EOD Prescott, James

John Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
  • SURNAME
Prescott
  • FORENAME
James
  • UNIT
33 Engineer Regiment (EOD),Royal Engineers (49 Field Squadron)
  • RANK
Staff Sergeant
  • NUMBER
23834301
  • DATE OF DEATH
23rd May 1982
  • AGE
37
  • GRAVESITE
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
born 24.2.1945 Hindley,Wigan,Lancashire
son of Thomas and Janet Prescott,Hindley,Lancashire
husband of Theresa (nee Fitzsimmons) Prescott,Chattendean Army Base,Kent (married
1970 in Auchinleck,Ayrshire) (2 daughters Carol Ann and Angela)
father served in R.E. in WW2
mother originally from Auchinleck
family moved to Auchinleck,Ayrshire where his father was a miner
educated Auchinleck Primary School
family returned to Hindley again
Army Cadets
Army Training College,Chepstow age 15
37 Field Squadron,R.E. 1964
33 Engineer Regiment 1970s (Cpl)
promoted Sgt 1973
promoted Staff Sgt 1980
attached 59 Independent Commando Squadron,R.E. (3 Commando Brigade) 1982
award C.G.M. posthumously
killed on HMS Antelope,Ajax Bay,Falklands
London Gazette 49134, 8th October 1982, Page 12849
 

DATE OF DEATH:

23-May-1982

AWARD:

https://www.specialforcesroh.com/index.php?threads/prescott-james.38576/

CITATION:

Conspicuous Gallantry Medal : On 22nd May 1982 Staff Sergeant Prescott under the command of another NCO of 49 Engineer Explosives Disposal Squadron Royal Engineers were carrying out explosive ordnance disposal duties in the Falkland Islands. They were tasked to deal with an unexploded bomb in the boiler room of HMS ARGONAUT. Another unexploded bomb lay in a flooded missile magazine nearby. Working in extraordinarily cramped conditions and in very unfamiliar surroundings Staff Sergeant Prescott and the other NCO successfully remotely rendered safe the bomb which was later removed from the ship. This action enabled the damage to the boiler room to be repaired, so that HMS ARGONAUT regained propulsion and was able to manoeuvre defensively in further air attacks.

On 23rd May 1982, Staff Sergeant Prescott and the NCO were tasked to neutralise two unexploded bombs in HMS ANTELOPE. The first bomb examined could not be approached until extensive clearance of debris had taken place. They therefore set about rendering safe the second bomb which was situated near the centre of the ship. The bomb had been slightly damaged and was assessed as being in a dangerous condition. They tried three times to render the bomb safe using a remote method, haying to approach the bomb after each attempt to adjust the equipment, but on each occasion, the fuse could not be withdrawn. After a fourth attempt, which involved using a small charge, the bomb unexpectedly exploded. The blast was considerable. Despite a blast route of open doors and hatches up through the ship, the fully clipped steel door at the forward end of the passageway, where the bomb disposal team was standing, was completely blown off and nearly bent double. Staff Sergeant Prescott died instantly.

Staff Sergeant Prescott displayed courage of the highest order in persevering with attempts to defuse the bomb in HMS ANTELOPE, fully aware that the condition was particularly dangerous.

WEB LINKS:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/49134/supplement/12849
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