Saturday, 19 May 2007

ACM Sir Peter T Squire, GCB DFC AFC ADC RAF 1945-2018

Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter T Squire, was Chief of the Air Staff during the start of both Operation Veritas and Coperation Telic.

Sir Peter was commissioned into the RAF in 1966. Following initial officer training at the RAF College Cranwell and subsequent flying training, Sir Peter flew Hunters and later,Harriers.

In 1982 Wing Commander Squire was commanding officer of the RAF's Number 1 Fighter Squadron of Harriers when it was hurriedly mobilised as part of the Falklands Task Force. His squadron of ten Harriers flew a total of 151 sorties, two a day for each pilot, mainly ground attack and battlefield air interdiction, in dangerous low-level flying which took a heavy toll. Four of the Harriers were brought down, and another three damaged, leaving only three unscathed. They became the first RAF aircraft to operate from an aircraft carrier, HMS Hermes, since the Second World War. Wing Commander Squire flew his Harrier off the cargo vessel, Atlantic Conveyor only a few days before she was sunk by an Argentine exocet missile. From then on, he was in the thick of the action, day after day, with no respite, attacking Stanley Airport and other Argentine targets. In a pioneer mission, he became the first ever RAF pilot to launch a laser-guided "smart" bomb ? attacking Argentine troops on Mount Longdon. He had narrow escapes when he crash landed at Port San Carlos airstrip, and again just days before the war ended when a blowpipe missile exploded near his Harrier, and a bullet penetrated the cockpit, almost hitting him. After the war, engine failure forced him to eject before his aircraft crashed into the sea off Cape Pembroke