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Falklands Crash Sites

Old 27th Oct 2007, 01:46
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Falklands Crash Sites

I am researching an action that took place on 24 May 1982. Two sea harriers intercepted 'ORO', a section of three daggers, north of Pebble Island late in the forenoon. The lead sea harrier shot down two of the daggers over the sea on an easterly heading. These were believed to be C-419 and C-410. The third and lead dagger , C-430, turned hard right and was hit by a sidewinder from the second sea harrier as he passed about south. His aircraft was observed impacting the high ground south of Pebble Island.
I have read various contradictory accounts of who was in which aircraft and several contributors to the internet have claimed sighting the wreckage of C-410 onshore.
Would anyone who has spent time in the Falklands and who might have visited any of the crash sites care to shed any light?
Many thanks
ES

Last edited by Edmund Spencer; 27th Oct 2007 at 04:49.
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 11:47
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There was an interesting article in 'Flypast' magazine about the Falklands war crash sites a few months back.
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 12:59
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You've probably seen this version from the Argentine Air Force website?

http://www.fuerzaaerea.mil.ar/conflicto/dias/may24.html

'Tres M-5 Dagger, indicativo "Oro", armados con dos bombas retardadas por paracaídas. Tripulación: Capitán Raúl Díaz (C-419), Mayor Luis Puga (C-410) y Teniente Carlos Castillo (C-430). Despegaron de San Julián a las 10:24 hs.'

http://www.fuerzaaerea.mil.ar/index_win.html

I can't imagine them mixing up the pilots and airframes. I was always under the impression that it was Dagger serial C-410. The above info would make it C-430.

I was in the Falklands during 1998 when the nose section of an IAI Dagger was found. It was found if I remember correctly near First Mount, Elephant Bay. The wreckage was discovered by chance by a hotelier who was out walking in the hills. It appeared to be the nose section as the remains of Lt. Carlos Castillo were found. I have no idea if the wreckage was left intact or removed. Possibly the Falkland Islands Museum might be able to assist?

Quoting from the 1986 "Falklands: The Air War":

"Both of Auld's Daggers fell into the sea north of Pebble Island, while
Smith's impacted on the western edge of Elephant Bay on the slopes of
First Mount. . . Castillo therefore appears to have been the been the
pilot killed in the First Mount wreck."

And in the individual a/c histories:

"C-410 . . . Brought down over Pebble Island . . . . Teniente Castillo
was killed in the explosion. The wreck site has not been positively
identified but may be that found in the First Mount area (UD 170160)."

I remember reading in the RAF News an article on the funeral service of Lt. Castillo. An article appeared in a UK aviation magazine which, if I remember correctly, had details of the 'kill' markings found on the nose section from when it was last in Israeli service and an Israeli call sign plate found in the
cockpit from when the aircraft was an IAI Nesher.

I no longer have the magazine, but the call-sign plate could assist the match up between the Nesher serial and subsequent Dagger serial?

I think that the aviation magazine was Aviation News/Air Pictorial?

http://www.payhost.net/aviation/acat...Pictorial.html
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 13:06
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There was certainly a Dagger on the ground to theSouth of Pebble Island and to the North West of Port Howard immediately after the war as we used to fly over it quite a lot (if/when I find my map of the time I might be able to give you a better position). However, I don't know how many were shot down overland during the conflict, so this could have one of any of them. It may also have been this one that was 'relieved' of it's tail and a few other bits by the guys and ended up in 18 Sqn crewroom.
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 13:26
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http://www.clarin.com/diario/1998/09/01/t-01401d.htm

A very quick on-line translation

'16 YEARS DESPUES: IT WAS DEMOLISHED DURING THE 1982 WAR
They will analyze in London the DNA of the pilot found in the Falklands

The lieutenant governor of the islands confirmed
The results will take several weeks
The Chancellery waits for the British report
And the mother of the probable pilot requests that the rest are brought to the continent.

