Thursday 22 February 2024

2024 Remembering the Destroyer ARA Bouchard (D-26)in 1982


Remembering the Destroyer ARA Bouchard (D-26)
 in 1982


Published in the Boletín del Centro Naval 861, 

MAY/DEC 2023.                    


Captain (Ret) War Veteran Rafael Rey Álvarez


This is true history, chronological and detailed, of the actions of the escort ships of the cruiser ARA General Belgrano, destroyer ARA Bouchard (D-26) and ARA Piedrabuena (D-29), when they formed Task Group 79.3 (GT 79.3) during and after the attack by the submarine HMS Conqueror, on May 2, 1982.

 There is some naval terminology, which I have tried to minimize for my friends and acquaintances who do not master those terms, in order to make the narration more friendly. However, it is not possible to make all the clarifications, as it would extend too much, in a text that is already very extensive in itself.

 The group sailed with a general heading W (west). Both ships escorted the C-4; the D-29, ahead of the guide between 6000/8000 yards (1 yd, = 0.94 m.) The same towards the D-26 at a station on the starboard beam (right side) and at approximately the same distance. The Commander of Task Group 79.3 (CGT 79.3) and Officer in Tactical Command (OCT) was Captain H. Bonzo, at the same time Commander of C-4 who had ordered a smooth zigzag plan (winding navigation) .

The sonars (used to detect submarines) worked passively by order of naval superiority, which had established that the general policy for using acoustic sensors should be passive (silent, just listen). The ship sailed with the crew in war cruiser roles (50% at their stations, the rest resting).

 This condition was changed after having been ordered to abort the mission to attack the British Task Force around 0410 hours, given that the weather conditions, unforeseeably, prevented the aircraft carrier ARA 25 de Mayo from launching its attack aircraft,the A-4Q with the appropriate weapons configuration to inflict reasonable damage on the enemy. Previously and since midnight, 100% of the crew had occupied their combat positions, after having raised, under the circumstances, the War Flag on the mast, with the majority of the officers and crew members trained on decks and having sung the National Anthem.

A few minutes after 1600, a strong detonation/concussion was felt on board on the port side and the ship listed to starboard. Such was the magnitude that, finding myself resting since midday after 9 hours of continuous guard on the bridge, the shock produced suddenly woke me up from my deep sleep, without knowing what was happening. Immediately the battle gong (alarm) sounded and I went to take my position on the bridge.

I was a Midshipman in my second year as an officer and senior officer on board; I served as Chief of Navigation of the Destroyer ARA Bouchard and my combat position was Commanding Officer of the Bridge Watch (OCG).

Upon reaching it, I could smell a strong smell of gunpowder in the air. The Commander W. Bárcena and the Chief of Operations, Navy Lieutenant A. Castrilli, were already on the bridge. With me came the 2nd Commander Lieutenant Commander R. Fontanarrosa, the Chief of Engineers Lieutenant Commander G. Gomez and the Chief of Communications Frigate Lieutenant E. Facchin.


I am not going to elaborate here on whether the third torpedo launched from HMS Conqueror, which missed the C-4, hit the ship without detonating, or in its vicinity, or due to a failure or a self-destruct device. It is not the purpose of these lines. It is the subject of a technical analysis and not a narrative and historical one, which is our purpose.

I will then proceed to continue my story, but first it is necessary to clarify certain reckless and false versions, which once circulated and still do, that the Destroyers abandoned the Cruiser:



a.   It is obvious to any naval officer that no ship that is part of a naval force, in this case Task Group 79.3, can move away from its position in the formation it navigates or stand out from it, without order or authorization from the OCT. Let us remember that Captain H. Bonzo (OCT )was the Commander of GT 79.3 and at the same time Commander of C-4.


    b. These fallacious, reckless and ill-intentioned versions lead one to think that the Destroyers acted as if in flight, every man for himself, without thinking that what was said tarnished the honor and good name of around 600 comrade crew members of the escort ships (D -26 and D-29) and frames them in the worst condition of a soldier, cowardice, flight, abandonment of the fallen comrade-in-arms.


 That being said, let's get on with the facts:

After the battle gong, upon reaching the bridge and taking the OCG guard from the Chief of Electricity, Lieutenant M. Gardiner, I heard that the Commander ordered the Breakdown Central to verify damages, especially checking the magazine and ammunition lockers due to the strong smell of gunpowder already mentioned.


