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Thread: Falklands war thirty years on

  1. #1
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    Falklands war thirty years on

    Anybody have any personal memories,thoughts or comments on this ?

    It seems a lifetime ago now,and to some of you it will be,but I remember going to see the Canberra as she made her way home to Southampton Water.


    RIP all who died in the conflict.
    Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think.

  2. #2
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    It was a very anxious time for my family, as my sister's husband was a CPO on Hermes during the conflict. I remember him telling me that every time they had an Exocet warning, the ship would steer away from the threat, presenting her rear end, so he could almost draw an 'X' on his bunk wall where the missile was most likely to penetrate!
    From my office window, it was amazing to see Nimrods suddenly appearing with refuelling probes, Sidewinders, and new gash-looking ventral strakes.
    I had quite a few good friends on the crews, and briefed a lot of them for the trip south, so practically every TV news broadcast was avidly watched...
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups!

  3. #3
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    I was at Coningsby when it all kicked off, as a driver i was working with 228OCU and got chating to one of the instructors, and being rather young and bullish made the statement that the ruddy Argie air force wont have a hope against our lot, to which the instructor said " airman ive just come back from a 6 month detachment to a mirage unit in France, their with us were some of those Argie's and let me tell you they were bloody good!" and this was to be proved right, very right...Thankfully more of the bombs they dropped didn't go off, than the ones that did or it might had been a whole lot worse. Those days were great, not because of the war but because of the british people. When going out on the road delivering kit to Brize or where ever people would cheer us as we drove past.

  4. #4
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    I was at Odious on Chinooks, a lot of my mates were on the Conveyor, also on the island.

  5. #5
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    Tony T,
    A lot of your and my friends went for a swim from conveyer only to survive in San Carlos and Kelly’s Garden for the rest of the war. Unfortunately we lost a few after the war and attended their laying to rest.

    Having said that, a couple who survived were still at odious often came to annoy me in my office for coffees in 2000.

    I was deployed on fat alberts during the conflict and remained with them until 86 when I joined the wokka force until 2001.

    Have spent a total of over 2 years on the islands from 82 - 01 as part of my career of C130/CH47+ and have thoroughly enjoyed their hospitality as well as many hours of boredom. BUT! I will always support their consolidated wish to remain British.

    People will have to understand that what happened in 1982 and can be explained, has been! Those items that are covered by the Official Secrets Act will remain dormant until the Government of the Day says different. Speculation is very unhelpful. (Other threads on this site!!!)

    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wokka Bob View Post
    Speculation is very unhelpful.
    To whom?

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  7. #7
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    It's an interesting quandary, what is or isn't covered, some stuff I dont mention, especially the personal stuff related to me where they saw how some of those died, not just out of respect to those, but also to those who's families may be searching the web at this anniversary, even some of the light hearted stuff I don't mention.

    I know D L isn't any longer with us, was a true Gent, did a few flights with him when he was on Standards, indeed a few others from my time have gone A M my old Warrant Officer on the OCU, a true Gent, and my Favourite pilot from those days C T both on the old and later OCU. I sort of lost touch when I went to Germany and never sadly went back, I regret not attempting to go to the last anniversary pis... Party, both Chinook and Puma ones..

    Btw a blast from the past for you






    Have a couple of the original OCU Humming bird ones too from the Wessex Puma era.
    Last edited by TonyT; 14th April 2012 at 23:00.

  8. #8
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    On guard.

    Is it really thirty years ago?

    This photo was taken after it was all over and we were guarding the area around Air Traffic, including the C.130s, through the night. I still have my orders/rules of engagement for this period which states....'if you recognise the person to be enemy, you are to open fire, without warning'....
    I carried 60 rounds of 7.62 and on this night I had a (captured) .45 semi auto as well with about 30 in 4 clips, I also had use if need be a L32 5 shot semi auto shotgun with around 80 rounds of No1 shot.
    We operated in pairs and carried a large radio, a clansman(?)

    In the photo, I'm in front in the middle and with the guy behind me, just about to relieve the guards on the pan. The rear of the photo says simply 3.50am.
    I vaguely remember it was b*****y cold

    Baz
    Last edited by spitfireman; 10th January 2013 at 20:22.
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  9. #9
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    'if you recognise the person to be enemy, you are to open fire, without warning'....
    I remember Germany when live armed, "you have to shout a clear warning in English, if they fail to stop you shoot"...... " errr but what if they are Germans?" " their tough titty, they should have learnt English!" "Er ohh Okay then"

    Then changing guards and getting shouted at " Army, halt or I will fire"..... "But your in the Airforce XYZ"...... " I know that" comes the reply, "but who would take any notice of the Airforce, at least shouting Army they may think we know what we are doing".... "Fair enough, Army it is then."

    Or Ireland and snap shooting
    Last edited by TonyT; 15th April 2012 at 06:16.

  10. #10
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    Incredible that it's thirty years ago. it doesn't seem like it. I was an apprentice electrician at the time and we were wiring out a the workshop of a large Ford main dealer. The radio was always on and they interupted the program to give us the news about HMS Sheffield. The place came to a standstill, you could of heard a pin drop.

  11. #11
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    NI glad you brought that up. Remember Lee Clegg. Bl**dy hung out to dry!

