MARINE ENGINEERING ARTIFICER ( M ), 1ST CLASS, KENNETH ENTICKNAPP, ROYAL NAVY, HMS 'ARDENT'




Recommended for the award of the Victoria Cross ( subsequently awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal ( QGM ) )

[ London Gazette, 11 October 1982 ], San Carlos Water, Falkland Islands, 21 May 1982, Marine Engineering Articifer (M), 1st Class, Kenneth Enticknapp, Royal Navy, HMS 'Ardent'.

On 21st May 1982 HMS 'Ardent' was on station in San Carlos Water, East Falkland Island providing a defensive covere against air attack from Argentine forces, as land forces, equipment and supplies were being put ashore. The ship was first straddled by 2 bombs with little damage caused, but a subsequent aircraft in the same wave hit the ship port aft, destroying the Seacat missile launcher.

HMS 'Ardent' was then attacked by 8 aircraft resulting in 8 further hits and very severe damage. The Damage Control Parties, working in exposed positions, suffered the most serious casualties. There was widespread flooding of major spaces and a list developed.

NEA(M)1 Entiknapp was in charge of the after damage control party. Although the area was wrecked by the first bomb hits and he slightly injured, he led his team successfully in fire fighting and damage control. Then, in the second wave of attacks, further bombs hit his team killing all except two of his men. Now seriously injured MEA(M)1 Enticknapp continued to fight the fire with the remaining man until a further bomb felled him, trapping him in the wreckage. Despite his own serious injuries, MEA(M)1 Enticknapp showed dedication to duty under constant enemy attack in the best traditions of the Service in placing the safety of other lives above his own.

There is a possibility that Commander-in-Chief Fleet ( Admiral Sir J.D.E. Fieldhouse, KCB ) may make a recommendation for a Victoria Cross for Petty Officer Enticknapp and this is still under consideration.


The Committee records:

Kenneth Enticknapp was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal ( QGM ) announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 8 October 1982. The file does not record why he was not awarded the Victoria Cross or the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal ( CGM ). He was rescued by the bravery of 18-year old Able Seaman ( Radar ) John Edward Dillon, a member of HMS 'Ardent's' after damage control party who had been rendered unconscious by bombs, but on regaining consciousness and despite being wounded rescued two men.

Both Enticknapp and Dillon were able to escape through a hole in the side of the ship and were rescued from the sea shortly afterwards by helicopters. John Dillon was awarded the George Medal ( GM ).

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Iain Stewart, 9 July 2018