Presuming that we had suffered, in some way, the detonation or undetonated impact of an enemy torpedo, we attempted to communicate the news to the OCT (C-4). There was no response. Neither by radiotelephony, in the tactical circuit (primary radio), nor in the combat information circuit (secondary radio), nor in the marine VHF (channel 67 and 16). There was an answer from D-29.


Meanwhile, the Combat Information Center (CIC) already estimated that the C-4 was in shambles (without propulsion), and from the port wing of the bridge it could already be seen small on the horizon. One of the signal corporals had reported from the signal bridge, seconds before, that he had seen 2 or 3 white flares launched from the C-4 that went out quickly.

I personally looked with binoculars from the port wing of the bridge and informed the Commander that I found the silhouette of the cruiser "strange." Sure, it was missing a bow section, but I didn't realize it at the time. In the subsequent summary, in 1983, I was expressly questioned on this point several times.


But let us return to the facts.

In the meantime there was an intense exchange of communications between my commander and his counterpart from D-29, Commander Grassi, who was the 2nd. in tactical command (relieving the OCT) and had to assume leadership of GT 79.3


At 021635 MAY 82, D-26 imposed a naval message to the Commander of the South Atlantic Theater of Operations (TOAS) VL Lombardo, the content of which was approximately the following:

"Bouchard reports an unexploded torpedo hit. Belgrano crashed, possibly torpedoed in Lat. 55° 24' S Lon 61°32' ".

 Two more messages from D-29 and another from D-26 followed. Among them, one requesting air support from the D-29 as 2nd in Tactical Command.


  Although this data is in the war and navigation diaries and final report of the actions, in the General Archive of the Navy, you can easily consult the books: "Hasta la Última Balsa" by Daniel Cavallieri. Institute of Naval Publications. ISBN 978-950-9899-107-2 and/or "One ship, two flags, a thousand battles." Eugenio Facchin ISBN 978-987-28586-0-5.


The operations order issued by Captain Bonzo (CGT 79.3) established in the Rules of Engagement (combat protocols) that if one of its ships was attacked and damaged by the enemy and ,at that time no unit of its own was in contact with the attacking enemy unit, the rest of the ships had to move away from the position until the situation was clarified and then proceed based on the tactical evaluation necessary for the development of future actions and/or operations.


That meant a tremendous pressure, mental and psychological for the
Comply with the orders previously established by the OCT, as the
 C-4 Commander himself already said, to move away due to not being 
in contact with the enemy or ignore them, disobey them, given the 
possibility of the sinking of the cruiser, the eventual rescue of 
survivors and a submarine reattack.

Between the approaching sunset and the deteriorating weather, the C-4 began to disappear from sight, as the ships were moving away according to the instructions set by the OCT that I already quoted. Around 1700 radar contact was lost.


Around 1800, commanders were still exchanging clear communications from the command bridge. Communications that were heard by the author.



Finally around 1815/1830, Commander Grassi (D-29), 2nd in Tactical Command made the decision to return to the Data Point (PD) to investigate the last known position of C-4. I want to state for the record that both Commanders Bárcena and  Grassi wanted to go forward in the formation, exposing themselves and their men to risk first. They were friends and classmates and they debated vehemently on the radio, given the intense and dramatic nature of the situation. I was present on the command bridge and witnessed the dialogue.

Finally, seniority prevailed and I remember Commander Grassi when he colloquially told my Commander: " I ´ll go first and if they hit me, you leave." And the D-29 headed towards the site of the sinking.

The D-26 from behind within the range of UHF communications, I don't remember the exact distance, but it was slim, within the horizon.


Meanwhile, the hydrometeorological situation deteriorated rapidly and the wind reached stormy gusts (more than 60 knots/110 km from the NW), sea state between 6 and 7 (waves of 4 to 9 meters). Visibility was poor, it was difficult to see due to the prevailing darkness and the sky was completely covered, the surface temperature was 4°C. The speed of the ships had to be reduced to a maximum of 6/8 knots, weathering, that is, facing the waves.



The sea blows  damaged the bow sectors. In D-29, the Artillery Tower No. 1 was left out of service due to structural damage, and in D-26, some of the bridge glass was cracked and/or stripped .Seawater was entering it, so we had to cut off the power supply, turn off the radar repeater. A minimum guard was left in the dark.

