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Falklands War veteran recalls sinking of HMS Coventry on 40th anniversary of air attack

A Falklands War veteran has recalled the moment the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Coventry was sunk 40 years ago. Christopher Howe, 65, was a petty officer aboard the Type 42 destroyer off Pebble Island when the Argentine Air Force launched an attack on May 25 1982. Speaking to the PA Media news agency, Mr Howe said he tried to warn the ship's captain of the incoming air raid: "I'm not sure if I actually finished my statement," he said, "when there was this thud, if you like. And it was a dull thud, followed by an extreme heat, and a fireball rolling around the ops room." Mr Howe was knocked unconscious, but recovered and was able to escape from the ship. He suffered 27% burns in the attack, and feared he had gone blind as his eyelids were badly swollen. Events are taking place across the UK and in the Falkland Islands to mark the 40th anniversary of the conflict, which started when Argentina invaded the remote British Overseas Territory on April 2 1982. Mr Howe told PA Media: "There's not a day goes by I don't think about what happened then. You can't help it. And there are triggers in your life that take you back to 1982, and things that make you stop and think 'I'm lucky – why am I so lucky?' "I feel it's very important that we continue to remember this conflict, and any conflict, because of those that came forward and stood up, and really offered their lives. "They made a sacrifice. And as we say in the (Kohima) epitaph: 'We gave our today for your tomorrow.'"

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