Adventure travel takes you scuba diving on the north pole

Neil Wilkinson, Neil Wilkinson, Sailor in the Falklands War      

Neil Wilkinson on his 21st Birthday, the Wilkinsons
Neil Wilkinson isn't just a War Hero, he is also a human being.  Not just Neil, these are the Wilkinson's.  What do the Wilkinson's do when they are at home or on vacation?  You will see what the Wilkinson's do on this page. 

Click Here to see the Falklands, Malvinas War Home Page

   The Wilkinsons  

Home A-7 Corsair II  Alpha Jet Betty Bombers North Pole Exhibits  Baka Bomb
Deane Kesterson  Five Miles  Gee Bee Aircraft Inaki Ruiz Jeff Dyrek Story Stolen P-40
 One More Mission  Patco Pitts Exhibits  P-51 Mustang Poland to Pullman  Short Straw
Siamak Hatami  South Pole Expedition Space Shuttle Doug Keller USS Kitty Hawk  34th Fighter Squadron
 413th Fighter Group Famous People

Go to the Falklands / Malvinas War Home Page

Veterans Articles  Willow Run
  Corvettes Sports Cars

To the Main Entrance of the Yellow Airplane StoreGo to the Stores Front Door to See a Lot MORE.

Jet Fighters Motorcycles Corvettes Ships Spacecraft Tanks Martin Guitars




More about the HMS Sheffield   More about the HMS Plymouth     More about the HMS Antelope        More about the Atlantic Conveyor        More about the HMS Intrepid       More about the HMS Hermes        More about the HMS Coventry         More about the HMS Invincible         More about the Harrier Jet Fighter         More about the A-4 Skyhawk Jet Fighter       More about the Mirage Fighter       More about the Falklands War       More about the Malvinas Guerra


Falklands Exhibit Index - Malvinas ndice Exposicin

 Click Here to see the making of the NEW Movie,
"Enemy Contact"

  Battle Story of the Falklands

 HMS Intrepid 

   Neil Wilkinson in London 2007 - 2009  

  Photos taken Later aboard the HMS Brazen

  The End of the Falkland Islands War 

  Making a Documentary 




   Write to the Webmaster 

Click on Pictures Below for Much Larger Views


Neil Wilkinson's 21st Birthday in Cyprus
   Neil Wilkinson 

Photo By Neil Wilkinson

The picture of myself cutting the cake was my 21st birthday, we were in Cyprus, that's the only bit I remember of the day, the rest is a blur due to excessive amount of beer I drunk!! haha.

That's when I had hair too..


I think one of the most heart breaking sights for me, was sitting in my gun watching HMS Antelope explode!  That then brought it all home to us and it was a very tearful moment, watching one of your own ships explode, when hours earlier it had sailed past us. 

We lost many ships and many good men, but so did they too. War is not just about two or three nations going on a battle field and killing each other, people seem to forget the aftermath and the people who have lost loved ones, the younger generation (although taught it in schools) don't fully appreciate what the armed forces of the world achieve.



   An Invitation  
  If you were a Veteran of the Falklands - Malvinas War, from either England or Argentina, I would like to hear your story and see your pictures. Please send them to the Webmaster. Thank you very much 


HMS Antelope Going Down
   HMS Antelope 

Photo from Neil Wilkinson


  HMS Intrepid 


HMS Intrepid Leaving Portsmouth
  HMS Intrepid 

Photo By Neil Wilkinson

The HMS Intrepid was classified as a LPD (Landing Platform Dock)
The Intrepid was around 12,500 tons when fully loaded with troops and tanks

On the night of 19th May 1982, this was to be a very sad evening indeed onboard HMS Intrepid. That night I was on watch on the bridge, it wasn't a particularly nice night weather wise, but it never was in the South Atlantic, the waves were massive and the ships ploughed into the swell. The Intrepid was sailing southwards and we were cross decking troops from the Hermes. It is thought that while crossdecking a Seeking helicopter from Hermes hit an Albatross, causing the helo to ditch into the dark waters of the South Atlantic. All attempts were made to try and recover/rescue any survivors from the helo, sadly we lost 18 SAS men that night, 22 men in total, 9 survivors were miraculously pulled out of the icy water. I remember I was stood on the bridge wing, we had spot lights trained on the water searching for anything. It was indeed a very sad night.


