Operation Black Buck 1 - The Bombing of Port Stanley Airfield - 30th April/1st May 1982
Sqn Ldr Bob Tuxford AFC RAF Rtd
Squadron Leader Robert Tuxford, AFC RAF Retd, graduated from the RAF College Cranwell in 1970. His first operational tour was on 214 Squadron on the Victor K1 3-point tanker in the air-to-air refuelling role. Selected for a coveted American exchange posting, Bob then flew the Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker within Strategic Air Command at Mather AFB, California as an aircraft commander and instructor. On promotion to squadron leader, he returned to the UK to Central Flying School to undertake training as a qualified flying instructor. After a brief instructional tour in Yorkshire flying the familiar Jet Provost, he was posted back to the Tanker Force at RAF Marham as an executive on No 57 and then as flight commander on 55 Squadron. Flying the Victor K2 in support of the South Atlantic operations during the Falklands war, he participated in the iconic first Black Buck mission. After qualifying as a test pilot at the prestigious Empire Test Pilots School in 1983 at the A&AEE Boscombe Down, Bob undertook flight trials on a wide range of aircraft including all the RAF s tankers: the Victor, VC10 and newly-acquired TriStar. On leaving the RAF in 1987, he flew as a commercial pilot for Monarch Airlines, retiring in 2010 with close on 19,000 hours and seventy types in his logbook.
The Speaker will introduce his talk with a brief review of his RAF career and flying experience. He will emphasise those tours flown in the Air-to-Air Refuelling role, which was pivotal in the majority of the RAF’s Air Operations undertaken in the South Atlantic in 1982. The main subjects of the presentation will cover crews arrival and preparations on Ascension Island, the early Maritime Radar Reconnaissance sorties flown in support of the advance Task Force intent on the recovery of South Georgia, and the execution of Operation Black Buck 1: the first offensive-air operation in the retaking of the Falkland Islands. He will tell the story of the iconic raid from the point of his crew, as one of the eighteen Victor Tanker crews supporting a single Vulcan tasked with bombing the runway at Port Stanley Airport on East Falkland Island, and finish with a personal perspective of the effectiveness of the raid and its legacy.
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