Stamps commemorating the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands and the tugs of the task force.

40th Anniversary of Falklands Liberation

Issue date: 16th May 2022

40th Anniversary of Falklands Liberation, 45p 40th Anniversary of Falklands Liberation, £1.80 40th Anniversary of Falklands Liberation, 60p
202207 Mint Stamps (3 x £1.50) £4.50
202208 First Day Cover (3 x £1.50) £5.70

40th Anniversary of Falklands Liberation: First day cover, set of stamps

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands.

On 2 April 1982, Argentine forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands. The British Government, with the overwhelming support of the British people, made immediate preparations to reclaim the Islands. Three days later, on 5 April, a UK Task Force was assembling and setting sail for Ascension Island. Over 100 ships were mobilised while efforts for a peaceful resolution looked increasingly doubtful.

Following several weeks of intense fighting, Argentine forces surrendered on 14 June 1982, a date that has since been known in the Falkland Islands as 'Liberation Day'.

25,948 UK Armed Forces personnel, alongside around 3,000 civilian crew from the Merchant Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Chinese civilian crew, formed the Task Force. A total of 255 British Servicemen, 3 civilians and 649 Argentinians died during the 74 days of the occupation and conflict.

Description of the Stamps

This special issue from Tristan depicts 3 of the Tugs that were among the "Ships Taken Up from Trade" to assist the Task Force. They each visited Tristan immediately before heading south to the Falklands and South Georgia. The 3 Tugs were all part of the TRALA group. North east of the Total Exclusion Zone (TEZ) that the British government had declared around the Falkland Islands, the Royal Navy designated a Tug, Repair and Logistics Area (TRALA) where ships could receive and transfer supplies, and conduct repairs of battle damage under the protection of the carrier battle group.

£1.50 - MT Irishman

An ocean-going motor tug requisitioned from United Towing on 7 April, MT Irishman contained a Naval Party from the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service. She had two sister ships, MT Yorkshireman and MT Salvageman, also requisitioned tugs. On 10 April both MT Irishman and MT Salvageman left Portsmouth for Ascension Island, loaded with towing and salvage gear. The MT Irishman stayed at Ascension but the MT Salvageman soon headed for Tristan da Cunha and then on to South Georgia. The MT Irishman headed to Tristan with the MT Yorkshireman early May.

She was called to the stricken SS Atlantic Conveyor for work after the latter was struck by an Exocet missile on 25 May. She took the burnt-out hulk in tow, but Atlantic Conveyor soon sank taking with her six Wessex, three Chinooks and a spare Lynx.

£1.50 - MT Salvageman

After her requisition MT Salvageman sailed for Ascension with the MT Irishman and then on to Tristan da Cunha, arriving the 2nd May. Having received the call from the R.N. she then sailed on to South Georgia. On 4 May the Taskforce suffered the shocking casualty of HMS Sheffield being hit by an Exocet missile. MT Salvageman had just arrived in South Georgia to support HMS Endurance but soon sailed to assist Sheffield, but without success and moved on to the TRALA area to the east of Falklands with MT Irishman and MT Yorkshireman.

Later, on 20 June, she and RFA Olmeda supported HMS Endurance and HMS Yarmouth on Operation Keyhole. Forces were successfully landed on Southern Thule in the South Sandwich Islands where the small Argentine garrison surrendered without a shot being fired.

£1.50 - MT Yorkshireman

The MT Yorkshireman was a highly manoeuvrable tug that had been delivered to its owners in 1978.

During the Falkland War in 1982 was she requisitioned by the British Royal Navy on 07 April 1982 when working in the North Sea. She arrived at Portsmouth on the 12th, and after bunkering and loading of towing and salvage gear sailed on the 13th for Ascension, where she arrived the 27th. She was used there until 3 May and sailed that day bound for Tristan da Cunha. During that voyage she received a replacement radio transmitter dropped by a Hercules airplane, when her radio equipment failed. She arrived at Tristan on 10 May with the sister tug MT Irishman. They both stayed there for 6 days before heading off to the TRALA in Falklands.

She arrived east of the Falkland Islands 24 May and was sometimes used to pick up dropped men and stores parachuted in the sea. She sailed on 5 June together with another tug the MT Salvageman to South Georgia, where she assisted ships during berthing and transferring stores. She also took part in the re-floating of the Argentine submarine Santa Fe in South Georgia.

First Day Cover - RMS St Helena

The RMS St Helena was used by the Royal Navy during the Falklands War as a minesweeper support ship. Alterations were made on the deck to include a flight deck and hanger for a Wasp helicopter fitted with AS12 missiles. Extra fuel tanks were converted from some of the ship's water tanks and four 20mm Oerlikon guns added.

Before she left Ascension two Tristanians had made the long journey up to Ascension and signed on as crew. For the next 9 months the ship carried troops and essential supplies to Falklands and South Georgia.

The two brave Tristanians were awarded the South Atlantic Medal in 2015.

Technical Specifications from Pobjoy Mint Ltd.

Designer:Andrew Robinson Printer:Cartor Security Printing
Stamp size:38 x 30.6mm Perforation:13¼ x 13 per 2cms
Process:Stochastic Lithography Sheet Layout:10
Production Co-ordination:Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd