Delivery of the Harriers

After flying on her cargo of Harriers at Ascension Island and the flight crews weatherproofing the newly arrived aircraft, Atlantic Conveyor sailed south to rendezvous with the Task Force. 

Conveyor entered the exclusion zone in mid May 1982 and flew the Harriers off to the two carriers HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible. The completion of this first part of Conveyor’s mission meant there were sufficient aircraft for the invasion to begin, and at the cost of a number of ships, a beachhead was established at San Carlos.

The departure of the Harriers freed up the flight decks for Conveyor’s heavy lift Chinooks and Wessex helicopters to be prepared for use. Once activated, Conveyor’s helicopters provided a valuable service moving stores and munitions between Task Force ships. So much so that on occasion, and much to Captain North’s (her civilian master) pleasure, senior naval officers occasionally referred to Conveyor as Britain’s third aircraft carrier.