A battle trophy from the Falklands Islands conflict in 1982 – the name board of the Argentine patrol boat 'Islas Malvinas' - will be sold at Bonhams next sale of Antique Arms and Militaria in Oxford on 24th April.
This fascinating lot from the South Atlantic conflict 30 years ago is estimated to attract bids in the region of £2,000 to £3,000.
The heavy gauge brass letters are mounted on an oak board – 110cm x 16cm. The name board is accompanied by a handwritten and signed statement of the recipient Colonel I.S. Baxter R.M. who later became a Major General. He was the most senior Commando forces officer present when the vessel's name was removed. A good black and white photograph shows the vessel now devoid of its name boards and flying the white ensign.
The Islas Malvinas was an Argentinian Z-28 Naval Patrol Craft used for inshore patrol and therefore painted in camouflage colours rather than naval grey. She was captured by HMS Cardiff on the 14th June 1982, and taken into service and re-named HMS Tiger Bay. After the Falklands Conflict she was stationed in Portsmouth Harbour until she was sold to a private owner in June 1986.
The handwritten note from Major General Baxter states: "As the acting Chief of Staff HQ Command Forces RM I was present at the surrender on 14 June of the Argentinian Forces occupying the Falklands Islands. Soon after the surrender document was signed I was asked by a man claiming to be the harbour master if he could put on his uniform and inform the crew of the Argentine fast patrol boat (the Islas Malvinas) of the surrender. He told me that the islanders found the name of the vessel particularly offensive being the name used by the Argentians for the Falklands. I agreed his request and sent two marines with him to inform the crew. The following day the harbour master presented me with one of the two name boards he had removed from the patrol boat."
He adds: "The Islas Malvinas had been used to ferry ammo and stores to the outlying Argentine bases. Toward the end of the conflict with the British blockade biting, it made several runs to mainland Argentina under cover of darkness. Some days after the surrender a prize crew from HMS Cardiff boarded the patrol boat and renamed her Tiger Bay."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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