Photo: On 21st June 1974, HMS COVENTRY was launched by Lady Lewin at Birkenhead. Lady Lewin was provided with a photo album of the day and this album includes photos from that album and the commissioning ceremony at Portsmouth Dockyard (South Railway Jetty) on 10th November 1978. Lady Lewin’s son Tim Lewin has kindly provided these photos to Jack Russell for display on the HMS COVENTRY ASSOCAITION website.
HMS COVENTRY (D118) was a Type 42 (Sheffield-class) destroyer of the Royal Navy.
HMS COVENTRY (D118) was laid down by Cammell Laird and Company, Limited, at Birkenhead on 29 January 1973. HMS COVENTRY (D118) was launched on 21 June 1974 and accepted into service on 20 October 1978 at a cost of £37,900,000.
HMS COVENTRY (D118) was sunk by Argentine Air Force A-4 Skyhawks on 25 May 1982 during the Falklands War.
HMS COVENTRY (D118) was commissioned on November 10, 1978 at Portsmouth Dockyard. Following initial trials HMS COVENTRY (D118) was given the task of trialling the Lynx helicopter to determine safe operating limits for the Lynx/Type 42 combination.
Initially allocated to the 8th Frigate Squadron and under the command of Captain C. Burne, HMS COVENTRY (D118) was transferred to the newly formed 3rd Destroyer Squadron in 1980. Her first major deployment was to the Far East, exercising with the navies of France, Pakistan, Oman and the USA. Visits were made to East Africa, Oman, Karachi, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In September 1980 HMS COVENTRY (D118) arrived at Shanghai along with HMS ANTRIM and HMS ALACRITY this was the first visit by British warships to China in 30 years.
During the voyage home the Iran-Iraq war broke out, and HMS COVENTRY (D118) remained on patrol in the Gulf for six weeks, finally returning home in December 1980.
In 1981 HMS COVENTRY (D118) took part in a large NATO exercise codename ‘Ocean Safari’ and continued to take part in various smaller exercises until March 1982 when she was at Gibraltar for the annual Operation Springtrain exercise.
With the news of Argentina’s invasion of the Falklands, HMS COVENTRY (D118) became part of the Advanced Group of the Task Force and set sail for the Falklands and the operation to re-take them – Operation Corporate.
Source: HMS COVENTRY ASSOCIATION
Information complied by Thomas Joseph Simpson
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