Falkland Islands War, Malvinas guerra, Neil Wilkinson, Mariano Velasco

News about the Falkland Islands, Malvinas War   
Photography Index. Islas Malvinas,
la guerra de Malvinas Fotografa Indice Libro de Visitas.

Neil Wilkinson at 49 years old
Neil Wilkinson from the HMS Intrepid, the 1982 Falkland Islands - Malvinas War and how he shot down the pilot who sunk the HMS Coventry. Overview of the War.

This is a very unique exhibit with exclusive pictures and stories from Neil Wilkinson the man who shot down the Argentinean Pilot who sunk the HMS Coventry.  This exhibit actually has a photo of  the 40mm Cannon Shell Cartridge that shot down the A-4 Skyhawk that  Lt. Mariano Velasco from Argentina.  Put your name in the guestbook and tell us your story of the Falklands War.  Islas Malvinas, la guerra de Malvinas.

Neil Wilkinson desde el HMS Intrepid, las Islas Malvinas 1982 - Guerra de Malvinas y cmo se derrib el piloto que hundi el HMS Coventry. Vista general de la guerra.  Esta es una exposicin muy especial con sus fotografas y las historias de Neil Wilkinson, el hombre que dispar por el piloto argentino que hundi el HMS Coventry. Esta exposicin tiene en realidad una foto de la Shell 40mm Cannon cartucho que derrib la A-4 Skyhawk que el teniente Mariano Velasco de la Argentina. Ponga su nombre en el libro de visitas y contarnos su historia de la Guerra de las Malvinas. Islas Malvinas, la guerra de Malvinas.


Click Here to see the Falklands, Malvinas War Home Page

   This is the Home Page for the Falkland Islands War Photo Tour Exhibit  

To the Main Entrance of the Yellow Airplane StoreGo to the Stores Front Door to See a Lot MORE.

Jet Fighters Motorcycles Corvettes Ships Spacecraft Tanks Martin Guitars


Falklands Exhibit Index - Malvinas ndice Exposicin

    Neil Wilkinson's Official Facebook Page   

 Click Here to see the making of the NEW Movie,
"Enemy Contact"

If anyone has any photos or stories that they would like to share and add to this page,
please contact me at the bottom of the page.

Click Here's a link to YouTube where a U.S. Pilot and North Vietnamese Pilot became friends.


ENEMY CONTACT "Time is a great healer and men’s attitudes alter over time. We see men embracing and coming together to forgive and forget. We all have a different story. I personally could not think of a better and more pleasurable thing to do than walk up to a guy who was my enemy from a very long time ago, take hold of his hand, look him in the eye and know that it is all finally put to bed".
- Neil Wilkinson


3-16-2013 Excerpts from a letter from Neil Wilkinson.

Last Fridays interview went well and I felt really good although I
wasn't prepared for some of it as I thought I was in the studio just
to talk about the referendum that was going to take place.
The interview centered around that but also it took a slight twist and
the presenter got a shock when she asked me "was it frightening?"
I said to her and on air, "when you consider that on the first day alone
72 aircraft attacked the task force and 26 of those went personally
for my ship"
She looked at me with her mouth wide open then away from the
microphone said "My God"
I just said "I think somebody was looking out for me or we just got

10-29-2012  A thought from the webmaster to Neil Wilkinson.   

Dear Neil,  Think of this: Because of your quest to find Mariano, you have become one of the worlds top peacemakers. Because of Mariano's letter asking you to come to visit, and to bring your whole family and stay at his house, he has unknowingly and unavoidably became on the list of the worlds great peacemakers. You and Mariano may be nominated to win the Nobel Peace Prize. It's possible.   Neil.

10-27-2012  Peace Talks: Neil Speaks at the Bradford University.

At Bradford University, Neil prepares for his speech talk.Hi Jeff,
Well today was an exhausting day, but memorable.
I had to wait a long time before I got my chance, I nearly broke down during the talk and I also needed a glass of water to take with me.  The talk started with a brief intro, then pictures running in the background while I talked.  I was allowed 15 minutes but I cut it short because the last bit was the video and I didn't want to over cover what would be already said on the video.

Afterwards I had many of the people coming up to me who were brought to tears by the way I presented the talk and said what I had to say, the message was strong even for them, they loved it. One guy even said to me, "you should make a movie of that", I said "we are" it was such a moving experience for them and I honestly thought that the momentum of our meet (Mariano and I) had died but I saw today and got so much positive feedback that I know it has not died and this is exactly what people want. I was never worried about the venue as it was full of Rotarians who thrive on peace.

Neil talks about his efforts to meet Mariano

Neal talks about his adventures trying to find Mariano and trying to go to Argentina for a visit to Mariano's house, making a documentary.







Neil Wilkinson talks watches a video about the Falklands War in 1982Neil completed his talks and views of the peaceful reunion of himself and the man that he shot down, Mariano Velasco.  After the talk there was a slide show and video for everyone to watch.  Here Neil stands quietly watching the video.













6-14-2012  News
President Cristina Fernandez, President of Argentina, will travel to the United Nations (UN) in New York next week to discuss the future of the Falkland Islands.

Cristina Fernandez takes fight for Falklands to UN  

Christina Fernandez asked C24 for June 14 to deliver her Malvinas Speech 

Argentina calls for Falklands Reconciliation with half-truths and veiled threats 

'It's sad she's hyping up the rhetoric for the UN': Kirchner marks 30th anniversary of Argentina's Falklands defeat by going to little-known committee  

Argentina to raise Falklands UK 'militarization' at UN 

Argentina's president renews claim to Falkland Islands  

Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner  

Argentina's diplomatic offensive on Falklands  

5-29-2012  Excerpts from a letter from Neil Wilkinson

I was talking to Mariano and his brother  the other day,  27th May!  It was great because we both had our own special Anniversary moment, he spent it with his family and so did I, but 30 years on that day is still as clear as a bell for me.


5-22-2012  Excerpts from a letter from Neil Wilkinson.

Yesterday I received a proof copy of my captains book, it is really informative and I never realized how lucky my ship was.  On the first day the Argentines sent over 72 aircraft and 25 of those flew directly towards us and dropped bombs, all missing us completely.
Lucky man me!


From the Webmaster.  I've worked with Neil since November of 2008 to make this project a reality.    Since then I knew that the battle was fierce, but until I have read the information from his Captain, I never realized that it was that fierce.  These sailors were really busy and the Argentine pilots were ferocious.  

4-24-2012 A letter from Neil Wilkinson.

I dropped that Argentinean girl a message last night and asked her all about the seminar, I get approx half an hour to talk about peace and my aim is to get a strong message across, what she likes about my meeting with Mariano is that we both met without any politician or agreement in place, it was a natural process and this speaks volumes within the community of peace, so we could be on our way to becoming a peace envoy!

From the Webmaster:  Neil isn't finished with this project, in fact the project is only started.  Now that the documentary was made about the meeting of Mariano and Neil, the peace process is working through a series of seminars.   When Neil went to Argentina to meet Mariano Velasco, he went there to make inner peace with himself and to make friends with Mariano, the man that he shot down during the Falklands War and make peace between the both of them  and both of their countries.  What's next?

A note from 5-22-2012 Thanks for the kind words, Jeff!
And yes the YellowAirplane page gets a lot of traffic on the Neil story.
That's fantastic. People love this story and it's fitting that they do because it's truly fantastic

A Special Letter for Commodore Pablo Carballo's birthday on Dec. 11th. 

Alejandro Chinchilla Janitocruz
Many in some talks can not understand certain things ... when leaving the Falklands, the faces are transformed and more than one place the cassette (or mp3 file now), everything we've heard over the years. .., the same as always, do not fight, we could not stick together, we had fear, etc, etc, etc ... but it took me 28 years to learn that these very poor phrases taken from a history book fourth are not true ...; Alterio say "whore worth being alive "..., I would say" the bitch who have fought like lions "...., and so, a handful of Argentines played it all for all of us and so we had to think the Argentines that those men, those Argentines are our heroes?, the whore that I am proud of the men think of those brave days in April 1982, now I can not get the head does not feel proud of those men who were teenagers and men were more men that intersection and the first battle hardened.
Today is the birthday of Comodoro Pablo Marcos Rafael Carballo, is a hero, no way around it, today we are nearly 1140 members who feel the same, we feel that this man gave everything, but damn!, I've been thinking More than once it can pass through the head of a man who has a 9 to 1 ratio of dying before a NATO frigate, and I go, I go because I can not see much value ... or so much love?, I think that's the word LOVE. Love of country, which he sheltered us from the first cry, heaven Love, Love to each of the Argentines to put our grain of sand so that it not be forgotten, love to families, to the persons and land that is unwavering and indispensable ARGENTINO. If love is the word for such courage, as he has put into play Mr. Commodore.
In honor of him, and with much respect we have created a permanent memorial corner ... so that we could live from childhood that glorious moment of our weapons can remember and keep alive in every birthday, every 2 April, every May 1 in every 10 of August ... in every day that passes until our Islands are once again part of our beautiful and great country.
For all group members for each full-blooded Argentine and the younger, just that they will lift the flag of sovereignty over those islands, we wish a very happy birthday to our dearest Commodore Pablo Carballo, a large man, a great patriot, a great father, a friend of iron and an example of Argentina ..., what else I can say THANK ?..., Don Pablo, Thanks for that delivery, that value and those guts to defend what is ours .
Health and Happy Birthday to our Dear Commodore!

