Medals belonging to SAS soldier killed in Falklands War's Sea King tragedy sell ...

Medals belonging to SAS soldier killed in Falklands War's Sea King tragedy sell ...
Medals belonging to SAS soldier killed in Falklands War's Sea King tragedy sell ...

The medals of an SAS soldier who was killed in the devastating 'Sea King' Falklands War helicopter tragedy have sold for £20,000.

Sergeant Philip 'Taff' Jones was on board a Sea King Mk 4 which crashed in the sea while ferrying elite soldiers between the flagship HMS Hermes and the warship HMS Intrepid ahead of the assault on San Carlos in May 1982.

Twenty members of the SAS were killed, including 28-year-old Sergeant Jones.

It remains the largest loss of life to the regiment from a single incident since the end of the Second World War.

Nine others survived by swimming out of the helicopter before it disappeared beneath the waves.

Harrowing accounts emerged of the soldiers fighting each other to access tiny air pockets in the sinking craft. 

Sergeant Jones, from Hoddlesden, Lancashire, served with distinction in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

He was also present during Operation Storm carrying out anti-insurgency missions as the Dhofar Rebellion took hold in southern Oman.

His medals, red beret and other personal effects appeared on the market for the first time with auctioneers Spink & Son, of London.

They attracted a hammer price of £16,000, with extra fees taking the final figure paid to £19,840.

Medals of SAS soldier Sergeant Philip 'Taff' Jones, who was killed in the devastating 'Sea King' Falklands War helicopter tragedy, have sold for £20,000

Medals of SAS soldier Sergeant Philip 'Taff' Jones, who was killed in the devastating 'Sea King' Falklands War helicopter tragedy, have sold for £20,000

Sergeant Jones's General Service 1962-2007 medal with Northern Ireland and Dhofar clasps (left) and his South Atlantic 1982 medal (right)

Sergeant Jones's General Service 1962-2007 medal with Northern Ireland and Dhofar clasps (left) and his South Atlantic 1982 medal (right)

Harry Blackett-Ord, a medals specialist at Spink, said: 'What makes this group so poignant is the way such a brave man was killed in an accident of fate.

'The SAS were heavily engaged during the Falklands War, indeed some of the men killed in the crash had been deployed in the raid of Pebble Island only days before and having survived all their Argentine opponents could throw at them they died in a chance collision.

'The testimonies of the survivors describe vividly the frantic struggle for survival within the Sea King and the guilt of the few that made it out of what was, for the regiment, the worst loss of life since the end of the Second World War.

'Interest in the Falklands War is indeed high and has been for some time.

'To send an expeditionary force around the world a fight a campaign with an modern army, let alone one so close to its own homeland is a staggering feat and required soldiers of immense bravery, ingenuity and ability.'

The Sea King tragedy took place on the evening of May 19, 1982.

One theory is that the helicopter hit a large black albatross bird at 300ft, causing it to plunge into the sea at 80mph.

Survivor Trooper Mick Williams later recalled: 'I woke when the helicopter hit the water.

'The Sea King had already tilted on its side and I was at the bottom of a heap of bodies.

Members of the SAS's Mountain Troop boarding Navy Lynx helicopters sent from HMS Brilliant en route to South Georgia during the Falklands War

Members of the SAS's Mountain Troop boarding Navy Lynx helicopters sent from HMS Brilliant en route to South Georgia during the Falklands War

The Sea King tragedy took place on the evening of May 19, 1982. One theory is that the helicopter hit a large black albatross bird at 300ft, causing it to plunge into the sea at 80mph. Pictured: A Sea King takes to the skies after dropping off members of the Royal Marines in the Falklands

The Sea King tragedy took place on the evening of May 19, 1982. One theory is that the helicopter hit a large black albatross bird at 300ft,

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