On 6 June 1982, during the Falklands War, the British Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer HMS Cardiff engaged and destroyed a British Army Gazelle helicopter, serial number XX377, in a friendly fire incident, killing all four occupants. Cardiff, on the lookout for aircraft flying supplies to the Argentine forces occupying the Falkland Islands, had misidentified the helicopter as an enemy C-130 Hercules. Although the helicopter’s loss was initially blamed on enemy action, a subsequent inquiry found Cardiff’s missile to be the cause.
Staff Sergeant Christopher Griffin and Lance Corporal Simon Cockton, of 656 Squadron Army Air Corps, had been ordered to fly equipment and personnel to a malfunctioning radio re-broadcast station on top of Pleasant Peak. The station had been established the previous day to provide a communications link between the 5th Infantry Brigade headquarters at Darwin, and the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment at Fitzroy. Night flying conditions were excellent, with a clear sky, a prominent moon and a wind speed of 20 kn (37 km/h). The crew departed from Goose Green in Gazelle serial number XX377 and collected the replacement equipment from the headquarters at Darwin. They also took on board two passengers; Major Michael Forge, the OC of 205 Signal Squadron, and one of his technicians, Staff Sergeant John Baker. Griffin was an experienced pilot; the flight to the re-broadcast station was expected to take ten minutes.