From the Webmaster:  This is exactly what Neal Wilkinson told me.  He said that he was not a hero from England, but he was just a crewmember and everyone shared in the efforts and their battles.  C. Jeff Dyrek

Neil Wilkinson on his 21st Birthday, the Wilkinsons Now, the documentary was made by the BBC through this website and was shown Internationally on Jan16th 2012

The Documentary that Never Happened 

1-15-2010  News update.  We were going to make a documentary about Neil's trip to see Mariano last November.  I didn't put this message on the page because I wasn't sure how Neil felt about letting everyone know about his ordeal.  In the process of getting his tickets to fly to Argentina, Neil had to get vaccinations for the trip.  He received his vaccinations and the producer of the documentary had almost everyone's tickets purchased for the trip when everything changed with a twist.  A few days after receiving the vaccination, Neil started having problems with his bladder.  When he had to go to the restroom, he couldn't, so he started to drive to the doctors office.  He jumped in his car and backed it out of the driveway and almost wrecking it because he couldn't pick up his leg high enough to touch the brake. 

This was a real eye opener.   It turned out that the Hepatitis-A part of the vaccination attacked the protein coating of his nerves in Neil's lower spinal column allowing the nerves to short out, for lack of other words.  Neil lost all functions below his belly button and the condition may have been permanent.  Thanks to his good doctors and the English Health system, they properly diagnosed the problem and Neil is now able to walk and function, but he mentions that even little things are still a big effort. 

At this time, the documentary company has not scheduled a new date for it's making, so we are all still hoping and praying that, both, Neil gets well, and the documentary will still be made.  C. Jeff Dyrek

 El documental que nunca ocurrieron
1/15/2010 actualizacin de noticias. bamos a hacer un documental sobre el viaje de Neil a ver a Mariano en noviembre pasado. Yo no puse este mensaje en la pgina porque no estaba seguro de cmo Neil sentido de permitir que todo el mundo sepa sobre su terrible experiencia. En el proceso de obtener sus boletos para volar a Argentina, Neil tuvo que conseguir las vacunas para el viaje. Recibi su vacunacin y el productor del documental haba de casi todos los boletos comprados para el viaje cuando todo cambi con una torcedura. Unos das despus de recibir la vacunacin, Neil comenz a tener problemas con su vejiga. Cuando tena que ir al bao, no poda, as que empez a conducir a la oficina de los mdicos. Salt de su auto y el respaldo fuera de la calzada y casi destruirlas porque no poda levantar la pierna lo suficientemente alta como para tocar el freno.
Este fue abierto los ojos. Result que la Hepatitis-A parte de la vacunacin atac la capa de protena de sus nervios en la columna vertebral inferior de Neil permitiendo que los nervios a cabo a corto, a falta de otras palabras. Neil perdido todas las funciones por debajo de su ombligo y la condicin de haber sido permanente. Gracias a sus buenos mdicos y el sistema de Ingls de la Salud, se diagnostica correctamente el problema y Neil es ahora capaz de caminar y la funcin, pero se menciona que las cosas an siguen siendo poco un gran esfuerzo.
En este momento, la empresa documental no ha programado una nueva fecha para la que est haciendo, as que todava estamos esperando y rezando para que, tanto, Neil se recupera, y el documental an ser. C. Jeff Dyrek

This is the Documentary that Never Happened.

Neil Wilkinson in the TESCO Newspaper

Neil's Documentary was indeed made, but in December 2011 and shown for the first time Jan 16th 2012  Click here to see the Falklands Documentary Page

Neil Wilkinson hits the headlines in the TESCO Newspaper.  Tesco is the company where Neil works.

The text in the article reads.  A Falklands war veteran is about to embark on a remarkable journey and be reunited with an Argentinean pilot he thought he had shot down and killed during the conflict. 

Neil Wilkinson, a dotcom picker at our Roundhay store in Leeds, spent 25 years tormented by the belief that he had caused the death of a solo Argentinean pilot Mariano Velasco. 

And he only discovered that Mariano was actually still alive in 2007 when he spotted him on the History Channel speaking on a TV programme to mark the 25th anniversary of the conflict.

he knew immediately that it was the man he had shot down as a 22-year-old Royal Navy seaman as there had only been one attack by the British forces that day - 27 May 1982.

When Neil saw Mariano, now 60, on the programme he was still on crutches having damaged his knee ligaments either when he ejected or landed on the ground.

Neil said: "I just feel so happy really. I was thrilled to find out he was still alive and am so pleased to have been able to track him down.  I have been onto websites and seen pictures of him with his daughters and grandchildren and it is a lovely feeling.  It is dreadful to think that all of these years I thought I had killed him - but he was alive all the time and I didn't kill him at all."

Back in May of 1982 Neil was serving on board the assault ship HMS Intrepid and was posted on the anti-aircraft guns onboard the ship.


Neil, now 49, said: "During the conflict I was responsible for the shooting down of two Argentine aircraft one on 23 May and one on 27 May 1982.  It was the 27 May incident that is particularly unique - the last time I saw the aircraft it was trailing smoke behind it and it crashed.  Obviously it was a bit of a shock when I saw the pilot on TV all those years later - but I decided to try and trace him.  After eight months of trying to find the pilot and many false leads I found him", said Neil, who joined Tesco in November 2008. 

Neil is now finalizing his plans for the reunion which will take place this autumn at the exact spot where the aircraft crashed - and the pair will shake hands for the very first time. 

Neil even got to meet the Queen in 1986 - four years after the Falklands conflict ended.  By then he had left HMS Intrepid and was serving on HMS Brazen alongside a helicopter pilot by the name of Prince Andrew.

Said Neil: "We made the trip to London and whilst we were there Prince Andrew invited the Queen on board.  I cant really remember what she said to me.  I think she just asked me how I was and if I enjoyed the Royal Navy, which I did at the time." Neil eventually left the navy a few years later in 1989.

From the Webmaster:  First of all look at the big smile on the Queen.  She was obviously pleased by her conversation with Neil. 

Now, after you have read the above article, you can see that killing a man, even an enemy soldier was very hard on Neil.  This whole expedition to meet Mariano has all started from that feeling that Neil had for many years.  His life has really picked up since he found out that Mariano was alive and that Mariano said that we were just doing our job.  As you read throughout this exhibit, you will find that after Neil finally contacted Mariano, Mariano invited Neil and his family to come to Argentina to visit. 

Now the Expedition is officially on.  As the webmaster and working with this expedition from its conception, I have had over a thousand emails on this subject. We have had people from eight countries who have helped us with this expedition and webpage exhibit.  I have had many hours talking to Neil on the phone and have, in the course of the expedition project, have met three other British Sailors and two Argentinean Pilots.  It's really a delight to me for all of these dreams of working with Neil's project to come true.  It's been a lot of work for both Neil and me before any company was interested in doing a documentary on this Falklands event, but now it's real. 

I will be leaving for the Falklands a week before Neil and the TV crew arrive.  On this project Neil is considered the Expedition Leader and I am the Expedition Motivator.  There is one very important rule to make anything come true.  First you must believe that it is real and then you must work hard and never quit.  For any project of this magnitude, it takes about a year of work before it will happen, this time it took eleven months.

C. Jeff Dyrek, Webmaster.

Click Here's the Webmasters response to a letter from Neil Wilkinson about stresses from and about meeting people who were former enemies.

