In the years following the end of the Falklands War, Britain attempted to calm ongoing tensions by reducing the number of Phantom interceptors based on the Islands to just four aircraft. This development reduced the squadron to ‘Flight’ status and would herald its adoption of the famous ‘1435 Flight’ name and its heritage from the Second World War.
Now having just four Phantoms to defend the Islands against the potential might of a combined Argentinean air threat, pilots and crew of No.1435 Flight called upon the glorious WWII heritage of this famous unit and established a South Atlantic aviation story which continues to this day. The long association between the Falkland Islands and RAF No.1435 Flight began on 1st November 1988, when No.23(F) Squadron back in the UK started to re-equip with the new Tornado F.3 interceptor.
With their Falklands based detachment now reduced to just four Phantoms, the flight drew on its association with the siege of Malta during the Second World War and the defiant defence mounted by a small number of obsolete Gloster Sea Gladiator fighters of the Hal Far Fighter Flight. During her time with No.1435 Flight on the Falkland Islands, Phantom FGR.2 XV466 earned a reputation as one of the most attractively presented RAF jets of the post war era, with her white tail and large Maltese Cross cutting quite the figure as she helped to deter further conflict in this volatile region.
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