B-108
[Photo : P. A. Tomlin]
B.62, FAA B-108

This Canberra was originally with the RAF as WH886. Built in 1953 this B.2 served with 207 Sqd, 44 Sqd and 73 Sqd before being sold, in 1969, to BAC for conversion to Argentinian B.62 specifications. It was delivered to 1 Sqd FAA in September 1971. This Canberra is of interest because it was one of two Argentinian Canberras that were shot down during the Falklands conflict in 1982.

On Sunday 13th June a number of Canberras were detached on stand-by to Rio Gallegos to fly night-support missions for the Argentinian troops in Port Stanley, Falklands Islands. Two B.62 Canberras were tasked and readied along with two Mirage IIIEAs as fighter escort. Take off was 21:00 (local) and the B.62s climbed to 36,000ft setting course for Mount Kent. The Mirages took off some time later and held steady about 30k behind while the Canberras positioned to the south for their bomb run from 36,000ft. Both B.62s ran in and dropped their loads (unknown results) and made a 180 degree turn to clear the area. Just after the escape turn, B-108, the lead aircraft, was hit by a Sea Dart fired from HMS Exeter. The missile hit the lower front section of the fuselage causing explosive decompression of the cockpit and a No 1 tank fire. Elevator control was also lost and the pilot tried to reduce speed and prevent a spin. As it fell below 13,000ft, the navigator was ordered to eject but there was no response. With the Canberra now falling passed 7,000ft the pilot ejected and was eventually picked up by a British helicopter. He was repatriated at the end of the conflict.

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