Buckingham Covers - First Day Covers

Lieutenant Commander I Stanley DSO


When Argentina illegally occupied the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, the British Armed Forces recaptured the island in 'Operation Paraquet', thereby removing the Argentinian military presence and restoring the island to British Sovereignty. It was decided to land a mountain troop of Special Air Service soldiers on the glacier, to approach Grytviken from the most unlikely direction. After the troops were landed on the glacier in conditions of extremely poor visibility and gale extreme force winds on 21 April, their conditions deteriorated rapidly still further. During several repeated rescue attempts the following day by a Wessex 3 (Antrim) and two Wessex V (Tidespring) helicopters, the Wessex V aircraft crashed in extreme weather conditions. The Wessex 3, crewed by Lt Cdr Ian Stanley, Lt Chris Parry, Sub Lt Stuart Cooper and PO ACMN David Fitzgerald, succeeded in rescuing all troops and aircrew in an amazing feat of flying and navigation just before dark. On returning to Antrim, the Wessex 3 (which can be seen at the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton, Somerset) held 16 personnel instead of its normal 4 capacity.