British Units in the Falklands War
This is a list of the British forces that served during the Falklands War. It is NOT our intention to ignore any unit which served. We wish to get the facts correct and produce a accurate list of all the units who served.
Due to time pressures and a lack of staff, we can no longer update these pages. This may change in the future, please bear with us.
The Royal Navy
Flag officer, First Flotilla: Rear-Admiral John Woodward.
Commodore Amphibious Warfare: Michael Clapp.
Commodore of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary: Captain S.C. Dunlop.
|Ship||Commanding Officer||Date entered operational area|
|Invincible||J.J Black MBE||25/4/1982|
|Exeter||H.M. Balfour, MVO||19/5/1982|
|Glasgow||A.P. Hoddinott, OBE||20/4/1982|
|Active||Cdr. P.C.B. Canter||23/5/1982|
|Alacrity||Cdr C.J.S. Craig||25/4/1982|
|Ambuscade||Cdr P.J. Mosse||18/5/1982|
|Antelope||Cdr N. Tobin||18/5/1982|
|Ardent||Cdr A. West||13/5/1982|
|Arrow||Cdr P.J. Bootherstone||20/4/1982|
|Argonaut||C.H. Layman, MVO||13/5/1982|
|Penelope||Cdr P.V. Rickard||23/5/1982|
|Minerva||Cdr S.H.G. Johnston||23/5/1982|
|Endurance||N.J. Barker||In Theatre|
|Spartan||Cdr J.B. Taylor||12/4/1982|
|Splendid||Cdr R.C. Lane-Nott||19/4/1982|
|Conqueror||Cdr C.K. Wreford-Brown||16/4/1982|
|Valiant||Cdr T.M. Le Marchand||16/5/1982|
|Courageous||Cdr R.T.N. Best||30/5/1982|
|Onyx||Lt-Cdr A.O. Johnson||28/5/1982|
|Sir Bedivere||P.J. McCarthy||18/5/1982|
|Sir Galahad||P.J.G. Roberts||8/5/1982|
|Sir Geraint||D.E. Lawrence||8/5/1982|
|Sir Percivale||A.F. Pitt||8/5/1982|
|Sir Tristam||G.R. Green||8/5/1982|
|Sir Lancelot||C.A. Purtcher-Wydenbruck||8/5/1982|
|Hydra||Cdr R J Campbell||14/5/82|
|Herald||Cdr R Halliday RN||15/5/82|
|Hecla||Capt G L Hope RN||9/5/82|
Fleet Air Arm Squadrons deployed
|737||Wessex III helicopters|
|820||Sea King Mk.II ASW|
|824||Sea King Mk.II ASW|
|825*||Sea King Mk.II ASW|
|826||Sea King Mk.V ASW|
|846||Sea King Mk.IV ASW|
|847*||Wessex V Helicopters|
|848||Wessex V Helicopters|
|848*||Wessex V Helicopters|
Naval Party 1982 The naval party was formed to man the flight deck on the qe2. we helped in the building of the flight decks and run the flight decks from start to finish. we were made up form all trades from the fleet air arm but were predominantley from the aircraft handlers branch.
Naval Party 2060 Naval Party 2060 formed to operate the flight deck SS St Edmond (Later named MV Keren) and manned by aircraft handlers plus 1 LSA. Troop ship and also used for re-patriation of POW's to neutral Uraguay.
Fleet Clearance Diving Team. 1 and 2 We were a little known unit and I guess a bit hard to pin down. We were there to provide Bomb, Mine and diving cover for the whole Fleet. We disposed of bombs on HMS Argonaut, HMS Antrim, HMS Plymouth etc. and swept Bluff Cove for mines with the SBS, under the cover of darkness prior to the landings of many troops. We also swept houses for booby traps the day after the surrender. The boss of the team was Lt.Brian Dutton (DSO) the Fleet Cheif Mick Fellows (DSC)There were 18 of us in FCDT1. Thanks to Tony Groom for this entry.
* indicate squadron specially formed for Task Force operations.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary & Chartered ships
The Land Forces
HQ 3 Commando Brigade (Brigadier Julian Thompson,RM)
29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery (Lt-Col. Mike Holroyd-Smith)
29 Battery, 4 Regiment RA They deployed before the rest of 4th Regiment, with 3 Commando Brigade as the support battery for 2 Para. They provided the artillery Forward Observation Officers at the battle of Goose Green. The Battery Commander was Major Tony Rice.
59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers (Major Roderick Macdonald)
2 Troop, 9 Parachute Squadron RE 2 Tp deployed to the FI with 2 Para on the MV Norland. During the build up to the landing we were transferred to the Canberra and then the Assault Ship Intrepid. The Tp actually went ashore in support of 3 Para and were under command 59 Indep Cdo Sqn RE (as their 6th Tp).
