• Simon 'Peters' Biggs

Battle for the Falklands - Double DFC's at Goose Green - 28th May 1982


On Friday 28th May 1982, the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment was engaged in fierce fighting to take enemy positions in the area of Darwin and Goose Green. Two Gazelles and two Scout helicopters from 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron Royal Marines were tasked to support the attack. From dawn, heedless of enemy ground fire, the two Scouts from B Flight, led by the Flight Commander, Captain Jeff Niblett RM with his air gunner Sergeant John Glaze RM in ‘Delta Tango’ with ‘Delta Romeo’ flown by Lieutenant Richard Nunn RM with his air gunner Sergeant Bill Belcher RM, supported the Battalion by flying vital ammunition forward to the front line and then evacuating casualties to safety. The two Gazelles from M Flight were also committed throughout the battle.

After flying continuously for three and a half hours, it was learnt that the Commanding Officer and others in the battalion’s forward Tactical Headquarters had been severely wounded. Both Scout aircraft were tasked to fly forward once more to evacuate the wounded, taking with them the Battalion Second in Command.

Five minutes after take-off from their forward operation base at Camilla Creek House, suddenly and without warning two Argentine Pucara ground attack aircraft attacked both Scouts with cannon and rocket fire. With great flying skill Lieutenant Nunn evaded the first attack but on the second his aircraft was hit and destroyed. Lieutenant Nunn was killed instantly. Sergeant Belcher was seriously wounded but thrown clear. He lost a leg.

By employing a combination of exceptional flying skill and superb teamwork with his air gunner Sergeant John Glaze, Captain Niblett successfully evaded a further three cannon and rocket attacks, eventually completing the mission.

The crew of ‘Delta Tango’ resolutely continued support and evacuation operations until well after dark. The support given by the aircraft of 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron was vital to the conduct of the attack and was instrumental in the eventual victory. Captain Jeff Niblett RM was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Lieutenant Richard Nunn was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

The citations for both awards published in the London Gazette on 8th October 1982.

Lieutenant Richard James Nunn, citation records:

"On Friday 28th May 1982 the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment was engaged in fierce fighting to take enemy positions in the area of Port Darwin. From dawn, Lieutenant Nunn, a Scout helicopter pilot, had supported the Battalion flying vital ammunition forward to the front line and had evacuated casualties heedless of enemy ground fire. After flying continuously for three and a half hours, it was learnt that the Commanding Officer and others in Battalion Tactical Headquarters forward had been severely wounded. Lieutenant Nunn was tasked to evacuate these casualties collecting the Battalion Second in Command en route. However, five minutes after take off, suddenly and without prior warning, two Pucara aircraft appeared from the South and attacked the Scout with rockets and cannon fire. By great skill Lieutenant Nunn evaded the first attack but on the second his aircraft was hit and destroyed. Lieutenant Nunn was killed instantly and his aircrewman Sergeant Belcher was grieviously wounded. Lieutenant Nunn displayed exceptional courage, flying skill and complete devotion to duty in the face of the enemy. His achievements that day, supporting the Battalion, were exceptional and were instrumental in the eventual victory."

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