982: The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Stromness brought survivors from HMS Coventry and HMS Ardent to QE2.  QE2 left South Georgia just after 1700 hours. 

3 June 1982:  Captain Jackson received orders to proceed home to Southampton, bringing home 640 survivors. 

11 June 1982:  QE2 arrived back in Southampton.

Source:  facts extracted from Cunard “The Falklands Remembered” menu written by Cunard’s UK Public Relations Department
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Twynkle

Re: Falklands War
« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2012, 09:43 PM »
The timeline of the Falklands War
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17444526
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #63 on: May 03, 2012, 10:19 PM »
In addition to the survivors from Antelope, Ardent and Coventry, we also took personnel  from the RAF and several "other branches"

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #64 on: May 03, 2012, 10:21 PM »
On May 19 I will be attending the reunion of Falkland Vets in St. Petersburgh FL. Including 2 QE2 vets, the other I havent seen in 25 years, and one of the survivors from HMS Coventry, whom I met last year!

Offline tdickson

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #65 on: May 11, 2012, 08:14 PM »
I just thought I would post a gentle reminder that, after speaking today to a past QE2 chef who was on board at the time ,that it is the 30th anniversary of the sailing of QE II tommorrow from Southampton to join her fellow merchant ships in the conflict with the "Argies" Aparrently sailed playing "Don"t cry for me Argentina"   

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #66 on: May 12, 2012, 12:23 AM »
Yes it is. And they did play that. it is a time of remembrance for me.
It was a time of growing up for me. As I posted before on another thread..... to be honest....nobody at first thought of casualties...death, maiming etc...when Sheffield was lost...our thoughts changed..... I am proud to have served...sad at the loss of life.
If you havent been there...difficult to put into words that people will understand.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #67 on: May 12, 2012, 09:51 PM »
This may double post,

30 years ago today, around this time I sailed off to war.
God bless all those that did not return.

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #68 on: May 13, 2012, 09:31 PM »
This may double post,

30 years ago today, around this time I sailed off to war.
God bless all those that did not return.

Rod,
I would guess that many in the UK were thinking of you all for many of the months that you and the other forces were in the Antarctic region
There were no computers, (for emails) then, or mobile telephones etc - It's difficult to know how both seafarers and others on board must have coped both with the need to maintain secrecy, as well as managing to keep in contact with friends and family etc.
Did you have access to telex, telegrams or radio - were you able/permitted to send messages home?
And about bunkering at Ascension Island -  were you all allowed any time on dry land, or perhaps there wasn't anywhere there for 'last minute' shopping (for beer, and other essentials etc)
Were you allowed to use the NAAFI Store, if there was one?
Please forgive all my questions - It's such a relief that you haven't quit 'again!'
Rosie
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #69 on: May 13, 2012, 11:15 PM »
Rosie, Rosie, Rosie......
Communications:  As you say this was before e-mails and such. Cunards comms methods were antiguated to say the least, but the same as any other shipping company. The MoD installed their own comms room in the "Barn" behind the bridge that was off limits to most. They installed a Scott dome near there, I believe by Motorola, that basically was satellite communication.
Remember, there were 2 different entities on the ship...Cunard and MoD. They worked well together, we had a ships Officer, Phill Rentell that was liason. All communications were handled through the MoD. Basically the MoD supplied us with what we needed....if the Comm was not required to be sent by satellite then it went through the ships radio room. If we had a need for a part we requested it from the the RN and it was delivered...pronto!
Mail was a priority with the MoD and whenever it was possible we would get mail and the newspapers whenever a passing ship was near.
As for Freetown where we bunkered...NOBODY ashore even after some of the tempting cries from some of Freetowns young ladies!. Thats where we bunkered, not Ascension.
Ascension basically was making up stores, getting mail, and transferring troops and supplies that we had and shouldnt or getting bits we needed.
We also endured a flyby, under the bridge wing of a Harrie, while arriving...they wanted to check us out!
We did not have a NAAFI, Ocean Trading who ran the shops did that with chocolate bars etc.
Beer...the Wardy and All the crew bars ran as normal...NO Enlisted service personal allowed...yeah right...wont go into that further!
All attached Officers were made members of the Wardroom.

