Ward, Nigel David 'Sharkey' (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 12820
Production date
  • whole: Duration 120, Number Of Items 4
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British officer commanded 801 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm during Falklands War, 1982

Content description

REEL 1 Recollections of preparations for operations in Falkland War as commanding officer of 801 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm, 1982: background to hearing of crisis in Falklands Islands, 2/4/1982; role as commanding officer of unit; reaction to crisis; unit preparations prior to departure for Falkland Islands; lack of combat experience in unit; importance of proving Sea Harrier and pilot skills in action; superstition of two pilots that they would be killed in action; Recollections of operations as commanding officer of 801 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm during Falklands War, 1982: opinion of Captain Jeremy Black commanding HMS Invincible; inter-unit rivalries; question of use of air radar during conflict; Argentinean avoidance of areas where Blue Fox radar was picked up; importance of Sea Harrier as deterrence; question of problems of staff interference in Sea Harrier operations; question of misuse of Sea Harrier. REEL 2 Continues: attempt to intercept Argentinean Air Force attack on HMS Ardent; attitude to role of 800 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm operating from HMS Hermes; attitude to dealing with lack of intelligence from Admiral Sandy Woodward's staff; story of having to intercept potential Argentinean aircraft which turned out to be British; opinion of planning for air attacks on Port Stanley airport, 1/5/1982-5/5/1982; opinion of reasons for loss of British ships; circumstances of loss of HMS Coventry; question of location of Sea Harrier defensive CAP. REEL 3 Continues: importance of maintenance of defensive air cover for as long as possible; question of Admiral Sandy Woodward's opinion of role of aviators; opinion of Argentinean Air Force competence and failure to engage Sea Harriers; opinion of track record of in air combat exercises prior to conflict; attitude towards shooting down Lockheed Hercules transport aircraft; story of shooting down of Major Tomba, 21/5/1982; story of shooting down of Argentinean Mirage Daggers, 21/5/1982. REEL 4 Continues: reaction to Steve Thomas being hit by ground fire, 21/5/1982; attack on Mentor, 1/5/1982; shooting down of Lockheed Hercules, sight of Argentinean Air Force attacks on Sir Galahad; shooting down of Ian Mortimer over Port Stanley; impressions of being in Sea Harrier cockpit; opinion of qualities required to be a successful Sea Harrier pilot.

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