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  • Christina Drummond

Royal Navy Sea King HC4 ZA294 of 846 Naval Air Squadron, the Falklands War

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1982, twenty-one service personnel lost their lives during the Falklands war when Royal Navy Sea King HC4 ZA294 of 846 Naval Air Squadron crashed into the ocean. One theory was that the tragedy was caused by a bird-strike, as feathers were found floating on the surface, possibly from a Black-Browed Albatross which has a wing-span of eight feet). Another theory is that there was a major malfunction within the Sea King itself, and not an external factor.

They were travelling from HMS Hermes to HMS Intrepid when survivors reported hearing a thump, then another before the Sea King dipped, hit the water, rolled over and sank. They were approximately 200 miles from Port Stanley. It happened very fast, and there were only nine survivors. The SAS had the largest loss of life on a single day since the second world war, and in addition among those lost was the only RAF serviceman to have died in the conflict.

Those we remember today are: Corporal Raymond Ernest Armstrong, Sergeant John Leslie Arthy, WO1 Malcolm Atkinson, Corporal William John Begley, Sergeant Paul Alan Bunker, Sergeant Philip Preston Currass, Sergeant Sidney Albert Ivor Davidson, WO2 Lawrence Gallagher, Sergeant William Clark Hatton, Flight Lieutenant Garth Walter Hawkins, Sergeant William John Hughes, Sergeant Philip Jones, Corporal Michael David Love, Corporal Douglas Frank McCormack, Corporal Michael Vincent McHugh, Corporal John Newton, WO2 Patrick O'Connor, Corporal Stephen John Sykes, Corporal Edward Thomas Walpole, Lance Corporal Paul Neville Lightfoot (pictured on the left), Corporal Robert Allan Burns (pictured on the right).

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