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Falklands Crash Sites

Old 23rd Dec 2007, 00:43
  #21 (permalink)  
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The story of the 2 Skyhawks that went missing on May 9 is equally as interesting. HMS Coventry reporting engaging 2 A4s escorting a C-130 on a supply mission in to Port Stanley. Coventry engaged at 38 miles with Sea Dart but claimed no kills at the time. Later two A4s were claimed, however the Argentines claimed they flew into cliffs on South Jason island in bad weather. Do the wreck site visits substantiate any of these claims?
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Old 24th Dec 2007, 04:20
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Goodness me, Naval, it is a rather long story but, at the risk of being 'moderated', here goes.
8 June 1982
Dave Morgan and I were launching from HMS Hermes on the first of our 'duskers' sorties to carry out a CAP south west of Stanley in the immediate overhead of HMS Galahad. I can't remember the actual figures but I think the transit was about 200 miles and the CAP was initially at 10,000 feet. Galahad had been hit by bombs earlier and I remember a thick cloud of black smoke pouring out of her and the aft end literally glowing red with the intensity of the fires below decks. We were right at the end of our time on task and about to depart back to Hermes when Dave spots four aircraft below. His actual words were something like "F..k me Dave! Four mirages! Follow me down!" (Subsequently turned out to be A4's.) We were 180 degrees out in a turn at the time and he promptly disappeared from sight into the gathering gloom. I rolled and pulled and went for the deck at full power calling Dave for the attack heading. He came back with something like "240" and I pulled out at about 150 feet doing just over 600 knots heading south west. I still couldn't see anything but a few seconds later Dave opened up in quick succession with both his sidewinders. I saw these missiles hit the back two A4's and thereby got visual with Dave. One of the A4 pilots had ejected and I very nearly picked him up on my wing in his parachute! Dave was then closing the third A4 and opened up with his cannons. From the bullet splashes on the water I finally got a 'tally' on the target and as Dave pulled off and out of the picture I got a good IR lock from one of my AIM 9L's. I reckoned I was at about 50 feet at this stage still doing about 615 knots and I still couldn't put the A4 on the horizon so he must have been quite low. The range looked a bit excessive and I remember hesitating for a second or two trying to assess whether it was worth taking the shot. At that very moment Sharkey Ward comes on the radio and says "OK, we are coming in from the south and taking over!" or words to that effect. This caused me to completely loose the bubble! Although I had seen Dave shoot at this target I hadn't positively identified it and I had an instant of pure panic as I questioned if it was actually Sharkey or Steve Thomas I had in my sights. Well, I fired anyway and this prompted "Who fired that shot?" from Sharkey and for a ghastly moment I thought I had shot at Steve. Then Steve came back with "It wasn't me, Boss" and I heaved a sigh of relief. The missile tracked the A4 and then seemed to flame out. I was fairly certain it wouldn't hit but then at the very end of its trajectory it detonated and destroyed the target.
As an interesting aside this action left us both very short of fuel and a recovery to the ship which was quite a bit later than the planned duskers! I don't even want to contemplate what I shut down with but I remember the flashing bingo lights from a very long way out from landing!

Last edited by Edmund Spencer; 4th Jan 2009 at 05:08.
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Old 23rd Feb 2008, 18:23
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Capt Raul Diaz's Parachute

As a post script I have been contacted by Allan of the Pebble Island Lodge in the Falklands and Capt (now Colonel) Diaz's parachute has been found in a nearby house.
He has sent me several photos and I vividly remember the orange of the chute and wondering why it had no camouflage panels like ours.
For 25 years I thought his parachute only just cleared the cockpit without deploying.
Photos available when I can figure how to upload
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Old 23rd Feb 2008, 22:02
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To post a photo:

First you need to have the photo hosted online - photobucket (www.photobucket.com) is where I keep my few.

Then, when posting the photo here:

In the message composition window, click on the second icon in from the right (next to the speech bubble)

A pop-up window then appears here asking you to enter the location of your image.

To prepare for this, you will have see on your photobucket page a box saying 'direct link'. You'll have copied that link, and you then paste it into the pop up window (taking care not to duplicate the 'http' that's already there, and ensuring that '[IMG]' and [\IMG] don't appear at the start and end (if you've copied the direct link, you won't get this).

Once done, press 'OK'.

So, I have an image at http://img.photobucket...11-03067b.jpg (I've cropped this to fit this window, so you won't be able to link to it).

To post it, I click on the image icon and the box opens.

Now, I paste the URL in to the box, and....

