Mil News Battle for Goose Green 1982


Mi Sergeant Major
MI.Net Member
Apr 12, 2005
For all those that lost their young lives in the next 24 hours 28 years ago." We will remember them"

From Wikipedia.........................

Just after 2.30 am of May 28, the 2nd Para Regiment launched its attack on the Argentines to capture Goose Green 'before breakfast'. RI 12's A Company defended the Darwin Parks sector with two rifle platoons, and a mortar platoon. For 90 minutes the forward Argentine platoons were pounded with naval artillery from HMS Arrow. In the ensuing night battle about twelve Argentines were killed.[14] The platoon under Sub-Lieutenant Malacalza fought a delaying action against the British paratroopers, blooding themeselves on Burntside Hill before taking up combat positions again on Darwin Ridge.[15] Major Philip Neame's D Company was temporarily halted by the Coronation Ridge position. One of his men, Lance-Corporal Gary Bingley darted out from under cover to charge the enemy machine gun nest that was holding up the advance. He was hit ten metres from the machine gun, but shot two of the crew before collapsing. He was posthumously awarded the Military Medal. With the enemy machine gun out of action, the Paras were able to clear the Argentine platoon position, but at the cost of three dead.[16]

Then 2nd Para moved on to the south via Darwin Parks. The Argentines made a determined stand along Darwin Ridge. As A and B Companies moved south from Coronation Ridge they were raked by fire from a couple of concealed Argentine FN MAG machine guns. An Argentine senior NCO, Company Sergeant-Major Juan Cohelo, is credited with rallying the RI 12's A Company remnants falling back from Darwin Parks. He was seriously wounded later in the day. The first British assault was broken up by fire from Sub-Lieutenant Ernesto Peluffo's RI 12 platoon. Corporal Osvaldo Olmos, of RI 25 refused to leave his foxhole and continued firing at the British company as it moved forward. The Paras called on the Argentines to surrender.

At this juncture of the battle, 2nd Para's advance had become stuck. It was at this point, for reasons unknown, that Jones decided to personally lead an assault on an entrenched machine gun nest at the crest of a low spur. Followed by his bodyguard, Colour Sergeant David Banford, his signaller, Sergeant Blackburn, Sergeant Norman and several officers in his TAC 1 party, including Captains Dent and Wood, he charged the Argentine position. Jones ran into a small re-entrant (a dip between two hills) and carried on running up to the crest towards the machine gun position. After stopping to reload his submachine gun halfway up the hill, he pushed on, only to be shot in the back by an Argentine gunner. Corporal Ríos was later fatally wounded in his trench by Corporal Abols firing a 66mm rocket. Jones had been hit in the back and the groin, and died within an hour. Also killed during this action was the adjutant, Captain Wood, A company's second-in-command Captain Dent, and Corporal Hardman. Jones was later to receive the Victoria Cross for his efforts. As Jones lay dying, his men radioed for urgent casualty evacuation. However, the British Scout Helicopter sent to evacuate Jones was shot down by an Argentine FMA IA 58 Pucara ground attack aircraft. The pilot was killed, and the aircrewman badly wounded.[17]

By then it was 10.30 am and Major Dair Farrar-Hockley's A Company made a third attempt, but this petered out. Eventually the British company, hampered by the morning fog as they advanced up the slope of Darwin Ridge, were driven back to the gulley by the fire of 1st Platoon of RI 25's C Company, under the command of 2nd Lieutenant Roberto Estévez. During this action Lieutenant Estévez directed Argentine 105mm artillery and 120mm mortar fire that posthumously earned him the Argentine Nation to the Heroic Valour in Combat Cross (CHVC). 2nd Para's mortar crews fired 1,000 rounds to keep the enemy at bay, and helped stop the Argentines getting a proper aim at the Paras.[18]

It was almost noon before the British advance resumed. Inspired by their commanding officer's sacrifice, A Company soon cleared the eastern end of the Argentine position and opened the way forward. There had been two battles going on in the Darwin hillocks - one around Darwin Hill looking down on Darwin Bay, and an equally fierce one in front of Boca Hill, also known as Boca House Ruins. Sub-Lieutenant Guillermo Aliaga's 3rd Platoon of RI 8's C Company held Boca Hill. The position of Boca Hill was taken after heavy fighting by Major John Crosland's B Company with support from the MILAN anti-tank platoon. About the time of the victory at the Boca Hill position, A Company overcame the Argentine defenders on Darwin Hill, finally taking the position that had caused many casualties on both sides. Majors Farrar-Hockley and Crosland each won the Military Cross for their efforts. Corporal David Abols received a Distinguished Conduct Medal for his daring charges which turned the Darwin Hill battle.

After the victory on Darwin Ridge, C and D Companies began to make their way to the small airfield as well as Darwin School, which was east of the airfield, while B Company made their way south of Goose Green Settlement. A Company remained on Darwin Hill. C company was decimated when they became the target of intense anti-aircraft 35 mm direct fire. They suffered a 20 per cent casualties.[19] Lieutenant James Barry's No. 12 Platoon, D company, saw some fierce action at the airfield. They were ambushed[20], but one of his men shot dead two of the attackers, and then reported the events to Major Neame. The platoon sergeant charged the attacking enemy with his machine gun, killing four of them. For his bravery Sergeant Wyndham Williams was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Private Graham Carter won the Military Medal by rallying No. 12 Platoon and leading it forward at bayonet point to take the airfield.[21] The RI 25 platoon defending the airfield fled into the Darwin-Goose Green track and was able to escape. Sergeant Sergio Garcia, of RI 25, single-handedly covered the withdrawal of his platoon during the British counterattack. He was posthumously awarded the Argentine Nation to the Valour in Combat Medal. C Company had not lost a single man in the Darwin School fighting, but a D Company private was later killed from a burst of Argentine 35 mm anti-aircraft fire, which reduced the building to rubble. Four of D Company and approximately a dozen Argentines were killed in these engagements. Among the dead was Lieutenant Barry, who, along with two comrades, was killed while accepting the surrender of a group of Argentines.

As day became night, two Argentine Air Force warrant officers who were POWs were sent to the Argentine commanders at Goose Green by the acting CO of 2nd Para, Major Chris Keeble, with the terms of surrender.

We have sent a PW to you under a white flag of truce to convey the following military options:

1. That you unconditionally surrender your force to us by leaving the township, forming up in a military manner, removing your helmets and laying down your weapons. You will give prior notice of this intention by returning the PW under a white flag with him briefed as to the formalities by no later than 0830 hrs local time.
2. You refuse in the first case to surrender and take the inevitable consequences. You will give prior notice of this intention by returning the PW without his flag (although his neutrality will be respected) no later than 0830 hrs local time.
3. In the event and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Geneva Convention and Laws of War you will be held responsible for the fate of any civilians in Darwin and Goose Green and we in accordance with these terms do give notice of our intention to bombard Darwin and Goose Green.


Commander of British Forces"
It is at this time that my thoughts go to Mrs Cathy Dent (Wife of Capt Dent); she is a personal friend of mine and was pregnant at the time with their only child. Cathy has since remarried and is living happily in the South of England near Aldershot. Their son is a credit to them both.


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