HMS Conqueror

My Cornish sailing stories are not at an end (yet):

S48 – HMS Conqueror returning to Faslaine

On the 03 July 1982 I was sailing up the Tamar to Torpoint, at about 7:00 in the morning,, to get milk and the daily paper. It was beautifully quite. All of a sudden the chain driven Torpoint Ferry stopped in mid tracks, something it never did for any size of vessel.

I looked behind me and saw this nuclear submarine screaming up river in my direction. There were six sailors stood to attention on the foredeck, facing the dockyard. At that point there was a command from the guys in the conning tower. The sailors did a smart about turn and saluted me! I stuck the mainsheet between my teeth, changed hands on the helm and saluted back (Quickly before I capsized due to the massive bow wave from the sub and the speed I was already going at).

When I got to Torpoint the talk was all about the submarine. Normally they don’t go to Plymouth, and the Navy never announce the movements of submarines.

That night, on the local BBC TV News they said that HMS Conqueror, the submarine that sank the General Belgrano down in the South Atlantic, had spent a one day visit to the City on it’s return to Faslane.

I was the welcoming committee apparently, and the first English person they had seen in quite a long time.

John Keegan

One thought on “HMS Conqueror”

  1. Friday 17 Jan 2020
    Dad, I’ve been talking to a guy today who was on the Submarine Conqueror coming into Plymouth Sound flying the Skull and Cross Bones having sunk the General Belgrano on the day you were the only boat to welcome it in to the Sound,

    if anyone ever disbelieved the story I’ve had it first hand today from a submariner who was on the fore deck xx

    Lots of love, your daughter Paula Forber.

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