YARMOUTH is expected to return from the South Atlantic to her base
port of Rosyth on 28 July after an absence of five months.
ship, commanded by Commander Tony MORTON and with many local men
onboard was diverted to the Falkland Islands from Gibraltar at the
start of a deployment which should have taken her to the Persian
Gulf and the Far East. She was actually on route for Naples on 5
April when she was ordered back to Gibraltar to take on war stores
and ammunition and on 8 April, she sailed to join the main Tank
Force off Portugal.
ship arrived off the Falklands in late April after a passage which
included exercises and a two-day call at Ascension Island. Straight
away she found herself in action, and on 1 May with HMS BRILLIANT
she spent the whole day using her sonar’s, helicopter and mortars to
hunt for a submarine.
the next two days, YARMOUTH formed part of the protective escort for
the Carriers as the group patrolled to the East of the islands
enforcing the blockade. When on 4 May SHEFFIELD was hit by an
Exocet missile. ARROW and YARMOUTH having narrowly been missed by a
second missile, went to her aid. While ARROW was fighting the
fire, YARMOUTH fought off a possible submarine attack. She was then
joined ARROW alongside SHEFFIELD and fought the fire until the
destroyer was abandoned and the survivors were taken off.
the next four days of foggy weather YARMOUTH remained with the
carrier group, before being; despatched to take the still floating,
SHEFFIELD in tow. She went along side the stricken ship in the
early hours of 9 May and passed a tow. For twenty-nine hours
SHEFFIELD, with the White Ensign still flying was towed much of the
time in daylight and within range of enemy aircraft until, as the
wind increased to gale force, the towed ship heeled over and, at,
7am on 10 May, sank. YARMOUTH headed back towards the Task Force.
A week of storms followed and YARMOUTH the oldest escort
ship in the Tank Force rode out the weather with no damage despite
her twenty-two years. On 19 May, the amphibious landing group
arrived, joined the Task Force and headed West to the Falkland
Sound. The amphibious landing took place in the early hours of the
21 May in San Carlos Water. YARMOUTH’S task was to provide
anti-submarine and anti-air Protection. Throughout the bright,
sunny day she patrolled in Falkland Sound as enemy Mirage and A4
aircraft attacked both the landing area in San Carlos Water and the
ships protecting the landing force. During one such attack in the
afternoon, ARDENT was hit and set on fire. Shortly afterwards a wave
of Skyhawks again attacked ARDENTwhich immediately began to
list and to burn more fiercely. YARMOUTH went to her aid and took
off the ship's company as the fire spread towards the magazines.
She then headed for San Carlos Water where she transferred ARDENT’s
crew to SS CANBERRA before resuming her patrol in the Sound.
next ten days saw YARMOUTH in San Carlos Water by day and leaving at
dusk each night to carry out a variety of tasks including shore
bombardment, anti-submarine patrols, covert operations and escorting
merchant ships to and from the landing area. Each morning at dawn
she returned to San Carlos Water to provide anti-aircraft
protection for the landing ships. This was a particularly testing,
time for the two hundred and fifty men onboard as they spent the
daylight hours at Action Stations, subject to frequent air attacks,
and with little time for sleep at night. Many ships present at that
time suffered damage from air attacks and only the concentrated fire
of YARMOUTH’s 4.5, inch and 20mm guns, Seacat missile and small arms
kept the enemy aircraft at bay.
this testing period, YARMOUTH sailed East to the repair area and
spent two days with a repair ship where she carried out essential
maintenance before rejoining the Task Force. Most nights during the
following week 6 - 13 June the ship was involved in bombarding
enemy positions to the West of Port Stanley with her 4.5 inch guns.
During the conflict she fired well over a thousand rounds, some
thirty-two tons of shells. The ship’s machinery performed
marvellously as YARMOUTH dashed nearly two hundred miles each way to
and from the Islands at high speed to carry out the bombardment by
night and arrive back with the battle group to replenish fuel and
ammunition before heading inshore once more.
one such mission the ship encountered a small coaster packed with
Gurkhas and essential supplies, immobilised by a rope around her
propeller and prey for enemy aircraft. YARMOUTH’s diving team freed
her screws, and the vessel was able to proceed to Goose Green. On
another night the frigate stood by and provided firefighting and
medical aid to HMS GLAMORGAN when the destroyer was hit by an Exocet
missile fired from shore near Port Stanley
After Port Stanley had bean re-taken, YARMOUTH was
despatched to South Georgia, an island of glaciers and icebergs, and
from there to Southern Thule to join ENDURANCE and enforce the
surrender of the Argentine contingent there. She later took the
prisoners of war from South Georgia to Port Stanley.
July, after several more days patrolling With the Battle Group, she
began her eight thousand mile voyage home in company with EXETER and
CARDIFF. Apart from INVINCIBLE she was the last of the' original
Task Force to leave the area.
the four months April to July, YARMOUTH steamed almost forty
thousand miles, through fog, storms, icy seas and snow and reached
almost sixty degrees south latitude. She has been supplied with
food, fuel and ammunition by ships of the Royal Fleet
Auxiliary and merchant fleet and has carried out some sixty
replenishments at sea as well as hundreds of helicopter transfers.
In addition to personal mail, letters of support from all over the
country have helped to keep mora1e high. A number of the ship's
company looked forward to meeting new additions to their families
when they returned home.
Many people, including those of Great Yarmouth, which
has adopted the ship, the workers of Rosyth Dockyard, the people of
Fife and families and friends of the ship’s company had every reason
to feel proud of HMS YARMOUTH when she returned on the 28 July.