    This link will give you an Idea(although I hate this paper)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...tan-medic.html
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    A mate who was on HMS Argonaut during the Falklands Conflict has lent me his photo album & scrapbook of his experiences, some amazing stuff, including pictures of UXB deep inside the ship, the smouldering remains of HMS Antelope, the considerable damage inflicted to Argonaut during sustained air attacks, the Herculean effort to effect repairs to Argonaut & voyage back to Devonport.

    We are about the same age,& while he was under attack by the Argies, I was sodding about at college
    Sometimes it's better to be a bumblebee than it is to be Professor Heinkel.

  13. #13
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    Mention of the SS Atlantic Conveyor in earlier posts has reminded me of a visit I made to the ship during her conversion into a makeshift aircraft carrier in 10 dock at Devonport Dockyard, just before she sailed for the Falklands.

    My first impression as I entered the ship via an imposing stern ramp, was her sheer size which almost filled Devonport's largest drydock. The lower decks resembled a spacious underground car park which wasn't too surprising as she was part 'car transporter' in civvy life. After a long climb upwards through her towering superstructure I eventually reached the bridge which was enormous in comparison to the bridge on the RN Frigate I had just left.

    My over-riding memory however is looking down from one of the bridge windows to the forward deck area where dozens of dockyard workers were beavering away constructing her new 'flight deck'. From my lofty position they appeared 'ant like' and totally focused on what they were doing - a very impressive sight. I seem to recall that the whole conversion took only ten days'.

    A few weeks' later, along with most of the nation, I was deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the fate of some of her crew and her subsequent sinking. A terrible loss.

    Regards....Paul

  14. #14
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    You got me doubting myself.

    However, after thirty years, I found the very orders I carried that night.

    Baz
    Last edited by spitfireman; 10th January 2013 at 20:22.
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    Ah!! the regulator didn’t disappoint. Speculation is an unhelpful diversion from the truth. The truth may be withheld out of respect for others, may be purely political, and at times may jeopardise certain folks safety. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Official Secrets Act also binds many of us. There are numerous other occasions when it is better not to speculate. That is my last comment on speculation on this thread.

    One story that does the rounds is the amount of equipment that was purported to be on the Conveyor. Any person missing any equipment at the time apparently had it written off against that sinking. If the stories are to be believed the Atlantic Conveyor would never been able to set sail from th UK due to the sheer weight of all that so called on-board equipment.

    Many talk of the lack of damage to Stanley runway. I can assure you that landing in a Herk tanker was very uncomfortable due to the uneven hastily repaired surface even with the AM2 matting over it. What it was like for the tooms I can but wonder. Heleo’s and jumping beans were no problem.

    TonyT, somewhere I have photos of the final Odius flypast. Will dig them out and scan. Was that AM the same that went to the stags on the other side of the airfield. Absolute gent. I worked with his buddy RH. RH loved Pumas but couldn’t abide the double rotating, hydraulic palm trees (Chinooks to the uninitiated). One off the A C who swam for his life as a Junior Tech and survived, was last seen as a Chief Tech on the Stars never having left Odius but worked in every hangar. I believe young OU retired from the mob in about 2003. Plastic modeller extraordinaire. Ah! Off thread again.:diablo:

  16. #16
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    There was a lot of stuff on the conveyor that was written off that wasn't on it, mate of mine cleared a lot of his inventory that couldn't be located, i know that as I helped him see what he had and hadn't post sinking.

    Don't know if A M went over there, he was prior to the OCU on the one with the cat peeing on a set of feeler gauges as a FS..

    One guy that got off the Conveyor couldn't swim, so was pleasantly suprised when found he actually floated..

    OU has an article on modelling the Chinook online but bits are wrong for the early one when I read it.

  17. #17
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    Baz, we were issued with the correct ones which were on small buff coloured folded cards, it had if memory serves me right your currency with it, that appears to be a copy of it, read the same but better than waving a A 4 sheet in the wind whilst one figures if one can shoot him, still have it somewhere.

  18. #18
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    Tony

    I think the yellow sheet was a confirmation supplement added to the buff weapons competency folded card. We could not draw the SLR without one.

    (However, there were another 2 SLRs in Air Traffic 24/7 in a gun rack which I had access to if needed, in an emergency)

    IIRC I tucked the buff one inside the yellow one. I still have it somewhere.


    Baz
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  19. #19
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    Still have my survive to fight book too, However would have thought that unless in a nuclear weapon explosion ( lie down facing the blast hands and any exposed flesh tucked in ) you were not to be holding the said book in those hands, it would melt thus rendering it as a aide memoir useless.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by spitfireman View Post
    I carried 60 rounds of 7.62 and on this night I had a (captured) .45 semi auto as well with about 30 in 4 clips, I also had use if need be a L32 5 shot semi auto shotgun with around 80 rounds of No1 shot.
    You’re not available to look after my house while I’m on holiday are you?
    WA$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
    I remember Germany when live armed, "you have to shout a clear warning in English, if they fail to stop you shoot"...... " errr but what if they are Germans?" " their tough titty, they should have learnt English!" "Er ohh Okay then"

    Then changing guards and getting shouted at " Army, halt or I will fire"..... "But your in the Airforce XYZ"...... " I know that" comes the reply, "but who would take any notice of the Airforce, at least shouting Army they may think we know what we are doing".... "Fair enough, Army it is then."

    Or Ireland and snap shooting

    HaHaHa! Love the bit about changing guards!
    That's the sort of humour I grew up with , being a padsbrat.
    Bmused55

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