March 2021: John Osmond “Surviving war and weather in the Falklands”

By way of a change from the usual yachting topics, John Osmond presented his experiences in the South Atlantic in 1982 as a member of the Royal Navy Task Force sent to recapture the Falkland Islands from Argentina. Curiously the date of the presentation was the 39th anniversary of when Argentine ships would have been in the South Atlantic preparing themselves for the invasion of the Islands.

John made it very clear that the presentation was not a political comment at all but his own account of simply “being there” at a crucial period.

 He was able to recount the experience of being “attacked” by an Argentine Air Force Hercules and how the Royal Navy mis-judged the ingenuity of the Argentine Air Force who had converted the C130H transport aircraft rather carefully using bomb racks under the wing where fuel tanks were normally fitted and then installing the fuel tanks into the enormous cargo hold of the C130. 

John was able to bring some sense of the South Atlantic weather to the gathered yachting audience highlighting that at one point RFA Fort Grange had been experiencing Force 11 winds.

 John’s ship, an RFA was home for 824 Naval Air Squadron C Flight where he was the Aircraft Engineering Officer – A Sea King Mk2 equipped flight –  from early May 1982 until October 1982.