Veterans of the former Royal Navy destroyer HMS Sheffield are looking to raise £15,000 in just a couple of months – in time to install a memorial on the 40th anniversary of her loss during the Falklands war.
The destroyer, also known as 'Shiny Sheff', was fatally hit by an Argentine Exocet missile four decades ago when she was part of a defensive screen around the ships of the task force sent to liberate the Falklands.
Three men who served in three Royal Navy ships bearing the ship's name intend to create a focal point in the UK to meet and pay their respects.
The HMS Sheffield Association represents sailors of the destroyed Second World War cruiser, then the Type 42 and recently the Type 22 frigate, built to replace the Falklands loss.
The association, formed nearly 50 years ago, has already had a scale model of the monument designed. Artist Peter Naylor has designed a stainless steel bow of a warship, engraved and set in a cast stainless steel dark, rough sea.
If the association hits its target in time, Mr Noble's scale model will be turned into a full-sized monument to anyone who served on the three ships, which will be put up at the National Memorial Arboretum.
The association has currently raised just over half of the £15,000 target on its Just Giving page. Its members hope a monument in the UK would serve as a focal point for reunions and a place to respect all those who have served in three generations of Sheffields to date.
Members hope the bow monument will be dedicated on 4 May, 40 years to the day that the Exocet missile fired by an Argentine Super Etendard jet struck the destroyer during the Falklands War. The blast and subsequent fires killed 20 men and fatally damaged the ship.
HMS Sheffield was abandoned after a five-hour effort by firefighters and damage control teams and eventually sank six days later.
Penny Salt, the widow of Captain Sam Salt, Sheffield's Commanding Officer at the time, has been asked to unveil the monument at the East Staffordshire National Memorial Arboretum, anointing it with seawater brought from the South Atlantic.