Wessex Helicopters on the Fortunate Glacier

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by JT0475, Oct 18, 2012.

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  1. Does anyone know what happened to the two Wessex helicopters that crashed on the Fortuna Glacier on South Georgia during the operation to recover the island?
    When I was stationed there there wasn't any mention of them being up there still, yet I would doubt the effort to recover them would have been worth it or even possible. I've asked the question on Faceache as well to see if anyone who served on the island knew of their eventual fate after the end of hostilities, I assumed they were left up there just like the Argentine Puma was over the other side of the bay from King Edward Point.
    No real reason for asking, just curious.
  2. Weren't they Chinooked off and hammered straight again?

    I expect the Puma would have been salvaged too, except it looked like a colander after every passing Tom had put a few gimpy belts through it...
  3. What with? Even if there were spare Chinook capacity to launch a recovery that distance, the Wessii were hardly going to be a great deal of use to anybody.

    They're now a little closer to the bottom of Fortuna, and a local animal sanctuary uses them to shelter orphaned Gentoo.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Just noticed my auto correct has changed the thread title to 'Fortunate'!
  5. Think that's probably right - can't see that they'd have used the only heavy lift helicopter in theatre to recover them when it was too busy shifting bodies and ammunition, and who would have been able to repair them anyways during hostilities. Post conflict, it was probably too much effort to recover them. Was more interested in whether anyone had ever seen them, photo's etc - the only one I have seen is of both of them crashed, before the SAS patrol was recovered by the heavily overloaded Mk3.
  6. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

  7. Ah, my mate 'Humphrey'
  8. Mmmm......when there was a little too much daring and not enough thinking about what was required to win.

    Waste of two perfectly good helicopters that would have been more than useful later in the conflict by all accounts.
  9. The whole shebang in 1982 relied on 'daring' rather than 'thinking', we'd probably hav enot bothered otherwise!!!

    At the end of the day, you p1ss with the c0ck you've got, and call 'em as they present themselves.

    The Wessex 3 carried 16 blokes off the glacier... normal load? 4.
  10. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

  11. I'd be surprised if someone hadn't at least attempted to recover the bits. I did some work in the early 80's stripping bits out of argentine a/c. Even after Gurkhas had 'rendered them unserviceable' the primary structure was still worth the cost of getting it back to the UK.
  12. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    I thought all the kit was left behind so assume someone had to go back and pick it up again.
  13. Picking up the Brass...

    The Argies have never gone back to pick up their 'litter' though have they?
  14. As war-trophies the Argie kit had some small value, but I doubt the two Wessex were considered to have any value whatsoever, in their modified form. Given the weather conditions prevalent on the glacier, I'm sure that the Crab's would be overjoyed at getting that task.
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  15. A pair of lycomings from a uh1 make nice trophies at $60 000 apiece...