40 Commando RM (Lt-Col. Malcolm Hunt)
42 Commando RM (Lt-Col. Nick Vaux)
45 Commando RM (Lt-Col. Andrew Whitehead)
2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment plus attached units (Lt-col. Herbert Jones)
3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment plus attached units (Lt-col. Hew Pike)
9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers (OC Major Chris Davies)
2 Tp attached 2 Para
Troop commander lt. Robbie Burns. 2 troop were initially attached to 2 para and sailed with them on the Norland. However it was thought that this engineer troop would be more useful to 3 para landing at Port San Carlos. 2 troop therefor cross decked to join 3 Para on the Canberra and subsequently onto the assault ship Intrepid. The troop sustained some casualties from blue on blue with 3 para. Thanks to John Hare for this entry.
3 Tp attached 2nd Battalion Scots Guards
1 Tp held in reserve
4 Troop attached to Sqn from 36 Engineer Regiment
Commando Logistics Regiment RM (Lt-Col. Ivar Helberg)
3 Commando Brigade HQ and Signals Squadron RM (Major Richard Dixon)
3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron (Major Peter Cameron)
2 Medium Reconnaissance Troops, B Squadron, the Blues & Royals (Lt. Mark Coreth)
3 & 4 Troop B Sqn The Blues & Royals. Equipped with 4 Scorpion, 4 Scimitar & 1 Samson. 3 Troop leader Lt the Lord Robin Innes-Ker, 4 Troop leader Lt Mark Coreth. Sailed to Ascension on Canberra then cross decked to HMS Fearless. Predominatly deployed with 2 & 3 Para and 2nd Btn Scots Guards.
T Battery 12 Air Defence Regiment
43 Air Defence Battery RA 43 Bty deployed in support of 2 Para / 3 Para, 1 section to each giving close air defence with the BlowPipe air defence missile system. To each of the Para Coy's. Also a detactment to each of the RFA's. BlowPipe air defence detactments went ashore with each coy. I myself was attaced to 2Para leaving from the Norland to the Landing craft. Thanks to Steve Lewis for this entry.
Air Defence Troop
1 x Raiding Squadron RM (Capt. Chris Baxter)
Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre, RM (Capt. Rod Boswell)
2, 3 & 6 Section Special Boat Squadron, RM (Major Jonathan Thomson)
D & G Squadrons, 22nd SAS Regiment (Lt-Col. Mike Rose)
3 x Tactical Air Control Parties
4th Assault Squadron Royal Marines, HMS Fearless (Beach Landing Party included Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle, Heavy Tractors, Track Layers, and full beach support party. Permanent staff on HMS Fearless)
Air Maintenance group
Rear Link Detachment 30 Signal Regiment (Satellite and High Frequency Communications), two squadrons were deployed in the region in a variety of roles, a detachment of five men were attached to the Scots Guards providing manpack comms at the Forward TAC HQ and as duplicate TAC HQ.
2 Sqn 30 Signal RegimentLanded Bomb Alley(San Carlos)to set up Tac HQ for MGRM.(Gen J Moore), Also set up at Teal Inlet and then again at Bluff Cove before surrender and subsequent HQ set up in Government House.
Teritorial army personal from 38th Royal Signals Regiment(V) served attached to 30 Signals Regiment in the Falklands War.
4 x Mexeflote detachments 17 Port Regiment Royal Corps of Transport Their callsigns were Mike 1, Mike 2, Mike 3 and Mike 4
5 x Landing Ship Logistics Detachments 17 Port Regiment
3 x Surgical Support Teams
Postal Courier Communications Unit Detachment of 1 PC Regiment
Detachment RAF Special Forces
Detachment 47 Air Despatch Squadron RCT
Detachment 49 EOD Squadron 33 Engineer Regiment
Y Troop Detachment (Communications)
Commando Forces Band (Stretcher-bearers)
HQ 5 Infantry Brigade (Brigadier Anthony Wilson)
2nd Btn Scots Guards (Lt-Col. Michael Scott)
1st Btn Welsh Guards (Lt-Col. John Rickett)
1/7th Duke of Edinburgh Own Gurkha Rifles (Lt-Col. David Morgan)
97 Battery, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery
HQ 4 Field Regiment Royal Artillery
21 Air Defence Battery, Royal Artillery
132 Battery Royal Artillery (The Bengal Rocket Troop), Part of the Support Regiment, Royal School of Artillery (Based at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain). 1 x Battery Commanders party and 2 x FOO parties supplied fire support to 1/7 Ghurka Rifles. Commanded by Maj Mike Fallon. Flew to Ascension to join the QE2 and landed on 1st June at San Carlos. Suffered 5 casualties out of 16 personnel deployed, including Capt Keith Swinton seriously wounded by sniper fire.
