The Royal Air Force played a significant role in helping to secure Britain’s recapture of the Falkland Islands in 1982 with its aircraft supporting UK forces during many operations. On the fortieth anniversary of the conflict, Forces.net revealed some of the details.
As the Royal Navy task force sailed south, Argentine ships and submarines posed a threat. RAF Nimrod aircraft patrolled the South Atlantic to guard against potential enemy attacks.
Derek Straw, who flew as a navigator on board the aircraft, recalls those missions. Mr. Straw said he was initially shocked to hear he was being deployed, amid his posting to RAF Kinloss in Scotland as a navigator with 206 Squadron.
“Somewhat of a shock, especially as I was in the middle of my flying tour which I was thoroughly enjoying, but orders were orders,” he said.
The Royal Air Force used Ascension Island – an Atlantic island halfway between the UK and Argentina – as a base during the conflict from which to launch aerial reconnaissance patrols.
Speaking highly of the Nimrod, Mr. Straw said: “My first trip in it, I thoroughly enjoyed it, fell in love with it straight away, I think it proved to be a very good aircraft for the job it had to do and it was enjoyed by just about everybody who flew them. Superb aircraft”.
In this video he speaks of his experiences.
Image: By Dale Coleman – Gallery page https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/506967Photo https://cdn.jetphotos.com/full/1/93545_1121299823.jpg, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29333414