10th November 1978
The HMS Coventry was the fourth type 42 to enter service. Following initial trials, She was, in her first few missions mainly used for testing the Lynx/Type 42 combination. This was to see if that combination would work within the operating limits.
At first, Coventry was assigned to the 8th Frigate Squadron, with Captain C.Burne being the main officer on the ship, the Coventry was then assigned to the newly formed 3rd Destroyer Squadron in 1980. The Coventry's first major mission was to the Far East, working with France, Pakistan, Oman and the USA Navies, Coventry visited countries such as Africa, Singapore and Karachi.
Whilst returning from China, the Iraq-Iran war had started, and because of this the Coventry remained in the Gulf on patrol for 6 weeks and returning home in December 1980.
With the impending war, the Coventry was sent out with a special task force that was sent to take back the Falklands. Ships in this force included:
Nuclear Fleet Submarines
HMS Coventry was sadly sunk during a battle with Argentina's air force, with the planes flying low; Coventry was unable to detect them on their radar. 3 bombs were dropped by Mariano A. Velasco
who was flying the plane at the time; they all hit causing massive damage in the Coventry's port side and killing 19 crewmembers. With this damage, the Coventry was unable to keep afloat and soon capsized.
Fortunate for the crew of the Coventry HMS Broadsword was near also dealing with the air strike, sent rescue helicopters to pick up the stranded crew of the Coventry. Only 17 men from the original crew were saved.