Glasgow in her prime……happier days!
Farewell to luckiest ship (Acknowledgements to the Portsmouth News for this article.)
They had to wait an extra hour for HMS Glasgow to leave the harbour, but that only gave her old crew more time to chat about their miracle escape.
A huddle of Falklands veterans told jokes as they stood freezing on Portsmouth’s Round Tower to see off the Type 42 destroyer toasted as one of the world’s luckiest ships.
She is bound for the scrapheap in Turkey, following fellow destroyers HMS Cardiff and HMS Newcastle last month.
But she could have been at the bottom of the South Atlantic during the 1982 war.
Ray ‘Dusty’ Miller, 61, was a Chief Petty Officer (Writer) on the ship when she was hit by a bomb that failed to explode.
‘I was only about 20 yards from the spot where the bomb went through; it was utterly terrifying,’ he said.
‘We had a running commentary from the skipper as the jet approached and we knew there were problems with our defences, so it was a case of hoping for the best.’
And where the destroyer HMS Sheffield was tragically sunk, HMS Glasgow was lucky to survive with no casualties.
The bomb* came out just above the waterline and crew members were able to stem the water that flooded the engine compartment up to 20 feet high.
Though without power, the ship was rescued, and played a vital part in the successful campaign.
*see this When we were bombed for audio of the air attack.
Tim Rampling, 48, then a Leading SA, said: ‘She seemed to be a blessed ship and it’s very sad to see her go.
‘She looks very tired, and I wish they would leave her number on to give her a bit of respect as she leaves for the last time.’
Rob (Nobby) Guyatt, 67, a Petty Officer (Stores Accountant) in 1982, said: ‘I’m glad there was a good bunch of us here today; it’s right that we should pay our respects to the old girl.
‘She kept us from dying down in the Falklands, and if anyone tells you they weren’t scared, they’re lying.’
08 January 2009
By Matt Jackson
From Lt Cdr John Saunders, the DQHM (Portsmouth)
“The delay in sailing was caused in part by the lateness of the buyer who had to sign for the ship before we could slip her; he got held up at Heathrow Airport!!”
Lucky the Jossman was’nt about, cos he would surely been in front of the skipper for being adrift!!!!!
See the Gallery for all the pics
The joke of the day, was:
The Navy found they had too many officers and decided to offer an early retirement bonus.
They promised any officer who volunteered for retirement a bonus of £1,000 for every inch measured in a straight line between any two points in his body. The officer got to choose what those two points would be.
The first officer who accepted asked that he be measured from the top of his head to the tip of his toes.
He was measured at six feet and walked out with a bonus of £72,000.
The second officer who accepted was a little smarter and asked to be measured from the tip of his outstretched hands to his toes.
He walked out with £96,000.
The third one was a non-commissioned officer, a grizzly old Chief who, when asked where he would like to be measured replied, ‘From the tip of my willie to my testicles.’
It was suggested by the pension man that he might want to reconsider, explaining about the nice big cheques the previous two Officers had received.
But the old Chief insisted and they decided to go along with him providing the measurement was taken by a Medical Officer.
The Medical Officer arrived and instructed the Chief to ‘drop ’em,’ which He did.. The medical officer placed the tape measure on the tip of the Chief’s willie and began to work back.
Dear Lord!’ he suddenly exclaimed, ‘Where are your testicles?’
The old Chief calmly replied, ‘In The Falklands’.
HMS Glasgow (D88) was a Type 42 Destroyer of the Royal Navy.
Built at Swan Hunter Shipyard in Wallsend, Tyneside
Launched on 14 April 1976 by Lady Kirstie Treacher, wife of Admiral Sir John Treacher.
Displacement of 4,820 tonnes, Glasgow is the 6th and last Batch 1 Type 42 Destroyer in the Fleet. Named after the Scottish city of Glasgow she is the eighth ship to bear the name.
On 23 September 1976, while being fitted out, a fire on board killed eight men and injured a further 6.
Glasgow was among five Type 42 destroyers sent as part of the Task Force sent to retake the Falkland Islands after invasion by Argentina in 1982.
Armed with Sea Dart anti-aircraft missile system, Glasgow along with its sister ships, Sheffield and Coventry were among the first ships to arrive in a 200 nautical mile (370 km) exclusion zone imposed by the British around the islands.
Glasgow saw early action in the war when on 2 May her Lynx helicopter badly damaged the Argentine naval vessel “Alferez Sobral”.
On 3 May, Glasgow detected an Exocet missile fired at the Task Force and warned the fleet. However Sheffield failed to receive the warning and was hit, later sinking.
Down to two Type 42s (Exeter and Cardiff would not arrive until the end of May), Glasgow and Coventry were left to long range defence of the fleet.
However on 12 May, Glasgow alongside HMS Brilliant were on a “42-22” combo whereby Glasgow’s Sea Dart long range missiles would complement Brilliant’s short range Sea Wolf missiles on anti-aircraft attacks. The ships attracted the attention of the Argentine Air Force when a wave of Skyhawk jets attacked. Although Glasgow’s Sea Dart system failed, Brilliant’s Sea Wolf shot down three jets. When a second wave of Skyhawks attacked, Sea Wolf also failed and the jets released three bombs, one of which damaged Glasgow, although it did not explode.
The bomb passed clean through the back end of the ship’s After Engine Room, damaging fuel systems and disabling the two Tyne cruise engines. The exit hole was barely above the waterline on the port side and the ship’s company worked hard fitting temporary repairs as she maneuvered in a tight circle to keep the hole clear of the water. The ship returned home in a reversionary propulsion mode and was out of the conflict for good.
See this link My Falklands war
In later years, Glasgow served on a variety of missions, including service in East Timor In early 2004 the ship was deployed on the Atlantic Patrol South tasking.
It was announced in July 2004, as part of the defence review, that Glasgow would be decommissioned in January 2005.
Glasgow was finally decommissioned on the 1 February 2005.
On Wednesday January 7th 2009, at 1330hrs,Glasgow slipped her berth in Portsmouth for the last time, to be towed to Turkey for breaking up.
Name: HMS Glasgow Facts and Figures:-
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Swan Hunter
Laid down: 16 May 1974
Launched: 14 April 1976
Commissioned: 25 May 1977
Decommissioned: 1 February 2005
Fate: Towed away for scrap to Turkey, on 7th January 2009
Class and type: Type 42 Destroyer
Displacement: 4,820 tonnes
Length: 125 m (410 ft) Beam: 14.3 m (47 ft) Draught: 5.8 m (19 ft)
Propulsion: COGOG(Combined Gas or Gas) turbines, 2 shafts
4 Rolls Royce (2 Olympus TMB3 and 2 Tyne producing 36 MW
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Armament: 2 × Sea-Dart Surface to Air Missile launcher
1 × 4.5 Mk8 Gun Aircraft carried: Lynx HMA8