my Bofors gun onboard HMS Intrepid
  HMS Intrepid 

Photo By Neil Wilkinson

My Bofors gun onboard HMS Intrepid.


my 40/60 Bofors gun onboard HMS Intrepid
  HMS Intrepid 

A 40/60mm Bofors from Intrepid, I think it is the Port Bofors,
I was on the starboard side, but they were very similar in appearance


This is where I spent time after the we were allowed to rest after the first day of attacks, it was a locker on the upper deck, not too far away from my gun. In this small room, I wrote a letter home to my mum and family and eventually fell asleep for which seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a few hours, I was eventually woken up and then waited for the Argentines to attack again, they never disappointed us and always turned up!

  Read about Neil Wilkinson's  
  Battle Story of the Falkland Islands War

This is Mariano Velasco's airplane that Neil Wilkinson
 shot down during the Falklands War.

A-4 Skyhawk

C-207, Fuerza Aerea Argentina, Falklands/Malvinas War, 1982


40mm Cannon Shell that Shot Down Marino Valaso

This shell is being transferred to the Falklands very quickly for the museum there. 
Arrangements are being made along with photos and videos.


A list of Argentinean Pilots who have ejected


Hi Jeff,
Today I spent the morning at the Remembrance Service at my local church, because the older vets are getting on a bit these days it is left to the younger vets to do there little bit, that's where I step in to the fold!   I was asked to carry the flag in the service, this is quite an important role and one I have done on a few occasions in the past, but the spooky thing is, the service (although about  remembering the fallen) took an approach that struck a chord with me and my wife, it was as though the service had just been  written along the same way my meeting with Mariano took place and I got the message that we need to forgive and hold out the hand of friendship, which is exactly what happened,  either my vicar is a mind reader or God has given him a sign etc.  It was so like what has happened to me.



Hi Jeff,

I was chatting to Mariano yesterday, he is well and seems to be enjoying doing his gardening! I also noticed that Pablo is writing a book, this was a surprise although the book is about his Storybook business. 
Nicola seems to have made it to regular slot sat on the sofa of the Regional News, I heard she is moving house to a much nicer area of the city!
I was talking with my wife as we walked the dog yesterday and it came to our attention that everyone apart from me and you are doing well from things we achieve, we need a lucky break.  Last Fridays interview went well and I felt really good although I wasn't prepared for some of it as I thought I was in the studio just to talk about the referendum that was going to take place. 

The interview centered around that but also it took a slight twist and the presenter got a shock when she asked me "was it frightening?" I said to her and on air, "when you consider that on the first day alone 72 aircraft attacked the task force and 26 of those went personally  for my ship"  She looked at me with her mouth wide open then away from the microphone said "My God"  I just said "I think somebody was looking out for me or we just got  lucky"

From the Webmaster:  The lady's answer to your reply, Oh God, was the same one that I had when you told me about the number of attacks. So many people think that you guys sat there and had a few attacks, but were mostly just sitting around. That's the way the news made it look here in 1982. It talked about some attacks, but the war was never described as it actually happened.   



This Mission is Complete and has been shown on the BBC channel, locally, on Jan 16th 2012.

The program was a big success and Neil and Mariano finally did meet after thirty years.  

The following is a letter from Neil about the BBC television program.

Hi Jeff,
I saw my first taste of the programme last night, it was a trailer and it had 3 clips.  The first was of me checking in at the departure lounge, the next at the crash site,  then the last was of me walking up to Mariano and the last one had me wincing.  Purely because I walked up to Mariano and he held out his hand and I never  shook his hand at that time and I virtually hugged him to death!  I was looking at it and my wife said that it would have being nerves and she made some other excuse for me, I did not stop shaking his hand, it was a very moving piece of filming and one that will change the history books slightly!  So far I have a few appearances coming up, Breakfast Time TV on the Monday 16th, then a couple of Regional TV and Radio interviews to do.  All of these I will get recordings of and add to the ever increasing amount, I am hoping that a daily newspaper comes forward and wants some info etc, this will give everyone a piece of the action as well.

