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Yanks in the Falklands War?

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Yanks in the Falklands War?

Old 9th May 2008, 13:01
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Yanks in the Falklands War?

Say it aint so.

Generally its an article of faith that the Falklands Conflict was won by Britain and Britain alone, but when I was in Wichita in 1982 a USAF tanker bod told me that some of their aircraft were involved supporting the war effort. Later in Oklahoma City I heard the same story again from another tanker crewman.

Given the prodigious use of tankers to support Black Buck flights the need for a bit of help doesn't seem too unlikely, and given that booms can carry a drogue add on.

However non of the books on the conflict that I've seen mention non-RAF tankers.
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Old 9th May 2008, 13:05
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There were no non-RAF tankers on Ascension throughout the duration, just Victors.
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Old 9th May 2008, 13:12
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I believe they supplied some "Int", was on a programme all about the argies trying to procure more exocets from the frogs during the conflict.
Was a good proggie too.
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Old 9th May 2008, 13:28
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They helped in that extra KC-135s were deployed to the UK to take over the NATO IFR commitments from the Victor force.
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Old 9th May 2008, 13:36
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Supplied AIM 9Ls.
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Old 9th May 2008, 13:45
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And F5s to simulate Exocets. Apparently, we asked if we could "borrow" the AIM 9Ls. CC 8th AF asked if that meant he'd get them back. Answer was a "no."
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Old 9th May 2008, 13:49
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A few Shrike missiles were obtained for the Vulcans.
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Old 9th May 2008, 13:50
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blimey

I'm not sure the US of A directly supplied AIM 9-Ls, as in shipping them to the Task Force, so to speak. AFAIR and I'm definitely open to correction, we ( UK F-4 force) had just begun receiving the Limas to replace our 9G's when the War started. Once the decision was made to send the Task Force our nice shiney 9L's were whipped out of the bomb dumps pretty darn smartly and sent down South. Again AFAIR we were left either with our old 9-Gs for a while or a reduced number of 9-Ls', I can't remember exactly. I know that atleast one of the F-4 QWI's of the era drops in here from time to time - he'll probably put me straight.

All really a question of semantics I know but probably v v important from the political side of things.

We did have assistance from the American's when we had some entertaining RHAG Cable problems at Stanley post the War ( RHAG 1, F-4 nil), but again the American prescence was kept fairly low key.
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Old 9th May 2008, 13:51
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Perhaps they helped support US flights to Ascension? There were quite a few USN tankers (of the sea going variety) diverted to Ascension plus I expect other delivers could have been made by air.
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Old 9th May 2008, 14:01
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AIM 9Ls

I'm sure Sharkey Ward mentions that the crates had Bitburg AFB hastily crossed out when they arrived on board.
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Old 9th May 2008, 14:01
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I don't reckon an large aircraft (Victor or Vulcan) could successfuly use the Boom Drogue Adapter (BDA) fitted to the KC135 to allow a probe equipped aircraft to refuel from it. The process is hard enough for a more manoeuvreable fighter.
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Old 9th May 2008, 14:08
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There are still rumours about Americans being shot or captured who were fighting with the Argentines
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Old 9th May 2008, 14:17
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Never conclusively proven, and there's a strong suspicion that the American accents were nothing more than Argentine troops with a good standard of English who'd spent some time in the US or who'd been taught the language by someone with an American accent.

As far as US cooperation at Ascension goes, there was a piece by AVM Ron Dick somwhere about his experience of how willing the Americans were to provide support - we're talking massive shipments of fuel and a refusal on their part to say 'Don't think we can' preferring to say 'Interesting challenge' shortly followed by delivery - I'll try and find it.

Edit: Page 73 onwards of this pdf file
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Old 9th May 2008, 14:50
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I seem to remember a very good series on TV some years afterwards that mentioned a mid-Atlantic rendezvous during the first mad dash south, when the USN cross-decked anything asked for on the understanding that Pentagon approval would probably follow!
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Old 9th May 2008, 14:51
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There is a story that the US offered the RN a Carrier with out crew, or air wing. Of course we could not take them up on the offer. Officialy all personnel were UK citizens. Though of course there were some chaps from Hong Kong down there. Canberra had to pay off her usual crew and sail for the only time in her history with a crew comprising of UK citizens. (They came under the NDA once hostilities comenced.) Subsequently I did meet an Aussie para officer who had neglegently not returned home and had "stoped one in the leg" (sic) for his pains.
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Old 9th May 2008, 15:07
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Dan W

Agreed...refueling of the short hose drogue on the KC-135 could be tricky..indeed I know someone who dented the intake ramp of an F-4 when they got the kink in the the short hosed drogue of the KC-135 wrong. The hose whipped round and clobbered the fixed, forward portion of the intake ramp...gave the back seater a shock, I understand he said

As for doing it with a Vulcan or a Victor.....
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Old 9th May 2008, 15:21
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DD - carrier story is perfectly true. Confirmed by John Nott and Admiral Leach at an seminar (unclas and transcript in public domain) at the Staff College in 2002.
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Old 9th May 2008, 15:21
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I think there were a couple of Canadians down there too - but in RN uniform. I went through BRNC with one - he had UK grandparents so qualified as a Brit IIRC.
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Old 9th May 2008, 15:24
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NATO weapons stocks

I do seem to recall reports at the time indicating that a lot of weaponry was drawn from stocks 'declared to NATO'. Agreement of allies was needed before they could be used elsewhere....... Apparently.

Also, didn't the chaps from across the channel come over with their Mirages and help the harriers get acquainted.... Over the welsh ranges if I remember correctly.

To those of you who took part, thanks for making me proud to be British.
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Old 9th May 2008, 15:25
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From a VC10. That's as close as we got!








IIRC, in the late eighties or early ninties, some guy in the Paras mentioned in a written account that his unit had captured some American Mercenaries fighting with the Argentinean forces on Mt Longden. He said that they were taken away by some of his colleagues and shot. Special Branch subsequently investigated this claim but found no evidence to support it.
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