Using Mount Kent, some 64 km behind enemy lines, as a forward operating base, having been flown in on 24th May under the noses of the Argentine 12 Regiment also on the mountain, the SAS continued their reconnaissance role until 26th May when the Argentines were hurriedly airlifted to Goose Green by a mix of Huey and Chinook helicopters, leaving much personal equipment behind. This sudden move left the mountain, which was dominant high ground, open to seizure by No.3 Commando Brigade. On 30th May, Sea King helicopters with Royal Marines aboard took off but were forced to turn back by severe weather for San Carlos.
In the late afternoon of 31st May, elements of K Company, 42 Commando, and two SAS officers took off with the aim of arriving after dark. The helicopter pilots used passive night goggles to mount a ground-hugging approach. This first liftoff had to land as many men as possible and were filled beyond capacity with men and weapons. They arrived behind a ridge line about two miles from the summit of Mount Kent where they were confronted by the sight of a night firefight in progress. The Marines quickly spread out and took cover and secured their landing zone as they offloaded their weapons and equipment. The firefight died down and Major Cedric Delves of D Squadron, 22 SAS, appeared to assure his boss all was well. The SAS had encountered an Argentine patrol and had destroyed it.
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We are very grateful to the people at Cranston Fine Arts
for allowing us to display Graeme Lothians work