 As we already had the sad certainty of the sinking, we started thinking  about the suffering of the survivors (if there was any)aboard the rafts in the midst of the storm.

 Time passed and my memory fails me to specify those hours exactly, but I think I remember that around 2130/2200 news was received:


1. Air support from the Neptune aircraft, from the Rio Grande Naval Air Base, was not assured and depended on the improvement of weather conditions.

2. The Abnaki-class fleet ocean tug ARA "Gurruchaga" (A-3), Lieutenant Commander Vasquez and the Polar Vessel ARA "Bahía Paraíso" (B-1), Commander García were heading for support.


After midnight, both ships were still searching, but the sea state was greater than 7/8, since the waves already reached between 9 and 12 meters. Only eight hours had passed since the torpedoing of the C-4.

 At around 0200 on May 3, D-29 was designated by the TOAS Commander as Scene Commander in Action (CEA), that is, responsible for coordinating search and rescue operations at the site. It was also learned that the Neptune 2-P-112 aircraft commanded by Commander Proni Leston had been able to take off from Río Grande despite the bad weather.

 Having surpassed the PD (Data Point) , the destroyers reversed course, weathering the storm (receiving waves from the stern), to achieve better stability of the ships and increase the sighting possibilities of the lookouts from the signal bridge and of the free guard personnel who, As best they could due to the bad weather, they collaborated from the outer decks in the visual search. Navigation and deck lights and searchlights were turned on and sirens sounded regularly. It was the end of a discreet and stealthy navigation.


 At around 0300, D-29 arrived first at the PD and a short time later D-26 did so without finding any raft or remains in sight. Meanwhile, aircraft 2-P-112, already in the Operations Area (AROP), carried out an expanded square air search pattern originating from the PD (like a spiral of right angles around an origin point).


I must say that aboard , in addition to the anxiety of not finding the survivors, there was also fatigue, uncertainty and fear (why not saying it)  of the eventual presence of the enemy submarine. At low speed and with all lights on, we were undoubtedly an easy target if the submarine had remained there and wished to attack us.


Around 0500 aircraft 2-P-112 left the AROP and was replaced by 2-P-111 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Pérez Roca. The low ceiling (height of low clouds) forced the air unit to search at a very low altitude, not ideal in terms of optimal visual and radar sweep width (what it can see or detect laterally). Meanwhile the destroyers continued a random search of the PD.

At 0830, with the sun already on the horizon, D-29 and D-26 began a parallel leg surface search with 2000 yards of separation between ships, as visibility was still poor, heading SE, according to the drift. calculated from the ponds by the wind-current effect recorded since 1600 the previous day. This separation between ships was later increased, as visibility improved. The fleet ocean tug ARA Gurruchaga (A-3) was already nearby, to collaborate as well.


At approximately 0900, emergency radio broadcasts were heard with requests for help from the raft crew members, but with very inaccurate positions ;almost impossible for it to be real. However, A-3 was assigned to investigate. But, beyond that, we celebrated loudly, we were all energized, well... There were survivors, we didn't know how many, but there were!!!


 Shortly after 0900, aircraft 2-P-111 sighted an oil slick about 300 meters wide, extending in a SE (Southeast) direction and began a new expanded square aerial search. D-26 and D-29 headed there, and then A-3.

 In the meantime, the aircraft's radar detected an intermittent contact, compatible with a submarine periscope. It launched passive sononobuoys and heard a slight, very low hydrophonic rumble, which could not be properly classified other than as a  possible submarine .That is a low confidence POSSUB (unlikely that was a submarine, but cannot be ruled out ). He performed a contact confirmation tactic with the MAD magnetic sensor (magnetic air detector), called the MAD cloverleaf trap, with negative results. (The MAD is a sensor that detects alterations in the normal Earth's magnetic field, in the presence of a ferrous object, such as a submarine).

 The destroyer commanders exchanged intense communications again. They had a great tactical doubt regarding the possibility of enemy submarine presence again. The same psychological and mental pressure as before. It was decided that the search would be followed only by the auxiliary ship A-3 and the combat units, they would go into anti-submarine combat (AS) configuration and change the mission of the aircraft also to AS or continue the search for the rafts and survivors. From such talk, from that excited conversation between classmates, came the decision. Continue as up to that point. Search for rafts and survivors and let it happen whatever God ordered.

