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Phantom F.1's on the Falkland Islands

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McDonnell Douglas Phantom F.1 - No.1435 Flight, RAF Falklands Air Defence Component, 1982

At an early stage in the Falklands conflict of 1982 four Phantom F.1's, drawn from No.229 OCU and manned by pilots from No.29 Squadron, were deployed to Ascension Island to provide emergency air defence against any potential Argentinian airborne commando raids (perhaps, using Hercules aircraft) or any air strikes launched from the carrier Veinticinco de Mayo. Whilst the latter was only ever a very remote possibility the UK Government viewed the establishment of a basic air defence component on Ascension Island as being essential to their plans to retake the Falkland Islands.

Arriving on Ascension Island on April 14th, 1982 the four Phantom F.1's were allocated to a hastily reformed No.1435 Flight based at Wideawake airfield. The swift re-conquest of the Falklands then saw No.1435 Flight deploy to RAF Stanley during October 1982 to take over air defence duties from 809 Naval Air Squadron. No.1435 Flight was eventually built up to squadron strength operating Phantom F.1's initially from RAF Stanley and later from RAF Mount Pleasant until they were replaced by Eagle F.2A's in 1992.






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