HMS Invincible was a good target for the Argentinians: Prince Andrew was on board as pilot and it was the Navy’s newest ship.
In fact, the Argentinians reported they had sunk the Invincible on about 15 occasions.
The first time Spalding postman Garry Boxall went to sea as a 17-year-old, on HMS Bulwark, it broke the world record for endurance, with 84 days at sea; when Garry went to war in the Falklands, HMS Invincible spent 166 days at sea, a new world record.
En route to the Falklands, the crew had to change the ship’s gear box, the first time that had been done at sea as it’s normally done in dry dock.
When she went to the Falklands, HMS Invincible steamed 51,000 miles all together, enough to go twice round the Equator; it consumed enough diesel to send a Mini travelling at 40mph to the sun and back and go 4,000 times round the Equator; consumed enough aviation fuel to send a Sea Harrier flying at 400mph to the moon and back four times; and made enough fresh water to fill 45 Olympic size swimming pools.
HMS Invincible spent 45 days at war and out of that spent 250 hours at action stations.