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Old 24th Feb 2008, 16:53
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I can't really comment on the events of 9th May 1982, I'm not a historian. What I can say, however, is having been to South Jason on several occasions, the Skyhawk wreckage is spread over a large distance on the north face of the island, consistent with a high speed CFIT. If you take that fact, coupled with the island's position and orientation, it would seem to me that the Argentine view would make most sense.
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 00:43
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I hope I am not overworking this subject.
Some very interesting feed back is coming back from my Argentinean Air Force contacts. I don't think these people have an axe to grind and, indeed, I think they flew an incredibly courageous war.
I believe the first true air to air combat with an absolutely classic "Eyeball - Hook" manoeuver was carried out by Steve Thomas and Paul Barton of 801 NAS on 1st May 1982. Paul confirmed a Fox 2 and although, Steve fired in range, his target disappeared into cloud before he could confirm the kill.
History records that the Mirage was so badly damaged by the missile hit that it had to attempt an emergency landing at Stanley Airport and was subsequently shot down by triple A from his own side.
The Argentinean version, according to ATC transcripts and other pilots who were airborne at the time, is that the Mirage was in perfectly OK shape but had run short of fuel by using A/B in the combat. The pilot had announced that he was completely airworthy but short of fuel to get back to the mainland. He considered an approach to Stanley a better option than ejecting and losing the valuable asset.
I have no idea of the landing performance of the Mirage but I did once have the pleasure of flying in the back of a Saab Viggen (Excuse spelling). The pilot demonstrated and incredibly short landing using the power against drag of a delta wing so I can believe this was serious possibility.
As we know the poor fellow was shot down by his own side and didn't survive.
I am wondering if anybody who has served in the Falklands subsequently can give me any information on this particular crash site. It would be very interesting to see if the aircraft actually had sidewinder damage. (I understand from the analysis of the A4 I shot down on 8 June, it is quite unequivocal.)
On the same day there are some substantial differences about how the combat between Martin Hale and Tony Penfold went down against Ardiles.
I will post the details of this later.
Also under investigation some very interesting different views of the Sharkey Ward and Steve Thomas attack on three Daggers on 21 may. No doubt about the result but some very different opinions from Sharkey's book about how it really happened.
(Stay Tuned)
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 05:43
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Does Sharkey have some opinions? I hadn't noticed
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 09:18
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Footage exists of the attempted forced landing by Captain Cuerva at Stanley. It was filmed from a distance by an Argentine camera crew and used in various TV programmes about the conflict. The Mirage appeared to cartwheel as it impacted the ground.

A Falkland Islander was taken to the wreckage by an Argentine officer. The Argentine officer was adamant that they had just shot down a Harrier and was keen to prove it. He relented when he himself witnessed the Argentine Flag on the fin. It was recounted in his small booklet that he wrote and locally published on the Islands. For the life of me I can't remember his name, but I remember reading it when on detachment down there. It was a small reference booklet about the air losses on both sides.

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Old 13th Apr 2008, 10:40
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Thanks, Teeej.
Any idea where the crash site was?
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Old 13th Apr 2008, 15:13
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Thanks, Teeej.
Any idea where the crash site was?
No probs. Sorry, I don't have an exact location. The footage was shown on the History Channel quite recently. I'll see if I can find it on You Tube. I remember the sea being visible.


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Old 14th Apr 2008, 17:35
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Keep it up ES

Great thread ES. Very interesting and looking forward to your updates.
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Old 14th Apr 2008, 18:10
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I concur. An absolutely fascinating thread with unique insight. Most definitely not overworked.
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Old 17th Apr 2008, 10:32
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The booklet you refer to is;

Falklands Conflict 1982
by Fred Clark

It was designed and printed at the Flakland Islands Government Printing Office, Copy right 2001, Fred Clark

Hope this helps.

I bought my copy (for 3) in the NAAFI shop (during my time on TriShaws, having previously been on 1312 Flt many moons ago). It may still be available.
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Old 17th Apr 2008, 10:41
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That's the one! Thanks!


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Old 15th Nov 2008, 04:10
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Some interesting stuff.
Apparently, Cuerva was in deep wing rock as he flew directly over Stanley town heading east. He turned to the right, I guess to position for a left circuit to land on the westerly runway and was then shot at by every gun available. He fired a prolonged burst of cannon shortly after being shot at. Stanley residents picked up the cannon cases from their gardens!
He and his aircraft crashed in the middle of a minefield south of the airstrip.
It sounds to me he was only just in control and that Steve's missile had done him some damage.
Can anyone add any information?
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 13:56
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As far as I understand it, although Garcia Cuerva tried to avoid the missile, the missile exploded close to the rear, rupturing the fuel tanks and damaging the control runs. The TPS-43F radar guys told him to eject but he chose to head for Stanley even though they had been under attack. The Command Post was notified of his intentions but failed to advise the AA guys in time. Garcia then jettisoned his missiles and there after was shot down by the AA guys who believed that they were being attacked.
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 14:08
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The air war. [Archive] - WW2inColor Forum
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 18:19
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What a fantastic thread! Enjoyed your posts Mr Spencer!
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 18:37
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I have no idea of the landing performance of the Mirage but I did once have the pleasure of flying in the back of a Saab Viggen (Excuse spelling). The pilot demonstrated and incredibly short landing using the power against drag of a delta wing so I can believe this was serious possibility.
The Viggen has some unconvention help for short landings!
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Old 16th Nov 2008, 19:42
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As I recall from my various detachments in MPA, both the Herc and VC10 Navs had topo maps of the islands that showed the known outlying aircraft wreck positions. These maps were updated (renewed) occasionally, with the details being transferred to the new map. At the end of a det the map was passed to the incoming crew. Came in very useful for a bit of aerial sightseeing, and I distinctly recall seeing an isolated Pucara wreck in the south-west of East Falkland, as well as a Dagger on West Falkland. Both airframes very faded but recognisable as their respective types.

I wonder if any of said navs could get the wreck site details off the charts, and pass to those who are interested?
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