407 Troop RCT, as part of 5 brigade sailed on various ships ie mv nordic mv baltic qe2 etc commanded by 2nd lt ash ssgt blomquist sgt robinson landed at san carlos. many mention transport by 407 troop was the volvo snowcats but it was the snotrac think it was made by a swedish company can see some on the www,. detachments to welsh guards ett last elements stayed until sept 82 helping clear up logistics etc.
656 Squadron Army Air Corps
205 Signals Squadron Most of the squadron sailed on the QE2 with detachments on other ships. Some of the squadrons vehicles and a rigging team were crossed decked from the QE2 to the Norland in South Georgia. The rest of the Squadron Crossed decked onto the Canberra. The Squadron Commander, Maj Mike Forge, who had joined the Squadon just prior to the conflict and Alpha Troop Staff Sergeant Joe Baker were killed when the Gazelle they were in was shot down by friendly fire from HMS Cardiff.
Line det providing field land line for 5 INF BDE HQ & SIG SQN.
244 Signals Squadron (AS), RAF Brize Norton As Sig Pearson 24509930 along with 12 other Royals Signals we sailed aboard MV St Edmunds. Most of our Land Rovers with all equipment was lost on Sir Galahad when it was hit in Bluff Cove. Lance Corporal Jeff Rantz was aboard Sir Galahad and survived shaken but unhurt. The unit was split up and I ended up in Stanley Airfield on 14th June and entered Port Stanley on 15th
16 Field Ambulance
81 Ordnance Company
Forward Air Control Party
5 Infantry Brigade Provost Unit RMP (Provost Marshall Capt Alan Barley RMP)This unit remained in the Falklands after the surrender as special constables until civilian police forces could be deployed.
Other Army units shown are:
49 Field Regiment RA 49 FD Rgt RA, Total of 16. Maj R Gwynne RA, Capt Willie Nicole RA, + 1 other Capt. 2 x FOO parties and Batter Commanders party attatched to 2 Scots Guards.
Joined QE2 at Ascention Island and travelled to South georgia. Transferred to Canberra to Falklands.
137 Battery, 40 Regiment RA
16th Air Defence RA
148 Commando battery
11 Field Squadron, RE Sailed on Sir Bedevere, Landed Port San Carlos. OC Major Hawken RE (mentioned in despatches). Shot down a skyhawk off Sir Bedivere.
There was a pre advance resources cell which flew to Ascension to organise and control the movement of Engineer Resources for the FI. I was attached to 11 Sqn from 15 Fd Sp Sqn to conduct this task with 9 x 11 Sqn guys.
We also sailed from the Ascension on the Norland with the existing 2 Para and Engineers. I was a Cpl at the time and eventually met up with the Sqn at Port San Carlos after an attack on the Sir Lancelot with 59 Commando Engineers on the Mon .24 May 82
33 Engineer Regiment
61 Field Support Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment CO Col Geoff Field. Sailed south on QE2.
Military Works Force RE
10 Field Workshop REME, The unit was mainly used along with the battle casualty replacements as prisoner of war guards, we were onboard the Baltic ferry and we returned prisoners under the control of the Red Cross to Uruguay and one trip to deliver them to Argentina after the ceasefire. The Workshop initially set up at the blacksmiths in Port Stanley, but was moved to Moody Brook where it eventually became 2 Field Workshop REME. Many Thanks to Derrick Clarke for the detailed information.
The unit was an integral part of 5 Bde, sailed south on the QE2 and the Baltic Ferry (and if my memory serves me some of the para section went on the Canberra - but I could be wrong), went ashore and set up with what stores they could unload at Port San Carlos, Blue Beach and provided as much support as possible alongside 81 Ord. Post surrender a few members assisted with POWs and the repatriation of them whilst the bulk set up workshop facilities for peacetime. For a while the workshop operated from the vehicle deck of the Baltic ferry in Port Stanley harbour, and it was during this time that Cpl Browning (attached from the RM) disappeared in a sudden squall in an inflatable boat. The unit did not manage to get home until August. How do I know? I was OC RAOC Stores Platoon attached 10 Field Workshop, and I was there throughout. Thanks to Robin McDowall for this entry. Thanks to Robin McDowall for this entry.
Special Tasks Detachment was a small subordinate unit of 4 Comms Unit and deployed on HMS Intrepid, as Army EW Det and operated from her for the war. Subsequently disembarked at Port Stanley and established as JSSU FI. The unit was a mixture of Intelligence Corps and R Sigs.
