South Atlantic Medal 1982 with Rosette, with a quantity of supporting documentation, as awarded to Senior Aircraftman A.B.C. Mercer, Royal Air Force, who in 1982 was stationed at RAF Stafford with 16 Maintenance Unit at Beaconside in Staffordshire, as part of the Tactical Supply Wing, whose primary job was refuelling helicopters with rotors turning. With the Argentine invasion of the Falklands Islands and South Georgia on 2nd April 1982 then joined the South Atlantic Task Force and having travelled down to the Ascension Islands via Sierra Leone

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South Atlantic Medal 1982 with Rosette, with a quantity of supporting documentation, as awarded to Senior Aircraftman A.B.C. Mercer, Royal Air Force, who in 1982 was stationed at RAF Stafford with 16 Maintenance Unit at Beaconside in Staffordshire, as part of the Tactical Supply Wing, whose primary job was refuelling helicopters with rotors turning. With the Argentine invasion of the Falklands Islands and South Georgia on 2nd April 1982 then joined the South Atlantic Task Force and having travelled down to the Ascension Islands via Sierra Leone, then crossed to the Exclusion Zone aboard the Cross Channel ferry MV St Edmund, and being hit by a Force 11 gale on the way. With the surrender of Port Stanley on 14th June 1982, the small force entered the inner harbour at Port Stanley, and were ferried to Mount Pleasant airfield in a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter. They were amongst the very few Royal Air Force personnel to actually serve ashore during the conflict. According to the recipient there were only 9 men in his unit who arrived at Mount Pleasant as the conflict was ending. In his own words, ‘just as I put my foot on the ground at the airfield, the engineers were getting rid of the ejection seats from Puccaras. We then saw a goose and chased it and caught it. After we had caught it we were informed that we had been on a minefield by out Flight Lieutenant. We set up our Bulk Fuel Installation at the side of the airfield, and were very lucky again. One of the Sea Harriers side winder missiles misfired, and, one of the fires came within 12-18” (inches) of our pipeline.’ Rare award for service ashore with the Royal Air Force.

South Atlantic Medal 1982 with Rosette; (SAC A B C MERCER (E8181493) RAF), mounted swing style as worn.

Condition: Good Very Fine.

Together with the following original documentation:

Royal Air Force Certificate of Service and Qualifications.

Recipient’s personal copy of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention 1949 leaflet, together with his filled out British Forces Identity Card in case of capture. As filled out just prior to his going to the Falklands.

Recipient’s personal kit list checked for going to the Falklands, amusing note on outside scribbled: ‘must try and get some inner and outer gloves for NBC’.

The recipient’s personal copy of the hand coloured ‘Gozzome Chart’ detailing his units journey to the Falkland Islands. Specific to his unit. Very rare personal map of his unit’s journey through the Falkland’s War. According to the recipient only 9 men served with his unit ashore in the Falklands and tasked with readying Mount Pleasant airfield at Port Stanley for immediate use after capture. They served with the army during the operations.

The recipient’s personal admittance slip for the Luncheon at the Guildhall held for the returning servicemen of the South Atlantic Task Force on 12th October 1982.

Programme for the Luncheon at the Guildhall held for the returning servicemen of the South Atlantic Task Force on 12th October 1982. Signed by two members of the Task Force.

The official programme for The City of London’s Salute to the Task Force.

Also a copied image of the recipient receiving his South Atlantic Medal.

Andrew Eric Conwy Mercer was born on 7th July 1957 and joined the Royal Air Force as a Señor Aircraftman (No.E8181493) on 20th March 1979, and employed as a supplier. Having passed to drive a heavy good vehicle on 13th May 1880, and then his test in communications and calculations in August 1980, he then saw service in station supply work.

With the Argentine invasion of the Falklands Islands and South Georgia on 2nd April 1982, Mercer who was stationed at RAF Stafford with 16 Maintenance Unit at Beaconside in Staffordshire, as part of the Tactical Supply Wing, whose primary job was refuelling helicopters with rotors turning. Mercer was part of a very small contingent of men, according to the recipient 9, who were sent down to the Falklands from Portsmouth via Sierra Leone and the Ascension Islands.

During the voyage from the Ascension to the Falklands Islands aboard the MV St Edmund, they were hit by a Force 11 gale in the early hours of the morning, and the voyage was then extremely rough, the vessel itself was only ever intended for use as a Cross Channel Ferry. Arriving at the Exclusion Zone, they were joined by some men of the Scots Guards, and then with the surrender of Port Stanley on 14th June 1982, the small force entered the inner harbour at Port Stanley, and were ferried to Mount Pleasant airfield in a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter.

In his own words, ‘just as I put my foot on the ground at the airfield, the engineers were getting rid of the ejection seats from Puccaras. We then saw a goose and chased it and caught it. After we had caught it we were informed that we had been on a minefield by out Flight Lieutenant. We set up our Bulk Fuel Installation at the side of the airfield, and were very lucky again. One of the Sea Harriers side winder missiles misfired, and, one of the fires came within 12-18” (inches) of our pipeline.’ The recipient has hand written a personal account of his service to include with the medal. Only a handful of men from the Royal Air Force actually saw service ashore within the Exclusion Zone during the conflict, the majority having operated on or from the Ascension Islands, and hence an award of the medal for ground operations is extremely rare.

On his return from the Falklands, Mercer attended the Luncheon at the Guildhall held for the returning servicemen of the South Atlantic Task Force on 12th October 1982. Mercer was discharged from RAF Marham on 1st February 1991. Of his time at Marham, the discharge report states: ‘For the past two years Senior Aircraftman Mercer has been employed within the fuels department of the Station’s Supply organisation where he has been responsible for handling aircraft and ground fuels in addition to packing stocks of oils and lubricants. He is a reliable individual who should prove to be an asset to any future employer.’