2 May 2012
Last updated at 16:15
To mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Hampshire has spoken to the crew of the six submarines that took part in the conflict. Rupert Best commanded HMS Courageous, which sailed to the south Atlantic after a 10-month deployment in the Pacific. He said: "The world saw how, within three days, Great Britain, in a remarkable demonstration of national determination and skill, could send a task force 8,000 miles."
Brandon Hannon was a radio operator on board HMS Onyx and since leaving the Royal Navy has worked in the oil and gas industry. Mr Hannon said: “As a ‘sneaky’ boat we carried special forces on board and I remember the boat surfacing in the dead of night, freezing cold and pitch black all around... waiting in silence. Then the flicker of light... within seconds the password had been authenticated and minutes later the crews of the SBS and SAS had clambered back on board.”
The Secretary of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum is Colin Way. During the Falklands conflict he was the petty officer writer on board HMS Conqueror when it sank the General Belgrano. He said: “The sounds heard in the water were incredible, it sounded like a chandelier smashing. There were thoughts of both celebration as the operation had gone well and great sadness thinking about the possible loss of life.”
Roger Lane-Nott was the commanding officer of HMS Splendid and is now the CEO of the Agricultural Engineering Association. On 26 April 1982 he began trailing three Argentinean A69 frigates and two Type 42 destroyers but was instructed to leave them and chase further intelligence. “For me that was sacrilege. It was a cardinal principle of submarine warfare that you attack what you see,” he said.
Mark Lister was an Able Seaman on HMS Spartan. He is now the commanding officer of HMS Vigilant. During his time on board Spartan he became sick of constantly being served with some variation of rice pudding. After the ship took delivery of fresh strawberries the chef announced the dessert for that evening would be rice pudding and strawberries. “He had to run from the mess,” said Cdr Lister.
Frank Muscroft was the engineer officer on board HMS Onyx. He retired from the Royal Navy in 1992 and joined Portsmouth City Council as quality assurance manager until his retirement in 2002. He remembers the moment after the war when the wreckage of the RFA Sir Galahad, with the bodies of the Welsh Guards, was sunk by HMS Onyx: “Sir Galahad disappeared beneath the waves stern... after being struck by our torpedo. And so they were laid to rest.”
Lynne McClement is the wife of Vice Admiral Sir Tim McClement, who was the 2nd in Command on board HMS Conqueror in 1982. When he was recalled she thought he had gone to the north Atlantic but on 3 May heard the BBC announce that Conqueror had sunk the Belgrano. “My instinct told me they would come home... they returned safely after 90 days at sea on 3 July, my birthday, a lovely present.”