On 27 March 2007 a new series of four stamps on maritime heritage of the Falkland Islands was issued. These stamps were designed by John Batchelor and printed in lithography by BDT International Security Printing. The gutters of each stamp sheet carry the official Falkland 25 logo.
Named after British coastal resorts, H.M.S. Plymouth is a 'Rothesay' class, type 12, anti-submarine Frigate, one of nine built between November 1956 and July 1958. Her keel was laid down in Devonport on 1st July 1958 and she was launched just over a year later on 20th July 1959, the ceremony being carried out by the Right Honorable Nancy, Viscountess Astor, CH. Her fitting out was completed two years later in Plymouth.
Powered by twin steam turbines, providing propulsion to two screws, she was capable of a top speed of 28knots. Her dimensions are 373ft (113m) in length by 43ft (13m) breadth, with a draught of 17ft (5m) and a displacement of 2,800 tons. Armament consisted of two 4.5 inch guns, a 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft gun, two three barreled Limbo anti-submarine mortars and twelve 21 inch torpedo tubes (later removed) She carried a normal compliment of 250 officers and crew.
Her first commissions as part of the 4th Frigate Squadron and the 22nd and 29th Escort Squadrons were to take her to the Far East, participating in various exercises and operations, before returning in 1966 to the Naval Dockyard at Chatham for a substantial re-fit. Re-emerging in the January of 1969 the conversion work had entailed the provision of a flight deck for the Wasp helicopter along with the subsequent removal of one of the Mortars, the installation of a Sea Cat missile system to replace her 40mm guns and a program of general modernization work throughout the vessel.
For the next few years she would spend time in the Indian Ocean, Far East, Australia and a number of European ports, before returning home to Devonport for a re-fit. The next commission took H.M.S. Plymouth to the West Indies for the first time, returning home eighteen months later in the February of 1973.
After a short period in Icelandic waters during the 2nd 'Cod War', and the Mediterranean, she docked in Gibraltar for further maintenance, returning to Britain on 11th December 1974. Leaving the UK in 1975 as a member of the 8th Frigate Squadron she participated in exercises in the Mediterranean, South China Sea and Australia, returning via the USA and Caribbean, before further exercises en-route back to Britain whilst crossing the Atlantic. The remainder of the decade she would be found in more local waters being engaged in coastal patrols, as well as work in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. In July 1978 H.M.S. Plymouth returned to the UK for a major re-fit, being re-commissioned on 23rd January 1981.
1982 was to become the most significant chapter in H.M.S. Plymouth's history. She was to take part in every campaign in the Falklands conflict, fire over 900 4.5-inch shells, destroy 5 enemy aircraft and steam a total of 34,000 miles.
After the recapturing of South Georgia (the surrender document was signed in her wardroom), H.M.S. Plymouth headed north to join the Task Force. One of her many missions was to support the special forces operating around Fox Bay., firing on fuel stores and ammo dumps at specific locations radioed back to her by the SBS and 148 Commando. By the time H.M.S. Plymouth was able to retrieve the team, struggling through the thick kelp, a large amount of blind AAA and machine gun fire was being directed wildly and dangerously out to sea in the hope of finding a target.
More information Postage Stamps
Postage Stamps 2007
Postage stamps of Falkland Islands
Stamps South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Falkland Islands Fisheries
Brunel's ss Great Britain