A South Atlantic Medal to HMS Antelope
A South Atlantic Medal to HMS Antelope - (STD J G SIM DO97804B HMS ANTELOPE). Naming is officially impressed. Crisp detail, original ribbon with Falklands rosette and pinback, near mint. In box of issue, label loose, box very fine. Accompanied by two AP wire photos and three photos from the Imperial War Museum illustrating the attack and sinking of HMS Antelope, plus an "H.M.S. Antelope" Tally Ribbon.Footnote: HMS Antelope took part in the Falklands War arriving in the area of operations on May 21, 1982. On May 23, 1982, while on air defence duty at the entrance to San Carlos Water, protecting the beachhead established two days before, she came under attack by four Argentine A-4B Skyhawks of Grupo 5. The first pair attacked from astern with the flight leader breaking off his attack after one of HMS Antelope's Sea Cat SAMs exploded under the port wing of his aircraft. The pilot, Capitan Pablo Carballo, managed to nurse his aircraft back to Rio Gallegos. The second aircraft on this flight prosecuted his bomb run and put a 1,000 pound bomb in the Antelope's starboard side, killing one crewman, Steward Mark R. Stephens. The bomb did not explode and the Argentine aircraft was damaged by small arms fire. The second pair of Skyhawks attacked minutes later from the starboard quarter. During this attack, one of the Argentine jets, piloted by First Lieutenant Luciano Guadagnini, was hit by the ship's 20mm cannon before crashing through Antelope's main mast. Guadagnini was killed, and his bomb pierced the frigate's hull, also without exploding. Antelope also fired a Sea Cat at what was believed to be a fifth attacker, but this was Capitan Carballo, who was still trying to establish if his aircraft was fit to fly. This missile flew less than 10 metres from Carballo's cockpit. After initial damage control efforts, Antelope proceeded to more sheltered waters so that two EOD technicians from the Corps of Royal Engineers could come aboard and attempt to defuse the two unexploded bombs. One of the bombs was inaccessible because of wreckage; the other had been damaged and was thought to be in a particularly dangerous condition. Three attempts by the EOD team to withdraw the fuse of this bomb by remote means failed. A fourth attempt, using a small explosive charge, led to the detonation of the weapon, killing Staff Sergeant James Prescott instantly and severely injuring Warrant Officer Phillips, the other member of the EOD team. The ship was torn open from water line to funnel, with the blast starting major fires in both engine rooms which spread very quickly. The starboard fire main was fractured, the ship lost all electrical power, and the commanding officer, Commander Nick Tobin, gave the order to abandon ship. Tobin was the last person to leave the ship, and about five minutes after his departure, the missile magazines began exploding. Royal Marine Coxswain Corporal Alan White received a commendation from the Task Force Commander, Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse, for his part in rescuing 41 crew from the Antelope using a Mark 2 LCVP, one of four carried by assault ship HMS Fearless. The landing craft, Foxtrot 7, is now located in the Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth, with detailed accounts from Corporal Alan White of the missions he took part in, including the landings at San Carlos. Explosions continued throughout the night. The following day, Antelope was still afloat, but her keel had broken and her superstructure melted into a heap of twisted metal. Antelope broke in half and sank that day. Television footage and still pictures of Antelope's demise became one of the iconic images of the Falklands War and appear repeatedly in histories of the event.