2-P-111, already at the limit of its autonomy, and having been authorized to withdraw from the AROP by the D-29 that carried out air control, decided, after consulting with its crew and a new authorization from the CEA, to return and make a final search for parallel legs, on the most extreme calculated trajectory of the rafts drift.

 The plane had already exceeded the limit of its fuel range. He only had a small margin left to return to his base without falling into the sea first. They sighted a floating drum first and at 1320, on May 3, the raft field was sighted. Almost 50 nautical miles from the PD and, 20 hours after the sinking , they finally appeared...!!!


The destroyers and the warning were just over 20 nautical miles from that position and we all went there at maximum speed. That was the end of the search operation.


In images, the rescue of the survivors.


Glory and Honor to the fallen. Recognition of the survivors of the ARA Cruise "General Belgrano".






1. Hasta la última balsa, Daniel Cavalieri, Editorial: Instituto de Publicaciones Navales, Ed. 2011. ISBN 978 950 899 107 2.

2. Un buque, dos banderas, mil combates, Eugenio L. Facchin, Editorial: Asociación Civil Homenaje al destructor Bouchard. Ed. 2012. ISBN 978 987 28586 0 5.

3. Destructor ARA Bouchard en Malvinas. Washington Bárcena. Editorial: Argentinidad. Ed. 2022. ISBN 978 987 8934 03 7.

4. Ataquen Río Grande. Jorge Muñoz. Editorial: Instituto de Publicaciones Navales. Ed. 2008 ISBN 978 950 899 051 1.

5. Tres andandas en la oscuridad. Jorge G. Olarte. Editorial: Prosa Editores. Ed. 2017. ISBN 978 987 729 296 1.

6. The untold story of a fighting ship. Eugenio L. Facchin. Editorial: Springer. (springer.com). Ed. 2022). ISBN 978 3 030 926623 6 e ISBN 978 3 030 92624 3 (eBook).



In 1973, Captain VGM (R) Rafael Rey Álvarez entered, the Navy´s  “Admiral Brown” Naval Military High School . He graduated from the Naval Military School in 1980 as a member of Class 109. He trained as a Surface Officer, and specialized in underwater weapons. He served on various ships of the Sea Fleet, such as destroyers, corvettes, fleet ocean tugs and mine sweepers. Likewise, he served on the Fleet General Staff on two occasions. He was part of the Naval Aviation as Staff of the 2nd Naval Air Helicopter Squadron. He participated in Antarctic campaigns aboard icebreakers and the polar ship.

He served as a United Nations (UN) Military Observer in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) in 1994. He was Chief of Studies of the frigate ARA Libertad in 2000. He served as Liaison Officer to the Fleet Forces Command the US Navy in the years 2003 and 2004. Rey Alvarez commanded the hydrographic vessel ARA Comodoro Rivadavia,  oceanographic vessel ARA Puerto Deseado and served in the Naval Transports´ Command.

Rey Alvarez attended the Naval War School and the Higher Course of the Armed Forces on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1982, during the war of Malvinas, served as Chief of Navigation aboard the destroyer ARA Bouchard.

For this, he was decorated by the Congress of the Argentine Nation and distinguished by the Navy with the “Combat Operations” badge. He also received decorations from the UN and USN for services rendered.



The ARA Bouchard (D-26) was a destroyer incorporated into the Argentine Navy in 1972. She took its name from Hipólito Bouchard, a navy officer who carried out naval campaigns for Argentina between 1817-1819. She was transferred from the United States Navy, where she had served as USS Borie (DD-704), until that year from 1944. USS Borie (DD-704) was one of 58 Allen M. Sumner Class destroyers built for the United States Navy. It was the second ship named after Adolph E. Borie, President Ulysses S. Grant's Secretary of the Navy. The USS Borie was built by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, which laid down the hull on February 29, 1944 followed by launching on July 4 of the same year. The new destroyer was commissioned by the United States Navy on September 21, 1944. The Borie displaced 2,200 tons with standard load and up to 3,320 tons with full load. It had a length of 114.8 meters, a beam of 12.5 m and a draft of 5.8 m.


Monday 12 February 2024

2024 First Petty Officer Nurse (Ret) War Veteran Angel Quiroga





                                                                                                                              EDUARDO C.GERDING



"Male Nurse: Words which describe a person strong enough to tolerate everything and soft enough to understand everyone."


