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Rear Admiral Peter Dingemans DSO, CB

Discussion in 'Roll of Honor & Memories - All Other Conflicts' started by GRW, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "Rear-Admiral Peter Dingemans, who has died aged 80, commanded the landing ship Intrepid during the 1982 Falklands conflict.
    Dingemans had commanded Intrepid in 1980 and 1981 when he left her in dry dock for disposal under the “Nott” Defence review. After the Argentines invaded the Falklands in early 1982, a British task force sailed from Britain on April 5 and on the same day Dingemans was about to start a new shore job, when he was summoned to resume his command.
    Intrepid had fallen into a poor state, slated for breaking-up or even – it was rumoured – for sale to Argentina. “A ship in dockyard hands,” wrote Dingemans, “resembles a filleted fish. You’re left with the bare bones and a dismembered body.”
    Ten days later, thanks to the extraordinary effort of Dingemans and his second-in-command, Bryan Telfer, every one of the original crew of 550, bar two officers and 20 men, had been recalled from Britain and abroad, and Intrepid sailed – stored, armed and fuelled for war. This was only possible because of the team spirit which Dingemans had forged in his previous two years in command. For his people, returning to their ship was like a homecoming, seeing familiar, trusted faces with whom they had lived and trained together.
    Morale of the highest level was recreated at once, based on mutual trust between colleagues, and, Dingemans wrote, “a cause which we believed in, namely the freedom of the individual, and most importantly knowing that our country was behind us”.
    With Royal Marines embarked, Intrepid sailed on April 26, escorting the North Sea ferry Norland with men of 2 Para Bn on board. For the next nine days the ships practised, by day and by night, action stations, defence stations, damage-control drills and abandon-ship drills. On May 8 Intrepid caught up the other amphibious ships and merchant shipping at Ascension Island and sailed south towards the Falkland Islands, carrying some 600 people more than her approved wartime load.
    Before first light on May 21 Dingemans’s Intrepid followed her sister ship Fearless into San Carlos Water, where ships of the amphibious task group, under the command of the Commodore, Amphibious Warfare, Commodore Michael Clapp, landed some 4,000 men, their vehicles and equipment. By the next day the British had established a secure beachhead from which to recapture the Falklands. San Carlos was rechristened “bomb ally” as the Argentines subjected it to repeated air attack. Over the next several weeks Intrepid took part successfully in most of the amphibious aspects of the war, and, as one of the last ships to join, stayed on as floating hotel, hospital and supply base and helped to deal with the remaining Argentine forces after victory on June 14.
    The citation for Dingemans’s DSO highlighted the fact that he had taken the closest personal charge of his ship’s company and handled his ship magnificently, as well as providing every possible assistance to frigates, aircraft and landing ships: “His example, energy and leadership were of the highest order.”
    Peter George Valentin Dingemans was born at Steyning, West Sussex, where his father was a GP, and was educated at Brighton College. His love of the sea started in the Sea Scouts. He entered Dartmouth in 1953, within a few weeks finding himself in a street-lining party for the Coronation."

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