I can understand about the feeling of backlash about Mariano being on the Islands.  This is what I want to avoid.  The people of England didn't fight the people of Argentina, it was the governments.  But, just like in WW2, there was hate instilled in the people from the conflicts then too.
Somehow, I would like to see only positive things come out of this and each country honor each others soldiers for their hard work.
Just before I went to the Philippines, there was a Japanese soldier who still lived in a cave right on the Subic Bay Naval Base.  He thought that the war was still on and put up a huge fight when they found him.  The United States took him onto the base, showed him around, and then flew him back to Japan with full honors from the U.S.   It was a great thing.
In WW1 there was a huge battle, and on Christmas, against orders, both sides stopped the war and had dinner together.
When I was in Siberia, I was in my room getting my equipment ready for the next day's trip to the pole.  I was wearing my Kitty Hawk Hat with all of it's medals on it.  I forgot that I had the hat on and walked into the hallway.  There were three Russian Soldiers there, one with an AK-47.  Instantly, every eye hit my hat.  I thought that I was in trouble.  When I walked up to them, they all wanted to shake my hand.
In Viet Nam, my brother did the same thing that I always did, and that was to get away from the Americans.  The nationals treated foreigners very nice that way.  He was eating in a restaurant and three Viet Cong soldiers entered the restaurant all with AK-47's.  They instantly looked at each other and my brother said he looked at his gun and realized as soon as he reached for it he would be dead.  So instead, he yelled out in Vietnamese, come and eat with me.  So that's exactly what they did.  After the meal, the Viet Cong soldiers said, "You are an OK Joe, but this is our restaurant and you can go this time, but if we catch you here again, we will kill you." 
I have these stories over and over from many veterans that have written to me.  This is why I was thinking of the series, "When Enemies Become Friends."  If we give the other people a chance, we find that they are people too.  They have the same ideas and the same desires and enjoy the same things.  If Mariano and Pablo came to the Falklands, and we gave them a huge meal and had everyone meet, it could be a good thing if we set it up to be that way.  This is why the Falkland Islands Government said that they do not want to reenact the war.  And I don't want to either.  Forget the war and think of the future. Can you imagine the tourism between both countries if we can break down these barriers.  There is a reason that you and I have met, Neil.  It wasn't just to re-hash the old war stories, but talk of ways that we can make the future better for everyone.  The hardest part is the very first step and since we all live on the same planet, we need to think of our relationships in this way.  With this project, we can take our first steps.
Thank you very much,


12-2-2009 This is a message forwarded to myself from Rear Admiral PGV Dingemans (Rtd) and the 1st Sea Lord. It transpires that it took the Skyhawks 18 seconds to fly from end to end of San Carlos, that said, Intrepid was anchored at her usual place in the middle of the sound, which meant that in order to react. load and fire the 40mm Wilky had only 9 seconds. Even the 1st Sea Lord is impressed by the speedy reaction which has gone down in the History books as an act that potentially saved the lives of many men.  BZ- From Rear Admiral Peter Dingemans (Rtd) and the Naval Secretary Office.  Neil.

12/2/2009 Este es un mensaje transmitido a m mismo del Almirante PGV Dingemans (retirado) y el Seor del Mar 1. Resulta que tom la Skyhawks 18 segundos para volar de un extremo a otro de San Carlos, que dijo, Intrepid estaba anclado en su lugar habitual en el medio del sonido, lo que significa que, para reaccionar. cargar y disparar el 40mm Wilky slo 9 segundos. Incluso el Seor 1 del Mar est impresionado por la rpida reaccin que ha bajado en los libros de historia como un acto que podra salvar la vida de muchos hombres. BZ-del contralmirante Peter Dingemans (retirado) y la Oficina del Secretario de Marina. Neil.


While here at home it has given me food for thought and I got thinking about how events in my life and everyone else's happen, if I hadn't have fallen out with my girlfriend back in the 70`s I would never have joined the navy, then I wouldn't be where I am now and so on..  What we don't realize is that our youthful years are the benchmark for how we are going to cope with adult life and what we become and do with our life's.  Neil  

While here at home it has given me food for thought and I got thinking about how events in my life and everyone else's happen, if I hadn't have fallen out with my girlfriend back in the 70`s I would never have joined the navy, then I wouldn't be where I am now and so on.. What we don't realize is that our youthful years are the benchmark for how we are going to cope with adult life and what we become and do with our life's. Neil

Mientras que aqu, en casa me ha dado que pensar y me pensando en cmo los acontecimientos en mi vida y todos los dems sucede, si yo no hubiese cado en desgracia con mi novia en los 70 `s que nunca se habra unido a la Marina , entonces yo no estara donde estoy ahora, etc .. Lo que no se dan cuenta es que nuestros aos de juventud son una referencia para saber cmo vamos a hacer frente a la vida adulta y lo que ser y hacer con nuestra vida. Neil
Mientras que aqu, en casa me ha dado que pensar y me pensando en cmo los acontecimientos en mi vida y todos los dems sucede, si yo no hubiese cado en desgracia con mi novia en los 70 `s que nunca se habra unido a la Marina , entonces yo no estara donde estoy ahora, etc .. Lo que no se dan cuenta es que nuestros aos de juventud son una referencia para saber cmo vamos a hacer frente a la vida adulta y lo que ser y hacer con nuestra vida. Neil


   An Invitation
  If you were a Veteran of the Falklands - Malvinas War, from either England or Argentina, I would like to hear your story and see your pictures. Please send them to the Webmaster. Thank you very much.

    Una invitacin
Si usted fuera un veterano de las Malvinas - Guerra de Malvinas, de Inglaterra o Argentina, me gustara escuchar su historia y ver sus fotos. Por favor, enve al Webmaster. Muchas gracias.  


Falkland Islands War A-4 Skyhawk Search Expedition.

About the Expedition Plans.

A message to the readers.  This is a story of how a British Sailor, Neil Wilkinson,  shot down Mariano Velasco, the Argentinean Pilot who sunk the HMS Coventry.  The plane is shown below and the cannon shell is also shown here too.  The Falkland Island War was in 1982 and now in 2009 we are planning an expedition to the Falkland Islands to find this crashed airplane.  We also want to get a photo of Neil and Marino standing together more than twenty years later.  Signing our guestbook would be a great support.  Also, you were in the Falkland Islands War, on either side, please write the webmaster a letter at the bottom of this page.  This will be a great help for recognition of all of the veterans on both sides.  Thank you very much. 
C. Jeff Dyrek, Webmaster.

From the Webmaster:

   Click Here are some thoughts  
   about the Expedition Goals

1.  To visit the Falkland Islands

2.  To meet with Neil Wilkinson and Mariano Velascoat the same time

3.  To make a written and photo documentary of the expedition

4.  To find a Video Documentary maker would want to join this group

5.  To have the entire group, including the pilot, Marino Velasco, to find the airplane in the Falkland Islands.

6.  To recover the crashed airplane and place its remains in the museum in Port Stanley.

7.  To show the effects of PTSD and how the war affected both British and Argentinean Soldiers.

8.  To show the world that there can be friendship between former enemies and that it's not people that are enemies, a message of good will.

9.  To document this event for the purpose of bringing the reality of war and the after effects of war to the general population of the world.

10. To have a good time.

I am searching for Ideas, Members, Photos, Stories, Help and Funding for this expedition.

If anyone has any additions or comments for this list, please write the Webmaster at the bottom of the page.

If anyone would like to join our expedition, let me know.

If anyone has any ideas whatsoever, please let me know.

If anyone would like to have their story told or add any photos or videos, you will be very welcome.

C. Jeff Dyrek, Webmaster, ..

   Write to the Webmaster  


  Stage Play "San Carlos Hilton" HMS Intrepid in the Falklands War" 

A New Stage Play in the Making by Michael Quinn a crew member ofFalkland Islands - Malvinas War in 1982, Actors, Benny, Margaret Thatcher, Wilky the HMS Intrepid in the Falklands War.  This is a big time Stage Play

The play has Premiered on Thursday June 10th and Friday June 11th at 7:30 pm at the Peace Memorial Hall, Upper Road, Meole Village, Shrewsbury SY3 9JP

Exhibit added 03-25-2010



Click on Pictures Below for Much Larger Views


I think one of the most heart breaking sights for me, was sitting in my gun watching HMS Antelope explode!  That then brought it all home to us and it was a very tearful moment, watching one of your own ships explode, when hours earlier it had sailed past us. 

We lost many ships and many good men, but so did they too. War is not just about two or three nations going on a battle field and killing each other, people seem to forget the aftermath and the people who have lost loved ones, the younger generation (although taught it in schools) don't fully appreciate what the armed forces of the world achieve.


HMS Antelope Going Down
   HMS Antelope 

Photo from Neil Wilkinson


   Bomb Alley 

Painting by Daniel Bechennec
Visit Daniel's Website for some fantastic Paintings

"Bomb Alley" seen from around a "Rapier" battery... 
Click Here for more Falkland Islands / Malvinas Paintings

24x18 Photographic Print
Geoff Renner

  Mined Beach from the Falkland War, Near Port Stanley,
  Falkland Islands, South America 


  HMS Intrepid 


HMS Intrepid Leaving Portsmouth
  HMS Intrepid 

Photo from Neil Wilkinson

The HMS Intrepid was classified as a LPD (Landing Platform Dock)
The Intrepid was around 12,500 tons when fully loaded with troops and tanks

Read about the HMS Intrepid Here

On the night of 19th May 1982, this was to be a very sad evening indeed onboard HMS Intrepid. That night I was on watch on the bridge, it wasn't a particularly nice night weather wise, but it never was in the South Atlantic, the waves were massive and the ships ploughed into the swell. The Intrepid was sailing southwards and we were cross decking troops from the Hermes. It is thought that while crossdecking a Seeking helicopter from Hermes hit an Albatross, causing the helo to ditch into the dark waters of the South Atlantic. All attempts were made to try and recover/rescue any survivors from the helo, sadly we lost 18 SAS men that night, 22 men in total, 9 survivors were miraculously pulled out of the icy water. I remember I was stood on the bridge wing, we had spot lights trained on the water searching for anything. It was indeed a very sad night.