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #70 on: May 20, 2012, 06:36 PM »
Thank you for taking the time and for the very clear answer, Rod.
Hope that your Reunion was good.

You and others who sailed South on board QE2 might be interested to read about the following as today, the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands war was commemorated at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The BBC has reported it both on Radio and TV news, making a special mention of the 'great contribution' made by the Merchant Navy.
And for Skilly, there's a Vulcan in full flight too.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18135404
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18137147

By the way - can anyone say why the Merchant Navy hasn't been given the pre-fix 'Royal' - What a good opportunity this would have been for The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 06:39 PM by Twynkle »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #71 on: May 20, 2012, 11:16 PM »
The reunion was GREAT! Thank you. Many more faces from last year. One of the people from 2 Para turned 18 on the trip down.
If any of you ever go to St. Petersburg Florida, check out the "Moon Over Water" Brit Pub run by a Welshman. Food is wonderful! I had fish and chips....the piece of cod DWARFED the plate.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #72 on: May 22, 2012, 11:17 PM »
Going to try and add some pics...this could get scary!

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #73 on: May 22, 2012, 11:24 PM »
It worked!!!! I have graduated me to computer almost expert!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #74 on: May 23, 2012, 07:55 PM »
Congratulations, Rod!

Looks like great fun was had by all.

Are these all British expats settled in Florida? Presumably this was not a QE2-related meeting, so that not all who were there had actually travelled to or from the Falklands by QE2.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #75 on: May 23, 2012, 10:28 PM »
Congratulations, Rod!

Looks like great fun was had by all.

Are these all British expats settled in Florida? Presumably this was not a QE2-related meeting, so that not all who were there had actually travelled to or from the Falklands by QE2.
Isabelle....No it was not QE2 related. In one of the pics you will see a gentleman wearing my hat...he is a former QE2 electrician that, like me, married an American and settled here. He lives in new Jersey. Havent seen him since my wedding 25 years ago! One of the former Royal Marines, lives in San Fran, one of the Paras lives in Canada, One gentleman and his wife saw it on the internet and asked if they could come as they were going to be here on their hols. The Maj Gen. Chip Chapman who was a Lieutenant/platoon commander with 2 para in the Falklands is the Senior British Officer at Centcom at McDill AFB in Tampa. He is also heavily involved in the security for the London Olympics. Note the CB around his neck that he got in the new years Honours List. One of the guys there is a survivor from Coventyr that we brought back. Another gentleman in one of the pics is a survivor from Dunkirk in WW2. he was 16 at Dunkirk! Lied about his age! Another guy there from the Paras turned 18 on the Norland on his way down.

Dan Smith

  • Guest
Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #76 on: Feb 24, 2013, 03:17 PM »
i found a nice article from the DailyMail showing some nice photos from onboard and a nice backstory of the photographer :)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2128733/Queen-went-war-Amazing-pictures-QE2-sailed-Falklands.html

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #77 on: Mar 27, 2013, 07:32 PM »
Here are some powerful images of QE2 arriving back from the Falklands in 1982

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nevardmedia/sets/72157633100311907/

Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Offline Rod

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #78 on: Mar 27, 2013, 10:20 PM »
I honestly cannot describe how proud I was of my country at that time.
Right or wrong. The UK was given a challenge and we met it!
Both the military and civilian forces. Did the UK a great service.
I was, and still am extremely proud to have been a part of it.
Sacrifice yes, danger yes, but no more than our troops are doing now and have done for a very long time.
God Bless them!

Offline CAP

Re: QE2 and the Falklands War
« Reply #79 on: Apr 03, 2013, 09:07 AM »
No wishing to distract from Rod's fine epitaph but I was wondering does anyone know the date the ship was actually relinquished from Government service?  Lynda's timeline above indicates when Cunard was informed of the requisition but not the actual, formal return to them.
« Last Edit: Apr 10, 2013, 09:48 AM by Lynda Bradford »