Sunday, 17 June 2012

June 1982, Ashore - what a mess

We managed several trips ashore once the surrender was sorted out as the ship stayed in Stanley for a while.  We had to be careful because of booby traps and mines laid indiscriminately by the Argies - a totally indefensible tactic as it had no military function.  Anyway some photos to illustrate:

The airfield was littered with wrecked Pucaras the Argentinians only indigenous aircraft and one that worried us a great deal.  However their serviceability was apparently quite poor and they soon ran out of spares so they never really came to much.  Mind you when flying around the islands we always knew where the Argies had been as there always seemed to a crater with the remains of one in it.

Someone may have written 'RAF Stanley on the control building but the RAF refused to land there for almost 6 weeks due to the 'dangers of seabird strike' - it's true I remember seeing the signal that explained why they were continuing with air drops. So RNAS Stanley should have been more appropriate.  Its funny how the Argies managed to operate out of there at night and our light blue lot wouldn't even by day.  You may think I'm anti RAF but this generated a hell of a lot of bad feeling with the other two services.

Dumps of weapons like this were everywhere.  If you wanted a rifle you could just pick one up.  I wonder how many ended up in the islander's attics?

We were told the Argies had no armour - er what's this then?

A large number of Hueys were captured.  A friend of mine who had just come back from flying them in Germany managed to get some flown to the racecourse area and under guard as they were a good target for the soldiers anger.

This Puma was the target for someone else's anger.  Apparently it was General Menendez's personal transport and when the Argie troops were withdrawing into Stanley it was shot up in order to stop him escaping - if true what does that say about moral and leadership??  Two days after I took the photo a soldier was in it and had his hand blown off by a booby trap.

Port Stanley Police Station after having been hit by an AS12 anti-tank missile fired by a Wessex helicopter.  The idea had been to hit the town hall next door where the Argie brass had their daily operations meeting.  If you see how far away the helicopter was when it was fired then you would realise what a good shot it was.  For those who have read 'Sea Skimmer' there is a chapter about this raid and in large it is the words of the pilot himself.  Yet another story that has never really been given the credit it deserves as apparently the effect on the moral of the Argie brass was considerable. ( And yet another plug for my books - sorry).