On Saturday 2 April the Museum’s ‘Falklands Air War 40’ was officially opened, 40 years to the day when Argentina invaded the islands, a British overseas territory. The Museum was delighted that Commander Robin Kent Royal Navy accepted our invitation to open the exhibition.
In 1982, Robin was the Senior Pilot of 801 Sea Harrier squadron flying from HMS Invincible and was Mentioned in Despatches during the conflict.
When the Task Force left Portsmouth on 5 April, the Task Force had 20 Sea Harriers and 28 pilots. In his opening speech Robin referred to a message sent to the Sea Harrier pilots as they departed for the South Atlantic from Wing Commander Peter Parrott, one of the Battle of Britain pilots who served at RAF Tangmere in 1940 (No 145 Squadron). The message read “From one of the Few to the very Few – good luck and good hunting”.
The exhibition runs until 31 August during which, on Sunday 1 May, the Museum will hold a ‘Falklands Day’ to provide an opportunity for aircrew who flew in the South Atlantic or supported ‘Operation Corporate’ to meet up and also meet the public. The Museum owns two Harriers, one of which, Sea Harrier XZ459, flew 53 operations in the war.
Photo: David Burleigh