Thread: Royal Marines
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:35 PM   #162
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Arrow Galahad

RFA Sir Galahad (L3005) was a Round Table class landing ship logistics (LSL) vessel belonging to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary of the United Kingdom. She was first managed for the British Army by the British-India Steam Navigation Company, before being transferred in 1970 to the RFA..The Sir Galahad was a 3,322-tonne LSL built by Stephens and launched in 1966.. She could carry 340 troops or, when necessary, 534 for short periods.. Cargo capacity could include 16 light tanks, 34 mixed vehicles, 122 tonnes of fuel and 31 tonnes of ammunition. Landing craft could be carried in place of lifeboats, but unloading was mainly handled by 3 onboard cranes..In November and December 1970 Sir Galahad was involved in Operation Burlap giving humanitarian assistance to East Pakistan after a cyclone caused extensive damage and flooding..

Sir Galahad was active during the Falklands War, sailing from HMNB Devonport on 6 April with 350 Royal Marines and entering San Carlos Water on 21 May.. On 24 May 1982 in San Carlos Water she was attacked by A-4 Skyhawks of the Argentine Air Force's IV Brigada Aérea and was hit by a 1000 pound bomb dropped by Lt. Luis Alberto "Tucu" Cervera's A-4, (which did not detonate) then strafed by Dagger fighter bombers. After removal of the unexploded bomb, she carried out supply runs to Teal Inlet along with RFA Sir Percivale..On the 8 June 1982 while preparing to unload soldiers from the Welsh Guards in Port Pleasant, off Fitzroy, together with RFA Sir Tristram, the Sir Galahad was attacked by three A-4 Skyhawks from Argentine Air Force's V Brigada Aérea, each loaded with three 500 lb retarding tail bombs..At approximately 14:00 local time RFA Sir Galahad was hit by 2 or 3 bombs and set alight.. A total of 48 soldiers and crewman were killed in the explosions and subsequent fire..During the attack on 8 June, the fires were out of control.. The main part of the evacuation of the injured and wounded was carried out by the ships Royal Marine Detachment...The same Royal Marines had also returned to the RFA Sir Galahad to assist the Royal Navy EOD team in defusing the 1000 lb bomb which crashed through the side of the ship without exploding on 24 May 1982.. All had returned on board as volunteers and assisted in physically carrying the unexploded bomb through to the rear Tank Deck ramp, where it was placed in an inflatable boat (filled with packets of cornflakes to act as padding!) and taken out into San Carlos water where the boat was punctured and sank...

On 21 June, the hulk was towed out to sea and sunk by HMS Onyx; it is now an official war grave, designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act..Guardsman Simon Weston was among the survivors of the attack on Sir Galahad..He suffered 46% burns and his story has been widely reported in television and newspaper coverage..10 years after Sir Galahad was sunk, Weston was awarded the OBE. Other survivors include the intelligence consultant Crispin Black..He was previously an Associate Fellow at Chatham House..It takes its name from its premises, a Grade I listed 18th-century house in St. James's Square designed in part by Henry Flitcroft and occupied by 3 British prime ministers, including William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham..

Simon Weston was born in Caerphilly District Miners Hospital in Caerphilly, Wales..He joined the Welsh Guards in 1978 at the age of 16 at the insistence of his mother, after he "got into bother".. He served in Berlin, Northern Ireland, Kenya and later being deployed to the Falkland Islands..Weston endured years of reconstructive surgery, including over 70 major operations or surgical procedures.. Skin from his shoulders was used to make eyelids his trademark nose was grafted on in a later operation.. He suffered psychological trauma, drinking heavily and becoming suicidal, and admits his behaviour during this time was "terrible"..He credits his mother with helping him to overcome this.. In particular, her act of reuniting him with his old regiment, who refused to mollycoddle him (especially Glen White, who ran the Welsh Guards rugby side), forced him to "face up to the unavoidable and to be positive about everything including especially my future"...Weston was the inspiration for the title of the album Yes Sir, I Will by the anarcho-punk band Crass.. Upon his return from the Falklands, he met Charles, Prince of Wales,and the news media reported the following conversation between the two: "Get well soon," the Prince said. And the soldier replied "Yes sir, I will"..Weston has campaigned in support of troops and veterans and against politicians' alleged failure to support them adequately.. He has spoken out against defence budget cuts and British troops allegedly being supplied with inadequate equipment, and about the lack of support, health care and adequate compensation for veterans..

In February 2012 Weston was caught up in an angry exchange with actor Sean Penn, who said it was improper for Prince William to be deployed to the Falklands. Weston was reported as saying, "Sean Penn does not know what he is talking about and, frankly, he should shut up.. His (Penn's) views are irrelevant and it only serves to fuel the fire of the Argentinians and get them more pumped up"..In 2012, Weston decided to stand for the post of elected Police and Crime Commissioner for the South Wales Police. As part of the nomination process,he had to disclose the police caution he had received as a child and whether this caution disbarred him from standing became a matter of public debate.. Weston is married to Lucy, with whom he has 3 children: James, Stuart and Caitlin. They met in Liverpool when she was working for his charity, Weston Spirit.. They were engaged on 8 June 1989, exactly se7en years after the attack on the Sir Galahad, and married on 12 May 1990 and now live in Cardiff, Wales (United Kingdom)..Weston has met and become friends with First Lieutenant Carlos Cachon, the Argentine pilot who dropped the bomb which caused his injuries.. He was criticised for this move by families of those who fought in the Falklands War, which he simply dismissed, saying "I don't have a problem with other people criticising me for things I do, as long as people understand why I did them. Then I don't have a problem to walk away and say 'you're entitled to your opinions'".. have we here, laddie? Mysterious scribblings?. A secret code?. No!. Poems, no less! Poems, everybody!..The laddie reckons himself a poet!.Money get back - I'm all right, Jack + Keep your hands off my stack - New car + Caviar - 4 star daydream + Think I'll buy me a football team".. Absolute rubbish, laddie...

Last edited by lightgiver; 12-11-2014 at 01:39 PM.
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