More on the Bofors Guns

The aircraft that flew past us in the Falklands were very fast and most of the time it was difficult to get a shot off at them but also there were a lot of shipping around and at the height they were flying at if you opened fire it would be possible to blow a big hole in a ship. I mainly opened fire when they were passing down the side of the ship or in the distance. When I did a tour of the Falklands again in 1985 we had an exercise where we had a simulate attack from Phantoms, they were very very fast and a very nice aircraft indeed. It was good that they were ours.


Argentina Soldiers in a POW camp on the Falkland Islands
  Argentina Soldiers in a POW Camp 

Photo from Neil Wilkinson

  Neil Wilkinson's  
  Battle Story of the Falkland Islands War.



  Falklands War South Atlantic Tribute 



A4 Skyhawk 1/72 Die Cast Model

C-207, Fuerza Aerea Argentina, Falklands/Malvinas War, 1982

Made by Hobby Master, this 1/72 scale die cast model wonderfully replicates the A4 Skyhawk, C-207, flown by 1st Lt. Mariano "Cobra" Velasco of the Argentine Air Force when he dropped three 1,000-lb. bombs to sink the HMS Coventry during the Falklands/Malvinas War in 1982. It features outstanding details such as engraved panel lines; a detailed cockpit with an opening bubble canopy; removable stores including a bomb, missiles and fuel tanks; an aerial refueling probe and a tail hook; optional position landing gear with real rubber tires; a display stand and more. Measures 6" long with a 4" wingspan and arrives ready to display.

The following letter is from the man who shot this airplane down.  If you look farther down the page you will see the airplane crashed on the Falkland Islands as it looks in 2009.  This is a tremendous story with letters from both Neil Wilkinson, the man who shot this plane down and from Mariano Velasco, the pilot of this plane who sunk the HMS Coventry just two days earlier. 





Hi Jeff,

I have found out some very interesting information today!

I will tell you first about the pilot then tell you what I have found out at the end.

Mariano Velasco flew A4 Skyhawks with Grupo 5 Argentine Air force.

He was probably a pilot before I even joined the Royal Navy.

Four years before I joined the navy a friend of mine from my home town of Leeds, West Yorkshire, joined the navy as an officer, he became the Gunnery Officer onboard HMS Coventry.

Before the Falklands started I was given my next sea draft, it was going to be HMS Sheffield, Sheffield was sunk by an Exocet, I stayed on my original ship Intrepid.

When the Falklands broke out and we sailed there on the 23rd May that year I hit a Mirage fighter and he crashed.

On the 27th May Mariano Velasco attacked and I managed to get 6 rounds off at the two planes that were incoming, although another ship eventually got recognition for the hit, it was given to me by my captain as he was on the bridge and saw everything.

Mariano Velasco, on the 25th May sunk the Coventry!

My best buddy survived, but suffered as we all do.

Now the good bit.

When I hit Velasco he went over the hill with a lot of smoke trailing from the rear of his aircraft, the history books state he was flying C207, but he was actually flying C215, how do I know?

Well the other day I was trawling through a lot of stuff about A-4 Skyhawks and came across a site that had C207 in a museum.

40mm Cannon Shell that Shot Down Marino Valaso


Hi Jeff,
Many thanks for replying so quickly to my email.
The offer of the story is great and I am in contact with one of my friends as we speak about doing a story for you with some pictures included.  You certainly seem to have a broad variation of stories on your site?  Since finding out last year that Mariano Velasco had survived the A-4 Skyhawk has suddenly become a more fascinating aircraft to me, I have researched quite a lot about the aircraft and think they are a remarkable aircraft.   I will now just tell you a brief timescale of events of things that occurred in the Falklands, if you don't  mind?

The shell is 40/60mm Bofors, that was my gun.  

The engraving on the shell reads:
Fired in Anger
23rd May 1982 

This shell was fired against a group of Mirages, the shell that hit Velasco was fired a few days Later.

I was on the starboard battery, I have to admit it made a heck of a bang when fired, I do believe that I could be the last person in the Royal Navy to hit an aircraft with a conventional weapon, that could be one for the Guinness Book of records?

The gun I fired was a single barreled Bofors gun 40mm, it is called 40/60mm purely because the shell casing is 60mm and the shell 40mm, it may be called something different by other navies.

On the 21st May we went into San Carlos and off loaded 3 para brigade who had travelled on our ship.  Shortly after daylight broke the air attacks started.  No amount of training can prepare you for this, it's  for real.  On the 23rd of May I opened fire on a group of Mirage's (6) and I blew the tail off one of them.  Most days were the same, attacks, rest, attacks.  On the 27th of May, nothing much happened all day, until late that afternoon.  Velasco and his wingman had sneaked through and was now lining up for there attack, I was resting on a box of ammunition.  The alarm sounded and I leapt into my gun and as they screamed into San Carlos, I managed to fire 6 rounds off at them.  I then saw a lot of smoke coming out from behind his aircraft, he then went over the hill.  It wasn't until we got back to the UK that my Captain confirmed to me that I had actually hit the Skyhawk, up until then I wasn't 100% certain. 

In the history books HMS Fearless took credit for knocking Velasco out of the sky, but I now know different!   My life after the Falklands took a dive and I suffered from PTSD and a lot of mental stresses due to the conflict.  Last year with it being the 25th anniversary I put on a program and found that the pilot in the documentary was in fact the very same pilot I thought I had killed and I decided to track him down.  After 8 months of trying I hit the jackpot and we are now in contact with each other, the feeling of guilt was lifted, he has confirmed to me that fearless could not have shot him down as previously recorded. 

These stories I had heard happen from ex World War 2 vets, but I never thought it would happen to me. 

Once again many thanks and I look forward to your replies.  Regards  Neil 


11-24-2008  This is the first letter that Neil Wilkinson sent to the Webmaster at YellowAirplane.com, Jeff Dyrek.

Dear Sir,

I have just being on your website and found a model that is of interest to me.

It is C207 Mariano Velasco`s A4 that flew in the Falklands.  I am very pleased to see that he was one of the most successful Argentinean Skyhawk pilots.  But on the 27th May 1982 his run came to an end although he did survive.  I am in contact with Velasco on a regular basis, we have a lot in common, he flew his plane on many dangerous missions against us.  I am hoping to eventually meet him some day in Argentina and shake his hand, I am really glad he survived, after all it was me who shot him down.

Great model.


Neil Wilkinson

Ex AB Gunner HMS Intrepid

A list of Argentinean Pilots who have ejected


Date: Thursday, 11 December, 2008, 6:02 PM
From: Mariano Arribillaga
Subject: May 27, 1982

Mr. Wilkinson,

Here I am sending you my translation of the paragraph about the May 27th. 1982 war facts that is now found online in the official Fuerza Aerea Argentina website.Hope this can help you. And please excuse some translation mistakes.


Mariano Arribillaga

May 27, 1982:

3 A-4B Skyhawk, flight indicative “Truco”, armed with parachute-retarded bombs.

Pilots: 1st. Lt. Mariano Velasco (C-215), Lt. Carlos Osses (C-228), Lt. Fernando Robledo (didn't take off given technical inconvenients).    Flight took off from Rio Gallegos AB at 1530 hrs.

They flew into Falklands Sound (San Carlos Sound) 1 minute after “Poker” Flight, also south-north direction, and confirmed the sighting of 4 ships. They received intense anti-aircraft artillery fire. They dropped their eight bombs over Ajax Bay cooling plant.

The Flight turned left, chased by missiles. Number 1 (1st. Lt. Velasco) got hit by a 40mm. Bofors shell from HMS Fearless and HMS Intrepid, in the left plane root.

Having crossed Falklands Sound west-bound, and over West Falkland (Gran Malvina), Number 2 (Lt. Osses) saw fire in Number 1 left plane, very close to the oxygen tank; he informed this immediately. Number 1 answered that he had a red light (alarm) on the hydraulics indicator, reason why he exchanged speed for height and informed he was ejecting in position 51 29' S / 59 32' W; it was about 1700 hours.

1st. Lt Mariano Velasco fell between Port Fox and Port Howard. After recovering from the ejection, he walked two days and two nights until he got into an uninhabited house where he found canned food. On the following day two kelpers on horseback passed near the house, he called them and offered to buy them a horse, they refused but they told him they would call Port Stanley. In the afternoon a Land Rover showed up, driven by a kelper and with an Argentinean Army officer on the other seat, who brought Velasco to Port Howard.

Lt. Osses came back alone to the continent, with his aircraft damaged by light gun fire. He landed at Rio Gallegos AB at 1800 hours.




Hi Jeff, I think a kelper is somebody that farms seaweed! sounds ridiculous but I think it's true or it is another name for a fisherman. Neil.

Click Here's a little more clarification on the term "Kelpers"  There are huge Kelp beds in this area.  Kelp is harvested and then sold commercially worldwide for use in many products from sushi to toothpaste.

Click on Images for Close-Up View.

Lt. Mariano Velazco's Ejection Point Falkland Islands

Ejecting in position 51 29' S / 59 32' W;

Lt. Mariano Velazco's Ejection Point Close-up


Hi Jeff,

I have the rough lat and long of where the Intrepid was on the 27th May 1982.  51.32S - 59.04W it is near to where we were, if you look at the bay he came in from about the SE end and when you pinpoint the Intrepid he flew over the hill towards the west.

