I am being asked which of the 5 Inf Bde units were the last to leave Stanley in 1982. Being a Sapper I departed in August on the MV Norland for Ascension arriving back in UK on 3 Sep; were we the last??
From my memory, which I admit after more than 36 years is now beginning to fade. However, Myself from HQ LFFI Intelligence Section, and another colleague from 81 Intelligence Section, were embarked on the last C-130 to leave Stanley Airport at the end of July/beginning of August 1982, just before the runway was closed for repairs to be carried out. The only other aircraft evident were a couple of RAF GR1s and a Sea Harrier (SHAR) which were on standby Combat Air Patrol (CAP). On board the C-130 with us for the 13 hour flight to Ascension, was a fairly substantial party from 2/7 GR some medics and other support troops. On arrival at Ascension we had to wrap our weapons in Hessian bundles before boarding an RAF VC-10 for the flight to Brize Norton.
Prior to our departure from the Falkland Islands, another C-130 had gone Tech and was forced to divert to a Brazilian Air Force Base (?) where the officers were off-loaded whilst ORs remained on the aircraft. The officers who included a Captain from my ad-hoc Section, were apparently treated to a banquet and drinks.
Incidentally, on the way out to Ascension by VC-10 (Lanoe Hawker VC), at the end of April 1982, we landed in Dakar, Senegal, with piss overflowing from the aircraft's toilets, and were forced at gunpoint to remain in the aircraft (admittedly with the door open) by nervous Senegalese conscripts. The situation was compounded by the Air Loadmaster feeding us copious amounts of orange juice.