The controversial account of what really happened in the south Atlantic skies
Sharkey Ward commanded 801 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Invincible, was senior Sea Harrier adviser to the Command, flew over sixty missions and was awarded DSC. Yet had he followed all his instructions to the letter, Britain might well have lost the Falklands War.
His dramatic first-hand story of the air war in the South Atlantic is also an extraordinary, outspoken account of inter-Service rivalries, bureaucratic interference, and dangerous ignorance of the realities of air combat among many senior commanders. As Sharkey Ward reveals, the 801 pilots were fighting not just the enemy, exhaustion, and the hostile weather, but also the prejudice and ignorance of their own side.
Nigel David Ward was born in Canada of 'RAF' parents in 1943 and joined the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, as an Officer Cadet in 1962. After Basic Flying Training he completed his Fleet Air Arm training on Hunters and Sea Vixens before joining 892 Naval Air Squadron in 1969, where he flew the F-4K Phantom from the deck of the HMS Ark Royal. A qualified Air Warfare Instructor, he worked at the Ministry of Defence and in 1981 took command of 801 Naval Air Squadron in HMS Invincible. Commander Ward holds the Air Force Cross for services to maritime VSTOL aviation and was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross in the Falklands Honours List.