A letter from Neil Wilkinson. 12-13-2008

I feel it may help more veterans who do read literature and maybe don't believe in ways round things.   So if my story can help anyone who is in difficulty, then I am more than happy to do it.  As you say though there have being so many veterans taken their own lives, the Government is now doing something about it, but it is a slow process in the UK. 

I think the men and women of our countries have a very hard job in who they are fighting and any casualties or fatalities are deeply sad news.   It is when they return home that the lack of care is not there for them, and speaking from my experiences they do not treat you with any respect or dignity.  

I had to talk to a veteran a few months ago and he was messed up, but by the end of our chat although he was no better off, he felt better that he had somebody to talk to and by the end of it all I knew everything he had done in the Falklands, because I was willing to listen and we had a common connection.


A-4 Skyhawk C-215 Closeup, look at the extreme detail

Reproduction of Mariano Velasco's A-4 Skyhawk by Adam Coleman


An extremely accurate model of Mariano Velasco's A-4 Skyhawk Jet Fighter

  1/48 Scale Model Reproduction of Mariano Velasco's 
  A-4 Skyhawk C-215 by Adam Coleman.  
  Adam actually visited the crash site of this airplane and
  took paint chip samples to ensure that the model that
  he built was painted exactly like the real airplane. 
  He even looked at the scratch marks that were made
  prior to the crash and added them to the model for realism. 

Impact crater of Mariano Velasco's A-4 Skyhawk

  This is the impact crater created by Mariano's aircraft.  The nose cone of the A-4 Skyhawk is visible in the center of the crater.  Photo by Adam Coleman. 

This is the Landing Gear of Mariano Velasco's Crashed Airplane as it is in 2004

  Landing Gear of Mariano's A-4 Jet Fighter Aircraft after the plane crash.  Photo by Adam Coleman about 2004. 

  Click Here for Adam Coleman's Detail Page 

Click Here to see some more pictures of the Falkland Islands



An Actual Letter from Mariano Velasco,
the pilot of the A-4 Skyhawk

Dear Mr. Neil Wilkinson
First of all I want to greet him warmly and apologize for not having answered your e-mail promptly.
I would also like to thank your concepts and manifestarte has wholeheartedly despite the difficult times we live in, not going through my mind any restrictions that would prevent increasing dialogue with you, that would be good until one day we can meet in person. Now the doors of our house are open to welcome you and your family.
We combine bit like my life was going beyond the year 1982
Until 86 years A4 continued flying, make the School of Command and General Staff, Chief of Squadron and Chief of the Air Group IV Air Brigade (Mendoza), Assistant Commander in Chief of the Air Force and was in addition to the Deputy | Embassy of Bolivia (where I play a professor of various subjects at the School of Command and General Staff of the Bolivian Air Force).
In 2000 move to retirement status and I lie in a very quiet place on a mountain, Villa Las Rosas, Crdoba (where my family built a comfortable house rustic, which share a lot with family and friends .
Related to that May 27 will combine little that I lived and appreciated.
After getting around the small hill around San Carlos saw clearly ships landed and materials for your forces.
Before launching armaments (4 bombs braking parachute) land on the goal, I began to feel the impacts on the plane (on the left wing and fuselage), several lights were lit alarm system and hydraulic fuel and saw the jet smoke coming down the left wing through the rearview mirror. I turned west, crossing the channel of San Carlos and on land in Grand Island Malvina I ejected at 1000 feet tall and about two hundred knots.
Then on the ground, I felt at the sound of two planes that turned the plane in flames, and shortly after that left heading east. Prepare the elements for survival and began the march toward the interior of the island, to avoid falling prisoner. Walk slowly around. from 21:00 on 27 because I had an ankle esquinzado to reach land, approximately sixty kilometers left to a post, which arrives on June 29 in the early hours of the morning, where I stayed until three days I was rescued by Argentine troops. The day before I met my rescue three men (villagers) that passed near the shelter, which we exchanged different concepts without any drawbacks.
I was brought up in a car port where Howard spent a few days until I was transferred to the mainland on a hospital ship and then to my home with my family. The sprained my ankle I was a little complicated with tendinitis, so I enyesaron about 45 days. After doing a little physical therapy, I recovered well and here I am enjoying the outdoors, taking care of the park and doing maintenance on a system of trade in parts of my brother, a few hours a week.
In different ways aware that shooting down my plane had taken place by the firing of cannons HSM Fearless, which seems highly unlikely because the vessels were quite right in my career and the flying height was almost impossible shots of the ship that will impact on the left wing, where the fire occurred.
This is a very tight summary of events, I am at your disposal to share other details that serve to clarify the story that we were actors, I repeat again, there is no limitation on my part, each of us and our comrades fulfilled their duty and what happened to us does not establish a genuine friendship.
Possibly for the month of May is likely to have Internet in my house which accelerate the link.
I take this opportunity to welcome you and your family with my highest consideration, an affectionate hug for everyone.


Neil Wilkinson's Recollections of Communications between himself
and Mariano Velasco


Mariano has had a brief outline of events on that day, but when he does reply to me it's in Argentinean and not English so I have to get it translated.

So far he has told me that he did not think that he could have being hit by HMS Fearless because of her position in San Carlos, which does hold an element of truth.  The HMS Fearless was down at the bottom end of San Carlos whereas HMS Intrepid was further up towards the entrance.

He told me he was doing roughly 200knots and had to climb to around 1000 ft. before ejecting. He said that he felt the plane jolting as it was hit, at first under the left wing area, which would discount the HMS Fearless as she was on the right of the plane.  Also it could discount the HMS Intrepid initially because it could have being ground fire that hit him.  Or it could have being my shell exploding underneath the aircraft!

Although the HMS Intrepid was to the right of the planes, we were on a better angle, so as you looked at the aircraft I would be looking at an angle from the nose to 20%, so I could see the left side as well, but he was flying about to evade being hit, so it is also possible that my shell exploded first!

The next thing I saw was a lot of smoke coming out of the plane, at first I thought it was after burners, then after a short while we were told it had crashed somewhere.  Once the aircraft went over the hills or low lying land we were unable to see them or tell which direction they had gone.

The most nerve racking thing was knowing they were coming and then suddenly from nowhere there would be aircraft all over the place.  Bombs and rockets were flying about and you could then hear the sounds of our guns and AA fire, the noise was tremendous.

GPMG`s and larger AA guns firing, then Anti-Aircraft Missiles being launched, 20mm Cannon's firing, then there would be an explosion as an aircraft took a direct hit.

As I said before, I have an utmost admiration for those brave pilots, they flew there aircraft to the limits and paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

I think one of the most heart breaking sights for me, was sitting in my gun watching HMS Antelope explode!  That then brought it all home to us and it was a very tearful moment, watching one of your own ships explode, when hours earlier it had sailed past us. 

We lost many ships and many good men, but so did they too. War is not just about two or three nations going on a battle field and killing each other, people seem to forget the aftermath and the people who have lost loved ones, the younger generation (although taught it in schools) don't fully appreciate what the armed forces of the world achieve.


The initial credit and in some books say Fearless plugged Mariano, some say both ships hit him, but I'm not sure Fearless did actually hit him.
But according to Quinny a junior seaman on Fearless got the praise for it by his captain, then I got praise for it off mine!  But when I look back, I have to admit I was exceptionally close to hitting him and I did think I had , but then the doubts creep in and I dismissed it, until we got back and my captain said I had hit it in front of the Defense secretary.  So I don't think he would have said anything if I hadn't hit it!


AV-5B Harriers in the Falkland Islands
   AV-8B Harriers Landing for Refueling  

Photo from Neil Wilkinson


Victor Tankers used for Air to Air Refueling Missions
The Handley Page Victor Tankers could carry 91,000 lbs of fuel which is equivalent to 41 Metric Tons.  The taker was withdrawn from service in October of 1993