This article aims to highlight the life of First Petty Officer Nurse (Ret)War Veteran  Angel Quiroga and his participation in the Marine Infantry Battalion No. 5.


The characteristics of our male naval nurses have always been the combination of healthcare, compassion and empathy with autonomy, rationality and emotional control

First Petty Officer Nurse War Veteran Angel Quiroga was born on May 5, 1945 in Chorrillos, Province of Jujuy, son of Lucas Quiroga and Gualberta Calisaya. Chorrillos is one of the smallest and most colorful towns in the Quebrada de Humahaca, at 1883 meters above sea level. It is a geography characterized by cacti and spectacularly colorful mountains. This area was the first part of Argentina explored and colonized by the Spanish.



In 1962, at the age of 16, Quiroga entered the Seafaring School (Martin Garcia Island). The Seamanship School was a training center for the Argentine Navy. It first functioned as a Recruitment Center of the General Directorate of Naval Personnel in Buenos Aires followed by a brief stay at the Río Santiago Naval Base. Later, it was established on Martín García Island, where it operated for most of its time of existence. His last activities were taught at the Marina Zárate Artillery Arsenal.

In 1965, Quiroga embarked on the Frigate Libertad on her third training trip. This was a nine-month trip and the first of them to travel around the world. In this way he had the opportunity to visit Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan, China, the Philippines, Thailand, India and Egypt.


In 1972 he passed the Nursing Sailor Training Course at the Rio Santiago Naval Hospital and two years later the Naval Nurse Course taught at the Naval Health School of Puerto Belgrano. In 1977 he passed the Technical Nursing Assistant Course in Traumatology and Orthopedics and the following year the Master Corporal Nursing Course, both at the Naval Health School. In 1983 he obtained the title of Professional Nurse.


Angel participated in several UNITAS operations with the US Navy. UNITAS are sea exercises and in-port training involving several countries in North, South and Central America, conducted by the United States since 1959 in support of U.S. policy.


Family Life

On August 24, 1973, he married in the Civil Registry of Punta Alta with who would become his lifelong companion: Rosa Haydee Obregón, originally from Corrientes. From that union Héctor Eduardo (49), Graciela Alejandra (48), Elizabeth Gisella (41) and Claudia Lorena (40) were born.


In 1982, while his wife Rosa was pregnant with their youngest daughter, he was sent to the Malvinas. 2



Participation in Malvinas

Angel Quiroga left for posterity a description of his participation during 

the Malvinas conflict, which his daughter Elizabeth kindly sent me:  2


"A few days after the recovery, on April 5th, the entire health team, of which I was in charge, was transported with all our supplies on a Navy Foker plane. I felt proud and happy. After a 45 minutes flight, we set foot on the Malvinas Islands. It seemed like a dream to me, but this time it was a reality. When I was a child I studied books (Manual Estrada) and on many occasions I had thought about what the Malvinas would be like. I had always in mind the feeling of our first fallen hero 

When we first arrived we settled in Moddy Brook and as the days passed we moved to different places, on the hills of Tumbledown, Williams, Sapper Hill and adjacent valleys.

Corbacho, Alejandro L-Malvinas: Conscriptos navales en Tumbledown-Los soldados conscriptos durante la Guerra de las Malvinas(1982)




Moody Brook is a small watercourse that forms a valley and flows into the Puerto Argentino/Stanley roadstead, which is effectively its estuary (expanded as a result of glacial action), located in the east of Soledad Island in the Falkland Islands. It is located in the northwest of the Falklands capital, and was previously the location of the Royal Marine Corps barracks in the city.


(Corbacho, Alejandro L-Malvinas: Conscriptos navales en Tumbledown-Los soldados conscriptos durante la Guerra de las Malvinas(1982)  3




¨At that time I was a NCO of the Main Aid Post. We set up the tents and dug foxholes to care for the sick and injured.

A setbacks was digging the hard earth (composed of stones and peat), assembling the casemates and the expensive fox holes. This is how we installed the so-called PUSO (Main Aid Post)

We had another disadvantage for both our team and the injured: when it rained or snow fell, our wells filled with water which forced us to dig caves everywhere like moles.-

With the Marine Infantry Battalion No. 5 (BIM 5), we entered combat starting on May 1st at approximately 4:45 a.m., with one dead man and seven wounded. Throughout the night of the same day, the English bombed us with naval and aerial fire. The planes began to drop 1,000-pound bombs in the Airport area in order to destroy the runway. The Sea Harrier planes, which were later derived by Argentine forces, dropped 500-pound bombs. There were incessant bombings every day, during the 44 days that we were on the islands’ soil.

