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'Miracle men' commemorate 30th anniversary of bombing

By Herald Express  |  Posted: October 06, 2012

  • CLOCKWISE: From top left, HMS Antrim, The hole blasted in the hull of HMS Antrim and Tim Badcock and Andy Coad from Paignton who are organising the 30th anniversary reunion of crew from HMS Antrim Paul Levie

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THE 'miracle men' of the Falklands War are celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special reunion at Torquay's Imperial Hotel.

By rights, the entire crew of the destroyer HMS Antrim should have perished when a 1000lb bomb smashed through the hull into the missile magazine.

But by a miracle it didn't explode and at least 65 of the crew will attend the reunion to honour those who fought in the conflict.

Two of them, Leading Seaman Radar Tim Badcock and Weapons Engineer Mechanic Andy Coad live in Paignton, and the reunion reveals an amazing family tie.

"Two days after I arrived back from the Falklands, the Herald Express did a feature on me and carried a big picture of me cuddling my sister Lisa.

"Well now my little sister is assistant manager of the Imperial, so where else could we hold this very special reunion?"

The event will take place on Saturday October 13, although the crew members and their wives and families will be spending the weekend enjoying the pleasures of Torbay.

Andy Coad is now chairman of the HMS Antrim Association and is very proud to be bringing all his old comrades down to South Devon.

He said: "I can't think of a lovelier place to hold the reunion and Tim's sister, now Lisa Castle, has promised us hospitality to remember.

"We will be kicking off the dinner with the distribution of a rum ration – a tradition that dates back to before Nelson's time.

"The ladies can have a Bucks Fizz if they prefer," he joked.

HMS Antrim, a county class destroyer, took part in the operation to secure South Georgia under Captain Brian Young, now deceased.

And it was the lead ship on the assault on San Carlos on D-Day, May 21, 1982.

Having survived the Argentinian bomb, HMS Antrim is still going strong, albeit with Argentina's neighbours, the Chilean Navy.

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