Warfare in News

Posted on Monday 16th May

Foxtrot Eight, a landing craft that helped Royal Marines liberate the Falklands almost 35 years ago, is to become useful yet again by running tourists around Portsmouth’s Harbour.

She was one of four smaller landing craft used by assault ship HMS Fearless, which was broken up ten years ago, and used to ferry commandos and their equipment ashore at San Carlos in May 1982.

After being donated to the Historic Dockyard, Foxtrot Eight has been floating in the Mast Pond between Action Stations and Boathouse No.4.

Boathouse No.4. was given a new lease of life at the end of 2015, thanks to a £6m investment. It’s now a small boat building that is shared by the International Boatbuilding Training College Portsmouth and Solent Marine Academy. Together, with volunteers from the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust, they aim to restore Foxtrot Eight to working order.

Volunteer Lt Paul ‘Shady’ Lane from survey ship HMS Scott said: “The years of retirement sitting in the Mast Pond have not been kind to F8.

“The hull is riddled with marine growth and many of the fittings – including the engines – are in desperate need of attention.”

Caroline Barrie-Smith, Community Participation and Learning Officer at Boathouse 4 is urging people, especially veterans, to get in touch to share personal stories, photographs, or experiences.

“We would love to hear from veterans, particularly from the 40 Commando and the Parachute regiment (3 Para) or the 41 rescued from HMS Antelope about the role of these Falklands campaign landing craft (both from HMS Intrepid and HMS Fearless).”

It’s estimated that the project will need around £200,000 in order to complete the restoration and get Foxtrot Eight back on the water.

The Trust is looking for people who want to offer their help, as well as anyone who can advise on the restoration. Click to contact.

Further Reading

HMS Fearless

Only £25.00

HMS Fearless

(Hardback - 352 pages)
by Ewen Southby-Tailyour

HMS Fearless was commissioned in 1965 as the first of two assault ships. She combined in one hull a tank landing ship, a troop transport and an amphibious command ship. Over nearly four decades she proved expert in all of these roles plus acting as a floating 10 Downing Street (for Prime Minister Harold Wilson's talks with Ian Smith of Southern Rhodesia), embassy, exhibition hall and co-ordinating centre of civil aid projects, for which she… Read more...

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