Hillsbourough Hysterical Society

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Troops Return From Islas Malvinas War

by Marquez Gaylord

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After 14 days at sea, the 3rd Army Battalion stationed at Fort Brooke returned to Tampa, out of harm's way.

Return of the Troops
- Converted cruise liner Andria-Doria -

Much to the relief of friends and family in Tampa, the war in the Malvinas Islands had ended just 12 hours before the converted cruise liner Andrea-Doria and her precious cargo of Marines was scheduled to enter the war zone. They were ordered to return to Tampa with out ever getting off the boat. "Never get off the boat!" was later to become the unit's motto.

It was through the speed and bravery of our Army Air Corps. in getting the Gulf Carrier Group to the islands that enabled the destruction of the entire enemy air force before any ground reinforcements could arrive from the main land. Cut off and confused, the island forces capitulated.

Surrender ceremonies were held on the deck of the Carrier Hyde. Rear Admiral S.P. Pier accepted the islands' flag from the defeated garrison commander. The flag and the Army Flying Cross were awarded to 2nd Lt. Patrick Vandenberg in recognition of his outstanding contribution during the conflict. Vandenberg had shot down 5 enemy planes in the 2 day war.

 

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