14th Signals Regiment
202 Signals Squadron
602 Signal Troop (Special Communications).
Composite Port Squadron Alpha Port Op attached to Sir Lancelot and MV Elk, MV Sandshore
10 Field Ambulance RAMC
2 Field Hospital RAMC
Joint Helicopter Support Unit Sixteen sailed on Norland. Two members were assigned to the Atlantic went on the conveyor. All but two JHHSU were off the conveyor before it got hit, the two members being repatriated soon after the sinking of the conveyor. As Chinooks were in short supply the unit role was redundant. Due to the shortage of aircraft, only 4 men were required to operate with the one remaining Chinook, BN. These being located at Port San Carlos in the old sheep sheds. The remainder of the unit were relocated, via HMS Fearless, to the MV Europic Ferry, where we remained until we were required. The Chinook team worked with the remaining Chinook and were responsible for underslung loads, internal loads, organizing pax etc and guarding POW's flying back to Ajax Bay. We didn't make the Mount Kent incident as we'd been dropped off at Ajax Bay and the helicopter was re-tasked at short notice.
29 Transport and Movement Regiment RCT
91 Ordnance Company. Royal Army Ordnance Corps. 91 Ord Coy under the command of Major R B P Smith, Provided 3rd line support in areas such as a Mobile Bakery Platoon, Laundry and Bath Platoon, NAAFI/EFI Section and a composite Combat Supplies Company. This unit arrived after the end of hositilies.
421 EOD Company, Royal Army Ordnance Corps
91 Ord Coy RAOC Elements of 91 Ord arrived on the 2nd June. 4 Plt (Petroleum Operators) of which I was part of supplied all of the fuel. A fuel installation was set up at San Carlos.
Commando Ordnance Squadron, Royal Army Ordnance Corps. The Commando Ordnance Squadron, under the command of Major A C D Welch provided an 86 man detachment to the Commando Logistic Brigade. With a Petroleum Operating Platoon from 81 Company replacing the Commando TA section not alowed to deploy.
Royal Air Force
No 1(F) Squadron 14 Harriers belonging to 1(F) Squadron were prepared for deployment as part of Operation Corporate. 10 aircraft reached the task force around May 18th and took part in operations, and of these 3 were lost in action. The remaining 4 arrived in theatre the day after the cease-fire. Flt Lt Glover was shot down and became the only British POW. The Squadron Commander was Wing Commander Peter Squire and was awarded the DFC along with Squadron Leader Pook. No 1(F) Sqn returned to the UK in August 1982.
18 Squadron Chinooks 4 chinooks on Atlantic Conveyor with 2 crews and groundcrews rest of Sqn on Norland. 25 May Conveyor hit by Exocets 1 Chinook BN flying on task made it to Hermes and then to San Carlos next day where it flew throughout the war. Commanding officer Wing Commander T Stables. DFC awarded to Squadron Leader D Langworthy. Sqn personnel are still serving on the Falklands after 20 years.
29 Squadron Phantoms
42 Squadron Nimrods
44 Squadron Vulcans
50 Squadron Vulcans
55, Squadron Victors
57 Squadron Victors
70 Squadron Hercules
101 Squadron Vulcans
120 Squadron Nimrods
201 Squadron Nimrods
202 Squadron Sea Kings
206 Squadron Nimrods
2 Wing HQ Unit RAF Regiment
15 Field Squadron RAF Regiment
63 Squadron RAF Regiment
1 ACC Radar
Tactical Communications Wing
Tactical Supply Wing
UK Mobile Air Movements Squadron (UKMAMS - see http://www.ukmams-assoc.fsnet.co.uk for more details)
No.1 EOD unit, CO Flt Lt Alan Swann.
Ordnance Demolition Unit
RAF Mobile Meteorological Unit A small detachment of the RAF Mobile Met Unit (MMU) deployed from UK by air (via Gibraltar) to Ascension Is on 7 Apr 82. It provided meteorological support to the Units operating in, around, and to/from Ascension (including various long-range reconnaissance and supply missions into the deep S Atlantic, and the Vulcan bombing missions, as well as the many re-supply flights to/from UK) during the conflict and for many months after until the met facilities were taken over by UK based civilians of the Met Office.
On 19 Jun 82 a second detachment left UK by sea aboard TEV Rangatira, arriving at Port Stanley on 13 Jul 82. This det set up shop in the Control Tower at Port Stanley airfield and provided met support to all Units operating in and around the Falkland Is, including the Falklands Island Government Air Service and the civilian population. Coverage was also provided for routine flights to South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands, and British bases in Antarctica, as well as the regular Airbridge flights to Ascension. The MMU was finally withdrawn from Stanley on 29 Apr 86 when the provision of meteorological services was taken over by UK based civilians of the Met Office operating from the newly opened airfield at RAF Mount Pleasant.
The MMU Unit was commanded by Flt Lt (promoted Sqn Ldr whilst in the field) W R McQueen, RAFR, who was subsequently awarded MBE for his, and the Unit's, operations during CORPORATE in the S Atlantic.
Mobile Catering Support Unit
HQ 38Group TACP (MAOT)