Close Encounter

Lt Cdr David ‘Mog’ Morgan DSC describes his first brush with enemy aircraft during the Falklands conflict

Harrier in Combat

The author in front of a Sea Harrier. ALL VIA AUTHOR UNLESS NOTED

May 23, 1982 dawned grey and overcast with regular heavy showers sweeping across the bleak landscape of the Falkland Islands and making the flight deck of HMS Hermes a cold and even more inhospitable place than normal.

I had been airborne before dawn to fly a combat air patrol (CAP) at low level over the slate-grey waters of Falkland Sound in an effort to stop Argentine attacks on the armada of ships supporting the landings in San Carlos Water.

Over the previous 48 hours, since the landings had taken place, the Royal Navy had suffered many spirited attacks by Argentine Douglas A-4 Skyhawks and IAI Dagger (modified Dassault Mirage) fighters. These strikes had been pressed home with vigour, sinking the frigate HMS Ardent the previous evening, and damaging several other warships.

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