Monday, August 29, 2011

HMS Sheffield

HMS Sheffield was the second Royal Navy ship to bear the name Sheffield, after the city of Sheffield in Yorkshire. She was a Type 42 Guided Missile Destroyer laid down by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering at Barrow-in-Furness on 15 January 1970, launched on 10 June 1971 and commissioned on 16 February 1975.
An explosion during construction killed two dockyard workers and damaged a section of hull which was replaced, ironically, with a section from an identical ship, ARA Hercules, being built for the Argentine Navy.

The ship was part of the Task Force sent to the Falkland Islands during the Falklands War. She was struck by an Exocet air-launched anti-ship missile from a Super Etendard aircraft belonging to the Argentine Navy on 4 May 1982.

The ship sank at 53°04'S, 56°56' W on 10 May 1982. This made her the first Royal Navy vessel sunk in action since WWII. Twenty of her crew (mainly on duty in the galley area) died during the attack. The wreck is a war grave and designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

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