ANA GERSCHENSO
The lieutenant governor of the islands the Falklands, Andrew Gurr, advanced to Bugler that just in several weeks will be able to settle down the identity of the rest found in an Argentine airplane that it fell in the Borbón island during the war of the Falklands. When it is verified tomorrow - between today and that the found rest are human, tests will be sent to London to make the DNA analyses, that allow to identify the body, said Gurr.En Buenos Aires, nevertheless, the spokesman of the British Embassy took care to keep plus the diplomatic forms of the case. Once we have the certainty that the rest are human we will inform to him immediately to the Argentine Chancellery, to know what we will do of there in ahead, said funcionario.Gurr, in charge of the government before the absence of its holder, Richard Ralph, added that according to the first examination that made the Police in the place, the found parts would belong to a Dagger airplane. The 24 of May of 1982, three Dagger airplanes were demolished by two Harrier in the Borbón island. Two of the pilots survived, but third, the first lieutenant Carlos Castle, to desapareció.Ayer, an equipment of investigation to the control of the malvinense inspector, Jonnathan Butler, returned to rise a small plane in Argentine Port to later land twenty minutes in the island Borbón, a zone descampada with a surface composed by crowd, stones and water. The group, next to officials of the court of the magistrate Keith Watson, in charge of the cause that was opened as soon as the airplane by kelper was found that it walked by the place, it was all the day taking samples from the rest and examined the ship to determine fehacientemente that is a Dagger.Los results on if the rest they are or nonhuman they are known between last morning and (for today and tomorrow), confirmed Gurr to Bugler, and confessed that to this height the data is almost one certeza.La Chancellery and the Air Force emitted two official notices of press yesterday to emphasize that they will only give official information when they conclude the investigations in Port Argentinean. The official notice of the Palace San MartÃ*n reveals that it is in contact with the enemy with the British Embassy and the General staff of the Air Force to the effects to obtain greater precisions than allows to identify the airship and therefore to that outside his pilot, so that into that way it is possible to be informed to familiares.En the Olive town, in Cordova, the family of the first lieutenant Castle waits for with anxiety the moment for counting on greater certezas.Onelia Guebel de Castillo, mother of the hero of the Falklands, said yesterday to this newspaper which if the British and Argentine suspicions are verified, for me he means that my son has died hoy.Onelia Guebel demanded the rest of the aviator, who in 1982 was 25 years old. To my son I want it in the continent with me. That me they bring it, as is, but I want it here, requested the woman of 68 años.Onelia tells that in one of the letters that to him his son wrote from the base of Port San Julian, in the province of Santa Cruz, said to him that if demolished it it were not going to leave the airplane by anything of the world. Then the greater Luis Pugas, than flew on a par of the Dagger de Castillo, confirmed that he saw when a missile demolished the apparatus and that the pilot could not eyectarse.En the entrance of the Olive town see two airplane wings, a monument to the aviator who was born in those calles.Desde that I listened to the first news on the finding of an Argentine pilot in the Falklands I thought that he was my son; all the information agrees with which we knew on him, her mother says to Onelia.Para, Carlos Castle was enamoring with the air, of the airplanes, but almost at the end of his studies in the Military aviation school, in Cordova, she was on the verge of letting study from fear of not being able to make specific his dream. It said to me, if in the last medical examination says to me that I have some problem and I cannot be pilot, I die, remembered Onelia.Y continued emocionada:Yo responded to him since we always make the mothers: Estudiá, tenés that to have a title, later is important. And he insisted, I am pilot or nothing, recuerda.En times of peace was in Tandil, seat of the Sixth Aerial Brigade. There they saw for the last time its parents it, in February of 1982. It waited for civilian dress while their companions shone the uniform. It always said us that inside of the base she was military man and outside Carlitos, evoca.Antes of which the squadron Gold was transferred to the south called by telephone to Olive. It spoke with all we, as if outside a goodbye; and it said to us: If anybody does not help us, they go to us to pulverizar.ENTREVISTA: FABIAN GARCIA. (Cordova Agency) '
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 13:38
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There is also this model article. It give completely contradictory info on pilots and serials, but has an image of a Dagger wreck. Possibly 430? I can't quite make out the serial. There is a contact e-mail at the bottom.

http://hsfeatures.com/features04/daggerpb_1.htm
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 14:32
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The book 'Airloss', by Fred Clark, has the following details:

Dagger C410, shot down at 1500 by Sea Harrier ZA193, 1 fatality, wreckage on 1st Mt Pebble

Dagger C419, 1415, by XZ457, no fatality, aircraft in sea

Dagger C430, exactly as C419.

No details of who was flying the aircraft though.
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 18:20
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Pebble Island Lodge has the following. It might be a lead for the positive identification of the Dagger wreckage?

http://www.pebblelodge.com/history.htm

'Argentine aircraft: North-east of First Mountain there are two crash sites with the scattered wreckage of Argentine Daggers. These multi-role fighter/bombers were both shot down by Royal Navy Sea Harriers in May 1982. Further to the west near Marble Mountain, a memorial commemorates 5 Argentine airmen whose Learjet crashed in the area after it was shot down by H.M.S. Exeter on 7 June 1982.'

http://www.pebblelodge.com/contact.htm
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Old 28th Oct 2007, 04:19
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Falklands Air Action 24 May 1982

A million thanks for all your replies.
I was in the second sea harrier in this action.
The account of Capt Diaz who was leading the group of three daggers indicates that Castillo was on his left in C-419 and Puga on his right in C-410. Puga Shouts a warning that Castillo has been hit by a missile which Diaz initially does not understand. Diaz subsequently looks to his right and sees a second missile about to hit Puga. He transmits a warning to eject but he witnesses a massive explosion destroying Puga's plane. These were the two AIM9L's fired by Andy Auld in the lead sea harrier. Diaz, in C-430, then goes into a hard right break clearing his wing in the process. This is what I witnessed as I locked on to him with one of my missiles. I then fired and the AIM9 flew straight across the turn and hit him at about the ninety. I saw the plane impact the ground to the south of Pebble Island and, what I thought, was an unsuccessful ejection attempt.
As he has written the story it looks like me made it OK.
The confusion lies in who was in which aircraft.
ES

Last edited by Edmund Spencer; 27th Dec 2008 at 11:09.
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Old 28th Oct 2007, 08:13
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I've posted on the forum at

http://www.acig.org/

Hopefully a positive tie-up can be made between Dagger serials and pilots?