The British bombed us with naval fire, conventional, delay and cluster munitions.

In these 44 days, the English attacked with all their artillery to demoralize the Argentine troops. There were wounded and sick personnel. As a consequence of the low temperatures and humidity, some presented the so-called trench foot. There was an inclement weather (water, snow, rain and cold) and, another factor worth highlighting, was that as the days passed, food became scarce.

The protection of the Argentine troops were the casemates, the trenches, and the fox holes. The last three days before the surrender the battle was fiercer in the places like Tumbledown, Williams and Sapper Hill which turned those areas into a true hell. I remember a group at night of the Argentine Army, that were with the cannons.A bomb fell, leaving people dead and wounded. The very heartbreaking screams of the wounded could be heard, asking us to please save their lives. My partner and I went to the place to help them. In the dark and cold night, like every day, they completely destroyed our main aid station.

Every day was hell, the English attacked by sea, air and land, it was the hardest time for both sides. On the final day, very early in the morning, Governor Mario Benjamín Menéndez, , gave the order to withdraw the Argentine troops towards Puerto Argentino, but the BIM 5 Commander Carlos Hugo Robacio, gave a counter order to all the companies of the Battalion and a group of the Army, telling that until they ran out of ammunition they were not going to retreat. So it was, we continued fighting, with all our forces. Approximately after noon we began to retreat in stages towards Puerto Argentino, causing many casualties to the English, leaving a trail of dead on the battlefield. The conscript soldiers of BIM5 fought like true professionals, alongside their superiors; my respects to them.

By the time we arrived at the Military Hospital of Puerto Argentino, the war ended.

The Army and Navy Health Personnel were sent to the battlefield again, but this time to collect our dead. At that moment I met a colleague from BIM5, who had also been assigned to do the same task (the English soldiers followed us behind and yelled us: “ARGENTINES NOT ENGLISH”). We both hoped to find some survivor, but it was in vain, it was very hard and distressing, such memory will remain in the hearts and minds of those of us who survived.

When we returned again, very late, to the military hospital of Puerto Argentino, we found outside and behind it, (approximately a hundred meters away) a large number of KIA. An excavating machine was making a trench, probably to temporarily deposit, our fallen in combat. The corpses were of those who with a great feeling and patriotic spirit heroically assumed the duty of defending our country until they lost their lives and such was the cruel reality.-

Many years have passed and sadness invades me. I have much more to tell, I think I am very calm now (a sine qua non condition for a nurse in times of peace and war). I want to express that in Tumbledown, Mount Williams and Sapper Hill, the BIM5 under Commander Carlos Robacio, gave the enemy a great surprise: it was a great punishment for the English.


The value of the soldiers who fought for this piece of country must be perpetuated in the memory of all Argentines. With admiration and respect we must show them our gratitude, love and affection for that historical event, which we must never forget.¨ 2

(Corbacho, Alejandro L-Malvinas: Conscriptos navales en Tumbledown-Los soldados conscriptos durante la Guerra de las Malvinas(1982)  3


Aid Station-Of the 74 days, 44 were submitted to enemy fire-Photograph kindly submitted by late First Petty Officer Nurse Angel Quiroga.


“As a male nurse I was in charge of the main aid station (PUSO) . My job was to help every injured personnel. I looked for them, brought them, assisted them and evacuated them.

To achieve greater protection, we had dug wells where we placed the wounded: it was the only way to save them from the continuous English bombardment. There were twelve of us at the post: among them the NCOs Víctor Palavecino, Miguel Arias and myself; all from BIM 5.


Since May 1st, when we had one death and seven injured, the nursing work was permanent, very much like Dr. Ferrario, and the two dentists, Lieutenants Suárez and Méndez. What really created fear and anxiety was the ceaseless bombardment and the resulting casualties. The English bombed everything, there was no respect for our Red Cross. Three times we had to move the tents with the identifying Red Cross which was very large and visible. Still, a bomb fell on one of those relief tents and destroyed everything. We were saved because we were not inside at the moment.

