Attack on the Río Iguazú

On this day in 1982

Defence of the Realm

The Rio IguazaThe Rio Iguazu

In the darkened early hours of the morning of May 22nd 1982, a pair of Sea Harriers of No.800 NAS made their run along the deck of the ageing carrier HMS Hermes before leaping off the ski-jump mounted on the foredeck and in to the air. Armed for a combat air patrol, they carried a pair of AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles under their outer wing pylons while tucked under the fuselage in two streamlined pods were a pair of 30mm ADEN cannons. Their patrol route took them over Choiseul Sound, a stretch of water north of East Falkland island. Unbeknown to the two British pilots but a solitary vessel draped in camouflage was already traversing this stretch of water hoping to use the poor early morning light for protection from British aircraft. It was the Argentine Coast Guard (Prefectura Naval Argentina) vessel the Río Iguazú under the command…

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