So far I've had no luck on the track down of the Air Pictorial/Aviation news article on another forum of Lt. Castillo's wreck.
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Old 28th Oct 2007, 20:30
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Visited this crash site a few years ago, the one interesting fact was that we found the wing section which was not carrying pukka Argentinian Air Force markings, the argentinian flag had been painted over the top of a thin layer of whitewash. Beneath the whitewash were IAF markings.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 00:04
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I wonder if the 'white' is what happened to the paint applied on the 24th May due to fading over the years?

Apparently the yellow ID markings were covered over with light blue paint?

http://hsfeatures.com/features04/daggerpb_1.htm

C-430 on the 24th with yellow markings covered over



'During the early hours of the 24th the maintenance crews had to travel to the town to get green paint to cover the ineffective yellow bands with green paint. The only one they found available was light blue. They found that the surface of the planes was covered in frozen mist, so they had to remove the ice first with newspaper and then apply the coats of paint. This process gave origin to the well-known turquoise color of the A-4Cs and the Daggers of “La Marinete”. It can be seen in the picture, taken shortly before C-430’s last mission, that there is some yellow showing through.'

I'm still trying to track down the magazine. I remember there was some Israeli kill markings showing Arab air force roundels around the cockpit. These marking were showing through as the paint had weathered.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 10:36
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Possibly, I've got a photo somewhere, I'll see if I can find it and scan it in.
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Old 22nd Dec 2007, 01:09
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I have now received several messages from Colonel Raul Diaz and have, more or less, figured out what happened.
Diaz was leading 'Oro' formation with #3 (Puga) on his right and #2 (Castillo) on his left. Puga shouts that number 3 has been hit by a missile (himself?) He actually means #2! This is why Diaz looks and turns to his right and sees a missile about to hit #3. He shouts to him to eject but the missile hits a moment later. These were the two AIM9L's fired by Andy Auld. Both these Daggers crashed into the sea. Castillo was killed and Puga spent some five hours swimming but eventually made it ashore and survived. Meanwhile Diaz continues his hard turn to the right and is hit by my missile as he is passing south. He ejects at the last minute and his aircraft crashes on land south of Pebble Island. Despite being badly injured in the ejection he is subsequently rescued and survives the war.
I probably contributed to the confusion as I reported I had hit "number 3", when in fact I had actually hit "the third Dagger". History then went on to record that I had hit 'Oro3' which was also incorrect!
Many thanks again for the replies and information. If anyone has any photos of the wreck sites I would be very interested to see them.
ES
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Old 22nd Dec 2007, 01:41
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Edmund,
This thread is a little prune gem, I hope it stays at the top. Thanks for sharing the accounts of what happened.

Last edited by Paracab; 22nd Dec 2007 at 12:20. Reason: poor spelling 2/10 must try harder
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Old 22nd Dec 2007, 11:41
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ES,

Many thanks for posting an update. I've sent you a PM.

I've had no luck with tracking down the magazine showing an image of the Dagger nose section found in 1998. Lt. Castillo's remains were found in the nose section. I'll check out the aerojumbles/stalls at some of the airshows next year.

Regards

TJ
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Old 22nd Dec 2007, 12:15
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Thanks for this T.
Interestingly, I have evidence that it was not in fact Lt Castillo who was found but someone from a previous raid. I will check my my facts and post the story as soon as I have got it all together.
ES
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Old 22nd Dec 2007, 13:21
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ES, we've spoken I will get the photo scanned this afternoon. Without going into gory details, I stayed with a local who claimed that the body of one of the pilots was in wreckage on Pebble Island.
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Old 22nd Dec 2007, 14:51
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ES,
No probs. I did a further search on the web. The remains were initially thought to be of Lieutenant Castillo, but were later found to be of Lieutenant Hector Ricardo Volponi who was flying Dagger C-437.

http://www.escolar.com/NewsArchives/...681_esen.shtml
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 00:26
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ES,

Could you tell us something about your second (Skyhawk) kill on 8th June please? The books that I have lack detail, other than recording the event. I'm sure we'd all appreciate it if you could fill in the blanks.

Cheers,

Navaleye
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