  Royal Marines on Mt. Harriet 


Photo from Neil Wilkinson


Hi Jeff
A very informative web site. I am glad I ran across it. I thought I would add my piece to the events May 27th 1982. My unit, 59 Independent Commando Squadron RE was dug in around the San Carlos area. I was sharing a trench with my mate, Goosy Ghandi. It was starting to get late and it was my turn to fill the water bottles to make a brew and some soup for the long night that was coming. I was 10 or 15 metres out to the front of the trench by a small stream filling the water bottles when I had this urge to look up. To my surprise I saw some small dots in the sky that I took for Argentine aircraft. Not wanting to be caught out in the open I took the shortest and longest run of my life to get back to the trench. As I closed in on the trench I could swear I saw the pilots of the Skyhawks as they were so close, but it was probably in my imagination. I looked up as I leaped feet first into the trench and I could see the bombs with small parachutes slowly descent towards me. I was screwed and knew it. ‘Ce La Guerre’. As the bombs exploded around me, the trench collapsed on Goosy and me and I was buried alive, Goosy did not fare as well as he was killed. The world and the war went silent, I thought not of death or god at this point, but of my mother. I had the distinct feeling I was back in her womb and I was safe. I have no idea how long I lay there buried in the ground. I guess it was only minutes as I did not suffocate. I could hear scratching noises and eventually voices of the rest of my troop trying to dig us out. They managed to get my head out of the ground, but my body was still trapped. I could hear someone shout, 'here they come again' at which point a steel helmet was placed on my head as every one retreated back to the relative safety of their own trenches. They did manage to get me out and I was eventually evacuated by Chinook to HMS Fearless, and that is another horror story for another time. Anyway, I still do not know which of the planes attacked my position, but it certainly was one of the sorties from Gruppo 5. On that day, if I could have gotten hold of the Argentinean pilots I would have slot their throats, but time and maturity has washed those thoughts away. Goosey was buried in the Falklands and his body was repatriated back to the UK several months later. I attended his funeral in London. it was a sad day and was very difficult for his family. I visited Buenos Aries several years ago and paid my respects to the fallen at the Malvinas memorial. I spoke with the honour guard, they were young soldiers like we were back them. It was a pleasant time and I spent some time and a meal with them around the back of the memorial in the guard room. I wonder what other untold stories are out there regarding that day, cheers
James (Ginge) McGinnis


Buy at Art.com
18x24 Photographic Print

  Falklands War 1982 a British
  Soldier Standing Guard at Sunset 


  The End of the War 


  Argentine Soldier Helmets 

Photo from Neil Wilkinson


  Signing of the Surrender onboard the HMS Plymouth 

Photo from Neil Wilkinson


  Cruise Ship Canberra 


Buy at Art.com
24x18 Photographic Print

  Cruise Ship Canberra 

Falklands War Ends and the Converted Cruise Ship Canberra Returns to Southampton


24x8 Photographic Print

  In Memory of Those Who Liberated Us, 14 June 1982 

Close-Up of a War Memorial in Port Stanley on the Falkland Islands


Holger Leue
12x16 Photographic Print

  Union Jack British Flag, Falkland Islands 


Hi Jeff,
Back in the Falklands and in every war your training and expertise takes you to another level.  Although you are an individual, you have a massive team around you, from medics to chefs, gunners to signal men.  My job onboard intrepid was to protect that team.  I lost sight of this fact and was reminded of it some years ago by an ex SAS member, thanks to him I started on my road to understanding me.


John Rapkin
24x18 Giclee Print

  Falkland Islands and Patagonia, Series 


24x18 Photographic Print

  Map of Falkland Islands 


1st Lt. Mariano Velasco


A4 is C207,Mariano Velasco's plane
  Mariano Velasco's Airplane 

Photo from Neil Wilkinson

The A4 is C207, Mariano Velasco's plane! the picture is courtesy of Mariano
Arribillaga and the aircraft is in the Museo Nacional do Aeronautica,
Moron, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


A-4 Skyhawk



  Photos taken Later aboard the HMS Brazen 


  The Final Resting Place for the Aircraft Carrier 
  HMS Intrepid 2008


HMS Intrepid crew 25 years later
  HMS Intrepid Crew, 2008 

Photo from HMS Intrepid Website

The veterans who attended the book launch, please note the exhibits in the background. Neil Wilkinson our starboard gunner in the conflict is 2nd from the right. I (Mike Quinn - that's me- is  on the 4th from the right at the back).


HMS Intrepid crew in Fareham Creek 25 years later
  HMS Intrepid in Liverpool, 2008 

Photo from HMS Intrepid Website

Pictured in Fareham Creek the next morning where we gathered to see our old ship Intrepid, many of us for the first time in 25 years. The veterans are from the left, Steve Dickinson, Rab Carrigan, Russell Morgan, George Heron, Neil Wilkinson and Mike Quinn.


HMS Intrepid in Liverpool
  HMS Intrepid in Liverpool, 2008 

Photo from HMS Intrepid Website

The Intrepid's final destination in Liverpool, in September 2008,  where she is being dismantled for recycling, and is contracted by the owners Leavesley International. The Leavesley company were very kind in allowing up 40 of our veterans to gather for a final goodbye to HMS Intrepid, our former home 25 years earlier. We had a fantastic day exploring our old ship whilst the memories came flooding back.


HMS Intrepid Crew in Liverpool
  HMS Intrepid Crew in Liverpool, 2008 

Photo from HMS Intrepid Website

The Leavesley company were very kind in allowing up 40 of our veterans to gather for a final goodbye to HMS Intrepid, our former home 25 years earlier. We had a fantastic day exploring our old ship whilst the memories came flooding back.


   About Neil Wilkinson  

Born in 1959 and lived in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.  I didn't have the happiest of childhoods, my mum divorced in the late sixties and got involved with another man, he was ok to start with, then things started taking a turn for the worse, my elder brother and myself took the full brunt of it and we got regular beatings, what for we didn't know.

It got even worse for my mum when the guy actually hospitalized her, he then went for me for the very last time, he made the mistake of giving me time to pick up a carving knife and as he made his move so did I, i didn't stab him and just warned him that if he came any closer what would happen to him, he knew I meant it.

I suppose I joined the Royal Navy to escape from this sort of thing, I wasn't getting on with the foreman at work and he treated me like a dog, whistling me and give me mundane jobs.

I eventually left home in 1979 and signed up, I was loving it, I was in training learning my radar course when my father died and I was automatically taken off the course, then because there wasn't another course starting for some time I was left with 3 options, Steward, Gunnery or leave the navy and re-enlist at some other date.

There was no way I could go back, so I opted for the Gunnery school in Plymouth.

I loved every minute of the course and eventually got my first ship, it was waiting for me in Plymouth sound, HMS Intrepid, she was what is classed as an LPD (landing platform dock) and it was a daunting experience for me as the biggest ship I had ever seen was just in pictures.

We sailed that night, we went straight to Norway with a full embarkation of Royal Marines, the trips abroad were endless and after we had being to the West Indies and Med I was coming to the end of my time onboard Intrepid.

I had options, either go to a shore establishment or get another ship, I fancied the thought of getting another ship and travelling some more, my next draft came through and it was to be HMS Sheffield, a type 42 destroyer.

All this changed though in early 1982 when Argentina decided they would invade British soil, although when they did at first we had not got a clue where the Falklands were!

It became apparent that I would be needed to stay onboard Intrepid and a lot of men came back to Intrepid who had previously left her because the ship was going into a standby role.

So my draft to Sheffield was cancelled and I set sail with the ship, fully loaded with ammunition, stores etc and all got ready in two weeks.

We joined the rest of the task force, having being one of the last to be made ready, our ship was a vital piece in the machinery, we were to land 3 para in San Carlos.

The night before we landed the para's I was coming out of my mess and stood in front of me was a guy who 2 years previous had being a barman in my local bar pulling me pints of beer and was now in the para's, we had a good chat before he went off and got all his ammunition ready for the landings the next morning.

We closed up at action stations through the night, it was bitterly cold and dark, entering into San Carlos was so strange, there was no gun fire from the enemy, just the sound of ships dropping anchors!

As daylight broke the silence was short-lived, we were then subjected to a constant wave of aircraft ducking and diving into the bay and then in a flash gone, the pilots were very brave and courageous.

After sitting in my gun for over 31 hours we were eventually allowed to rest, I found a quiet spot and decided to write a letter home to my mum, telling her ho w much I loved her and that I didn't think I would be coming home, at least not alive!

Then before I went to sleep I prayed and cried myself to sleep, the next few days were similar.

When it was all over and I got home, my mum knew there was something wrong, she told me I wasn't the same person that went away, which is quiet understandable.

I left the Royal Navy in 1989.  As the years rolled on I was having some major problems, my marriage was on the rocks and I was loosing it gradually, no money although I always worked.

I was eventually diagnosed with having PTSD, for people who have never had this or heard of it, it is one of the most horrendous things that could happen, it changes a person and you have to live with it forever. I relive the Falklands every day of my life, but I learnt how to control my problem, not by doctors or shrinks, by finding out how it all works, learning techniques and making myself aware when the problems are going to hit me, how to cope with it all and it works for me.

The Royal Navy like every branch in the armed forces taught me discipline and how to live, i can honestly say it was the best ten years of my life and I would join again if I had my time again.

I am now remarried and I have two children, plus two children from my previous marriage, my two boys are grown up are like brothers to me.

My life has recently become very interesting lately after discovering that one of the pilots I was credited with shooting down in the Falklands had survived, after 8 months of trying to locate the pilot I eventually found him in February 2008, we are in contact through the internet and I hope that one day we could meet.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.


  A Letter from Mike Quinn (HMS Intrepid)


Dear Jeff,

I must congratulate you on your superb website.

I am a former shipmate of Neil Wilkinson who has been contributing to your site, regarding his experiences on our ship, HMS Intrepid during the 1982 Falklands war with Argentina.

