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Author Topic: QE2 and the Falklands War  (Read 59802 times)

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Offline Rod

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

Online 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!

Offline 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

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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 »