We went behind a hill, at the foot of Mount Longdon, but we were not staying still. We acted as soon as they called us on the radio, and sometimes this was in the middle of combat, between bullets and bombs. Yes, unfortunately, I had to care for wounded people who left us. The most common injuries were caused by shrapnel, on the face, arms and legs. There was a case in the battalion that moved me the most: It was one of those conscripts with whom you get attached to, you see. They told me that he had been wounded so I went to help him...When I arrived...he was dead...My God. His name was Ramírez…”  6

(Sapper Hill. Before the British attack. Conscripts Luis De Sosa, Oscar Campos, Luis Orellana, Manuel Salvatierra,

Gustavo Cajide, Alejandro Satragni, Ruben Pappes, Marcelo Salonio, Jorge Andrada, NCOs Hector Palaveccino and  Angel Quiroga-(Kindly submitted by First Petty Officer Nurse Angel Quiroga).

Besides the aforementioned, the Aid Station was formed by Navy Lieutenant Medicine Doctors Jesús Eugenio Ferrario, Rubén Omar Abete, Navy Lieutenant Dentists Jose Antonio Suarez , Jorge Alberto Méndez, Navy Lieutenant Biochemist Guillermo Pandolfi and conscripts Hugo Maidana, Arnaldo José Melgarejo, Alejandro Príncipe, Ramón Antonio Beresosky, Fernando José Serafini and Jorge Eduardo Galván. 1,4,5





Unwilling to abandon the hill, Commander Carlos Robacio on Sapper Hill was planning to counter-attack and drive back the Guardsmen. Only the personal intervention of Colonel Félix Aguiar, the 10th Brigade Chief of Staff, brought the fighting to an end. The 5th Marines worked their way back into Stanley, leaving the 2nd Platoon of Sub-Lieutenant Marcelo Davis and 3rd Platoon of Sub-Lieutenant Alejandro Koch of M Company to cover the retreat. The Argentine Marine companies withdrew safely, only pursued by artillery fire. The Argentine Panhard armoured cars also moved forward to the edge of Stanley to cover the retreating troops, and to neutralize any further helicopter landings. Marine Privates Roberto Leyes, Eleodoro Monzón and Sergio Ariel from M Company are killed protecting the Argentine retreat. Six Royal Marines are wounded securing Sapper Hill, including four Marines from 40 Commando, one Sapper from Condor Troop and a forward officer from 3 Commando Brigade HQs. As the Guardsmen and Royal Marines consolidated their positions, the British lost a Volvo BV-202 tracked vehicle to a mine planted in the Sapper Hill sector. "We ran over a mine. I went up through the roof and the vehicle went up and was turned right round by the explosion," recalled Major Brian Armitage who was shortly evacuated to receive treatment. 1



Quiroga was repatriated on June 23, 1982 on the ARA Almirante Irizar, arriving at the Port of Ushuaia on June 26 of the same year. 2

 1987-In this year Quiroga was my Non-Commissioned Officer in charge in the Health Department of the Marine Corps Command and Logistics Support Battalion (BICL).  Third from the left is late  SSEN Angel Quiroga who retired from the Navy on July 1, 1988.


                         First Petty Officer Nurse War Veteran Angel Quiroga


 Among his multiple decorations, the Honorable Congress of the Nation stands out, the Navy medal (Combat Operations awarded on March 16, 2007) and those awarded by the Municipality of Rio Gande, the Rio Grande Non-Commissioned Officers Club and by the Province of Tierra del Fuego.


Angel Quiroga died in Rio Grande, victim of a prolonged illness on January 17, 2024 at 11,490 a.m. He had 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. 2




1-Battle of Sapper Hill. The Trustworthy Encyclopaedia-



2-Comunicación personal Sra. Elizabeth Quiroga.


3-Corbacho, Alejandro L-Malvinas: Conscriptos navales en  Tumbledown-Los soldados conscriptos durante la Guerra de las Malvinas(1982)(3/3)-Blog de las Fuerzas de Defensa de la República Argentina-



4-Desembarco-Separata No 8-Apoyo de Sanidad en Combate. Fuerza de Infanteria de Marina-Conflicto del Atlántico Sur/82.


 5-La increíble historia de los sobrevivientes del último combate de Malvinas (Los sobrevivientes de Sapper Hill)-La Capital, 23 de junio 2013.



6-Testimonio del Suboficial 1º enfermero Angel Quiroga / BIM 5-ZONA MILITAR




Mrs. Elizabeth Quiroga

Argentine War Veterans´División -Edificio Libertad