Please find attached some photo's from our website, Photo no1 was taken in Aug' 2008 at Eastleigh Museum Hampshire, for veterans to reunite, and attend a book launch, of a photographic book on the Falklands ships remaining in Fareham Creek, Portsmouth, whilst awaiting their final destination, the "scrap yard".

The book is called "Ghosts of the Falklands" published by Hampshire County Council. It was put together by Tom de Witt and Trevor Evans. The Photo's are of veteran ships Intrepid/Fearless/Glasgow and Cardiff.

I would like to add further information for you and your readers.

I must say, that the HMS Intrepid veterans came together when veterans attended the Falklands 25 Remembrance Parade in London in 2007. As a result, the website WWW.hmsintrepid.com was formed. We now have over 320 members, and the new veterans association is flourishing. We have had several meets, including in November a remembrance parade in our commanding officers home town of Cowfold in Sussex. On that day we met our former C/O for the first time since we served on the Intrepid. His name is Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Peter Dingemans DSO.

I would like to add, that your site is very supportive of veterans from all conflicts. Our own experiences must mirror those of many of your readers. Many of us have gone on and had happy lives, with their ups and downs, and some of us have not been so fortunate since serving our country.

It's natural to compare notes with your comrades on a reunion, as you would if it was an old workplace or school reunion. It was a most positive experience for us all, and for some of us their was a little anxiety in meeting up and going over old ground. However, what became apparent, straight away was the close bond and mutual respect we had for each other, often unspoken, and often demonstrated, depending on the persona of each individual.

The individual who struck me most, was Neil Wilkinson. Why?, because he was not loudest, he wasn't the largest and not the first person you would notice in a crowd.

Neil has been there and "got the t-shirt", Neil has a unique place in modern Naval History, Neil shot down 2 Argentine planes during his Action Station in "Bomb Alley", San Carlos water, where we discharged and supported troops ashore and supporting other Naval units.

Neil shot down these modern jets, in a Naval situation, with an old fashioned 40/60 Boffor gun. I might add, that this gun, which fired shells packed and stored in the second world war, was working, where more modern missile systems either afloat or ashore were not always so reliable.

Not only did he shoot these planes down, but in doing so protected with his comrades up to 500 members of the ships company at any given time, and also any ad hoc embarked forces at the time.

In 2007/8, Neil was out of work, he applied for jobs, maybe a 100 jobs, often without reply, he has suffered PTSD, indeed, at out first reunion he was out of work, but, its a measure of this man, he did not mention this fact in the reunion.

On finding this out, his story struck a chord with me, I knew his story, our story on HMS Intrepid must be told, because there is something in Neil's story that is extra ordinary.

I decided, that I would write a PLAY, in tribute to guy's like Neil, it will be our story onboard a warship in a modern conflict. I have no experience, my day job is a Fork-Lift driver in a warehouse, but someone has got to do it. It's been over 25 years now!.

Thanks again for this site and good luck to you and your readers.

Mike Quinn (Ex HMS Intrepid).


  A Letter from Jeff Dyrek to Neil Wilkinson 


Dear Neil,

Thank you again for all of your help and enthusiasm on this project.  It's interesting how a single letter can get so many people involved.  I am having brain storms again.
You mentioned that people may be offended.  Look at Simon Weston, he is glad to put his hand forward for the help on this project.  Look at Mariano's letter, he has graciously invited the very man who shot him down, and your family to come and visit him.  What a greater gesture of friendship and forgiveness can a man give.  This is what I am thinking about the entire project.  It's not to document you shooting Mariano down, or the fact that he sunk the HMS Coventry, it is to show that people are people and we must respect people and disrespect hate.  You didn't shoot him down because you hated him and he didn't sink the Coventry because he hated them.  But his letter and your attitude, both, show that hate was never a factor, you guys didn't even know each other, how could you hate each other.  With the world pushing harder into a third world war, we need to fight that push by showing that it's not hate that drives humanity, instead it is our love for our brothers, no matter where they should live that opens our hands to friendship and help.
The greatest threat to all of humanity is hate. This project is a veterans military operation to show that it's friendship, charity and friendship that we need to embrace.
Thanks again and have a nice day,
Your friend,


Falkland Island War Memorial Stanley on East Falklands

  In Commemoration 
  of the 
  Battle of the Falkland Islands 
  Fought on the 9th Day of December 1914 
  In which the British Squadron 
  Invincible, InFlexible, Carnarvon,
  Kent,  Cornwall, Glasgow, Bristol 
  Canopus & Nacedonia 
  Under the command of Vice-Admiral 
  Sir F. C. Doveton Sturdee 
  Destroyed the German Squadron  
  Under Vice Admiral Graf Von Sper 
  from Capture by the Enemy 

  Photo by Adam Coleman 



In Argentina, the number of suicides among Malvinas war veterans is higher than the number of casualties from the war itself

En la Argentina, el nmero de suicidios entre los veteranos de guerra de Malvinas es mayor que el nmero de vctimas de la guerra en s


War is bad, and that about sums up the message of Blessed by Fire (a.k.a. Illuminated by Fire), a well-meaning but thinly written drama that boasts some dynamic scenes of battlefront futility. To be fair, director Tristan Bauer's emotionally potent drama did win the Best Narrative Feature award at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival, and it has the distinction of being the first Argentinean film to openly address the physical and psychological devastation that resulted from the brief 1982 war against British forces in the British-colonized Falkland Islands (or Malvinas, as they're known in Argentina). The legacy of that woefully imbalanced war is tragic beyond comprehension: In Argentina, the number of suicides among Malvinas war veterans is higher than the number of casualties from the war itself, and that sad statistic crucially informs Bauer's story (based on a novel by Engardo Esteban and Gustavo Romero Borri) about a present-day journalist named Esteban (Gaston Pauls) who served in the Malvinas war with Vargas (Pablo Ribba), who's now comatose and hospitalized after attempting suicide with a drug-overdose cocktail. The film flashes back-and-forth from the present to their experiences leading up to and including the decisive battle on Mount Longdon (re-created in a harrowing 20-minute sequence), and while Blessed by Fire is certainly no Saving Private Ryan, its chaotic battle scenes are impressively intense and painstakingly realistic, and Bauer is equally effective in showing the miserably cold battlefield conditions prior to the eruption of violence. As Esteban's memory takes him back to the horrors of battle, his friend's present-day suicide attempt resonates throughout the film, which is surely more powerful for Argentinean viewers than for anyone else. We learn very little about the central character, however, and Paul's performance is too passively blank to draw us deeply into his emotional turmoil. Still, this is one of the few films to deal with what has essentially become a forgotten war, and Bauer's noble reminder offers reassuring proof that Argentina's sacrifices will not be forgotten. --Jeff Shannon
Product Description
Acclaimed director Tristn Bauer presents the harrowing story of a band of Argentinean soldiers sent to fight an un-winnable war and left to bear the brutal scars of the past. After learning of a friend’s attempted suicide, a journalist goes back to relive his experiences in the Falklands.


2 Documentaries Global Technologies and Tactics 1 - Falklands War 2 - Lebanon Falklands War: Seamlessly documented on land and sea by frontline British News footage, the Argentinean junta invaded the UK-controlled islands. Thousands of Argentine troops descended on the island, and easily overtook the small detachment of British troops that were stationed there. The UN Security council call for the withdrawal of the Argentinean troops and fostered futile negotiations, as British troops advanced by sea en masse. British planes viciously attacked Port Stanley from the air, shooting down Argentinean aircraft. A British submarine sank an Argentine cruiser, killing close to 400 crewmen. More blood was shed as the advancing British troops reached their destination of Port Stanley to dismantle the Argentinean forces. Argentina surrendered the land, after nearly 1,000 casualties and a bloody battle over the remote island. Lebanon: British News cameras impressively documented the frontline clash in 1975, when the Palestinian Liberation Organization began infiltrating Israeli borders with attacks that brought Israeli reprisals. Israeli strikes and raids were unable to control the growth of the PLO army. In June 1982, a terrorist group attempted to assassinate an Israeli ambassador. Israeli Defense Forces attacked Lebanon again, moving in to the country in an effort to drive out the terrorists. The PLO responded with a massive artillery and mortar attack on the Israeli population of the Galilee. The operation's initial success led officials to broaden the objective to expel the PLO from Lebanon and induce leaders to sign a peace treaty. Most of the terrorist groups in Lebanon have not yet been disarmed, contributing to ongoing antagonism over border control.


The 1982 Falklands War witnessed the largest deployment of British Army Special Forces since WWII--the Special Air Service, the Special Boat Squadron, and the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre conducted several spectacular raids during the war. One of the most successful, the attack by the D Squadron SAS against an Argentinean airfield on Pebble Island, proved the SAS motto--Who Dares Wins. But the war cost heavily on both sides--255 British and over 1,000 Argentineans died.


