On This Day…

5th April – Signallers support Navy Comms

On 5 April 1982 the first ships of the Op Corporate Task Force (Code name used by the British for the Falklands War) sailed from Portsmouth. Troops embarked on the Landing Ship Logistics (LSLs) in Plymouth were then unexpectedly granted an extra night’’s shore leave. Many spent a night in the clubs of Union Street, something they were to regret when the following day they experienced heavy seas and the rolling swells of the Bay of Biscay.

On 9th April Canberra departed from Portsmouth carrying 3 Para and most of 40 and 42 Commandos. During the Falklands campaign, the Royal Navy struggled to find enough communications staff for the ships. Lt Col Jim Crow in the Royal Signals Directorate ‘invited’ signallers from the TA (Army Reserves) to volunteer for ‘extra training days’ and man the RN static COMMCENs, thus releasing sailors for sea duty. Helped by Capt Mike Vann, who had commanded 621 Signal Troop (LPD), he found enough Corps radio operators with naval experience to man the Norland Ro-Ro ferry, which was taken up from trade and sent south on 27th April with 2 Para embarked