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Two Falkland veterans reunite in Weymouth on board RFA Mounts Bay
TWO sailors who met during the Falklands War were reunited in Weymouth.
Commodore Jamie Miller and Chief Petty Officer Cook Martin Etwell met up again on board Royal Fleet Auxiliary Mounts Bay, which supported the Olympic security operation in Weymouth and Portland .
They first met in 1982 on RFA Fort Austin. Martin was serving on the vessel as a junior cook and baker and Jamie, who had been working as a Spanish interpreter, was evacuated there after his ship HMS Coventry was sunk by Argentine jets.
He was one of 270 survivors rescued from the sea by landing craft of 4 Assault Squadron Royal Marines to RFA Fort Austin.
Jamie Miller now has the role of Naval Regional Commander for Wales and Western England while Martin serves on RFA Mounts Bay.
Cdre Miller said: “The landing craft that transferred us to the loving care on board RFA Fort Austin was sadly sunk a week later in San Carlos.
“Her crew of six, who were all killed, are still remembered to this day by 4 Assault Squadron who always name one of their landing craft Foxtrot Juliet after Colour Sergeant Johnson, holder of the Queen’s Gallantry Medal, who died that day.”
The landing craft of the same unit, 4 Assault Squadron, are embarked with the Fleet Flagship, HMS Bulwark, operated as the command and control vessel for the Olympics and then the Paralympics.
The reunion between the two Falklands veterans took place on board RFA Mounts Bay as Commodore Miller hosted a group of distinguished military visitors.
Recalling their previous meeting, Chief Etwell, who has served in the RFA for 41 years, remembered that each person on board shared their cabins with a survivor and that meal routines were changed to accommodate the survivors.
He said: “Our team of 11 chefs cooked up a daily casserole instead of the usual evening meal in order to eke out our rations to feed 140 people.”
Cdre Miller said: “It is good to see Chief Cook Martin Etwell still doing his cooking job, feeding 463 people every day, while staying cheerful, humorous, and a good leader.
“He represents everything we had in the Falklands.”