An A-4 Skyhawk Story from the Webmaster

While I was stationed at NAS Lemoore, in Lemoore California, my friend Dan and I took a break and walked around to the side of the hanger to watch flight ops at night.  It was almost instantly that we saw an A-4 Skyhawk coming in with its wheels up and at a higher approach angle than we expected.  The plane hit the ground and there was a huge flash of light.  We didn't actually see the plane hit because it hit the ground behind the hanger of VA-127 which was across from our hanger at VA-125.  However, we did see the flash coming from behind the hanger.  I can't actually remember what we did after this, but we must have ran across the street because I remember seeing the airplane on the ground and the pilot was opening the canopy.

These A-4 Skyhawks were real good at doing belly landings because of the low wing and the wing tanks that you can see in the picture above.  The tanks were ground down, in half, and the flash must have come from the residual fuel in them.  The next day we watched the plane being hauled past our hanger with a cherry picker truck.  It looked like that there was zero damage to the plane and it also looked like it was just a toy hanging from that huge crane.  

Read the Webmasters Story Here.

  Click Here for North Pole Global Warming


An extremely accurate model of Mariano Velasco's A-4 Skyhawk Jet FighterLook at Adam Coleman's Model Building Home Page

This plane is a super accurate replica of Mariano Velasco's A-4 Skyhawk.  In 1982 Mariano Velasco, from Argentina, used this plane to sink the HMS Coventry in the Falkland Islands War.  A couple days later Neil Wilkinson, from England, aboard the HMS Intrepid, shot this plane down. 

Years later, Adam Coleman flew to the Falkland Islands to find this plane and copy it exactly.  Adam took detailed photos of every part of the crashed airplane and even took paint chip samples to replicate the original colors so that they exactly matched the real airplane.  This model building exhibit shows both his model and also the real plane crashed on West Falkland Island.  It was a fantastic job all the way around.

Click Here to See the Master Model Builders Exhibit Page

  See Roberto Perz Dominguez and his Aircraft Model Collection
Ver Roberto Perz Domnguez y su Coleccin de Aviones de modelo

Useful Links
Argentina - Great Britain 1982 War for the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands

HMS Coventry D118

Air War in the Falklands

Ships of the Falkland Islands War.




  Battle Story of the Falklands

 HMS Intrepid 

   Neil Wilkinson in London 2007 - 2009  

  Photos taken Later aboard the HMS Brazen 

  The End of the Falkland Islands War 

  Making a Documentary 



South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust

Visit the Official HMS Intrepid Website

Documentary - Expedition Video Shot List Overview

From an HMS INTREPID Sailor George Heron

Other Action Adventures

Aviation Books

Aviation Videos

Airplane Models and Toys

Airplane Calendars

Go to Yellow Airplane's own Online Museum

Aircraft Museums

  2010 World Peace Forum

More about the HMS Sheffield  

More about the HMS Plymouth

More about the HMS Antelope   

 More about the Atlantic Conveyor

More about the HMS Intrepid  

 More about the HMS Hermes  

  More about the HMS Coventry

  More about the HMS Invincible

  More about the Harrier Jet Fighter

  More about the A-4 Skyhawk Jet Fighter

  More about the Mirage Fighter

  More about the Falklands War

  More about the Malvinas Guerra



These are Some of the other Exhibits at YellowAirplane.com
Home Exhibit Home Model Airplanes Model Ships Model Tanks Movies
A-7 Corsair II Exhibit Alpha Jet Exhibit Baka Bomb Exhibit Deane Kesterson Doug Keller Five Miles Book Review
Famous People Gee Bee Aircraft Inaki Ruiz Jeff Dyrek Story North Pole Exhibits One More Mission
Patco Exhibit Pitts Exhibits Poland to Pullman P-51 Mustang Short Straw Siamak Hatami
South Pole Expedition Space Shuttle List of Airplane Museums, Click Here Stolen P-40 USS Kitty Hawk
Willow Run Exhibit Y-I-Bet Go to the
Yellow Airplane Museum
Home Page.
34th Fighter Squadron 413th Fighter Group
Svalbard Dog Sleds South Pole Trek Longyearbyen Coal Mine

 Airplane Calendars               
Svalbard Dog Sleds Longyearbyen Ice Caves   *   Longyearbyen Coal Mine       South Pole Trek

.Thank you for visiting

    Books   Movies      Models    Motorcycles 


Global Warming Index

Foods Index

Main Articles Index

Veterans Index

Added 18 DEC 2008

   Write to the Webmaster  



AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com  Best Aviation Sites Airplane Web Sites   




جزر فوكلاند الحرب ، صور ، قصص ، صور ، وسجل الزوار. نرى ان الصور لا تظهر في أي مكان آخر.
Фолкландските острови война, снимки, истории, снимки, както и гости. Вижте снимките, които не са записани никъде другаде.
Guerra de les Illes Falkland, Fotos, Histries, Imatges i Visites. Veure les fotos que no apareixen en cap altre lloc.
Falklandski Otoci rat, fotografije, priče, slike i Guestbook. Pogledajte slike koje se nigdje ne prikazuje.
Falklandsk ostrovy vlky, Fotky, přběhy, obrzky a Nvštěvn kniha. Podvejte se na obrzky, kter nejsou uvedeny jinde.
Falklandserne Krig, Photos, historier, billeder og gstebog. Se de billeder, der ikke er vist andre steder.
Falklandeilanden Oorlog, Foto's, verhalen, foto's en gastenboek. Zie de foto's die niet ergens anders.
Falkland Islands War, Photos, Stories, Pictures, and Guestbook. See the pictures that are not shown anywhere else.
Falkland Islands Digmaan, Photos, Stories, Pictures, and Guestbook. Tingnan ang mga larawan na hindi ipinapakita ang kahit saan sino pa ang paririto.
Falklandinsaarten sodan Valokuvat, Stories, kuvat ja vieraskirja. Katso kuvia, jotka eivt ny missn muualla.
Falkland Islands War, des photos, des histoires, images, et bien d'or. Voir les photos qui ne sont pas prsentes ailleurs.
Falkland-Inseln Krieg, Fotos, Geschichten, Bilder und Gstebuch. Sehen Sie die Bilder, die nicht gezeigt, wo auch immer.
Νήσοι Φάλκλαντ Πολέμου, φωτογραφίες, ειδήσεις, εικόνες, και Guestbook. Δείτε τις φωτογραφίες που δεν εμφανίζονται πουθενά αλλού.
מלחמת איי פוקלנד, תמונות, סיפורים, תמונות, וכן ספר אורחים. ראה את תמונות כי הם לא מופיעה בשום מקום אחר.
फ़ॉकलैंड द्वीप युद्ध, फोटो, कहानियां, चित्र, और Guestbook. वह कहीं भी दिखाई नहीं कर रहे हैं तस्वीरें देखें.
Falkland Islands War, Foto, Cerita, Gambar, dan Bukutamu. Melihat gambar yang tidak terlihat lagi di manapun.
Isole Falkland guerra, Foto, Racconti, Immagini, e degli ospiti. Vedere le immagini che non vengono visualizzati in qualsiasi altro luogo.
포클랜드 전쟁, 사진, 기사, 사진, 그리고 방명록. 다른 곳에서는 사진을보기가 표시되지 않습니다.
Falkland Islands kara, fotogrāfijas, Stories, Pictures, un Guestbook. Skatīt bildes, kas nav parādītas nekur citur.
Folklando karo, nuotraukos, istorijos, nuotraukos ir Svečių knyga. Žiūrėti nuotraukas, kurios nėra rodomas niekur kitur.
Falklandsyene krigen, bilder, historier, bilder og Guestbook. Se bildene som ikke vises andre steder.
Falklandy wojny, Zdjęcia, opowiadania, zdjęcia i księga gości. Zobacz zdjęcia, ktre nie są wykazane w innym miejscu.
Ilhas Malvinas Guerra, Fotos, Histrias, Imagens, e Convidados. Veja as imagens que no so mostradas em nenhum outro lugar.
Insulele Falkland război, Fotografii, povestiri, imagini, precum şi Cartea de vizita. Vezi imagini care nu sunt prezentate n altă parte.
Фолклендские острова войны, фотографии, рассказы, рисунки "и Гостевая книга. Смотрите фотографии, которые не отображаются нигде.
Фокландска Острва рат, фотографије, приче, слике и Гуестбоок. Погледајте слике које се нигде не приказује.
Falklandsk ostrovy vojny, Fotky, prbehy, obrzky a Nvštevn kniha. Pozrite sa na obrzky, ktor nie s uveden inde.
Falklandski otoki vojni, Slike, zgodbe, slike in gostov. Oglejte si slike, ki niso prikazani kjerkoli drugje.
Guerra de las Islas Falkland, Fotos, Historias, Imgenes y Visitas. Ver las fotos que no aparecen en ningn otro lugar.
Falklandsarna kriget, foton, berttelser, bilder och gstbok. Se bilderna som inte visas ngon annanstans.
Фолклендські острови війни, фотографії, розповіді, малюнки "і Гостьова книга. Дивіться фотографії, які не відображаються ніде.
Quần đảo Falkland Chiến tranh, hnh ảnh, Truyện, Hnh ảnh, v Lưu bt. Xem cc hnh ảnh khng được hiển thị ở bất cứ nơi no khc.