As you can see things are moving along and time never stops.  The next project is Enemy Contact, the Movie

These were the plans to complete the Falklands Project which started in November of 2008 and was completed on January 2012.

About the Expedition Plans.

A message to the readers.  This is a story of how a British Sailor, Neil Wilkinson,  shot down Mariano Velasco, the Argentinean Pilot who sunk the HMS Coventry.  The plane is shown below and the cannon shell is also shown here too.  The Falkland Island War was in 1982 and now in 2009 we are planning an expedition to the Falkland Islands, called "When Enemies Become Friends", to find this crashed airplane.  We also want to get a photo of Neil and Marino standing together more than twenty years later.  Signing our guestbook would be a great support.  Also, you were in the Falkland Islands War, on either side, please write the webmaster a letter at the bottom of this page.  This will be a great help for recognition of all of the veterans on both sides.  Thank you very much. 
C. Jeff Dyrek, Webmaster.


Hi Jeff,
Back in the Falklands and in every war your training and expertise takes you to another level.  Although you are an individual, you have a massive team around you, from medics to chefs, gunners to signal men.  My job onboard intrepid was to protect that team.  I lost sight of this fact and was reminded of it some years ago by an ex SAS member, thanks to him I started on my road to understanding me.


  Photos taken Later aboard the HMS Brazen 


Queen Elizabeth on the HMS Brazen in 1986

  Queen Elizabeth on the HMS Brazen 1986 

Photo by Neil Wilkinson

   Click Here for more photos of the HMS Brazen 

We had the Queens's son, Prince Andrew onboard the HMS Intrepid as our helicopter pilot he was there and he played as much a part as we all did when we were ready for battle.


Forward and Aft Seawolf missiles systems firing a live missile
back in 1985 in the Gulf.


  The Final Resting Place for the Aircraft Carrier 
  HMS Intrepid 2008

The veterans who attended the book launch, please note the exhibits in the background. Neil Wilkinson our starboard gunner in the conflict is 2nd from the right.
 I (Mike Quinn - that's me- is  on the 4th from the right at the back).


Pictured in Fareham Creek the next morning where we gathered to see our old ship Intrepid, many of us for the first time in 25 years. The veterans are from the left, Steve Dickinson, Rab Carrigan, Russell Morgan, George Heron, Neil Wilkinson and Mike Quinn.


The Intrepid's final destination in Liverpool, in September 2008,  where she is being dismantled for recycling, and is contracted by the owners Leavesley International. The Leavesley company were very kind in allowing up 40 of our veterans to gather for a final goodbye to HMS Intrepid, our former home 25 years earlier. We had a fantastic day exploring our old ship whilst the memories came flooding back.


The Leavesley company were very kind in allowing up 40 of our veterans to gather for a final goodbye to HMS Intrepid, our former home 25 years earlier. We had a fantastic day exploring our old ship whilst the memories came flooding back.


   About Neil Wilkinson  

Born in 1959 and lived in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.  I didn't have the happiest of childhoods, my mum divorced in the late sixties and got involved with another man, he was ok to start with, then things started taking a turn for the worse, my elder brother and myself took the full brunt of it and we got regular beatings, what for we didn't know.

It got even worse for my mum when the guy actually hospitalized her, he then went for me for the very last time, he made the mistake of giving me time to pick up a carving knife and as he made his move so did I, I didn't stab him and just warned him that if he came any closer what would happen to him, he knew I meant it.

I suppose I joined the Royal Navy to escape from this sort of thing, I wasn't getting on with the foreman at work and he treated me like a dog, whistling me and give me mundane jobs.

I eventually left home in 1979 and signed up, I was loving it, I was in training learning my radar course when my father died and I was automatically taken off the course, then because there wasn't another course starting for some time I was left with 3 options, Steward, Gunnery or leave the navy and re-enlist at some other date.

There was no way I could go back, so I opted for the Gunnery school in Plymouth.

I loved every minute of the course and eventually got my first ship, it was waiting for me in Plymouth sound, HMS Intrepid, she was what is classed as an LPD (landing platform dock) and it was a daunting experience for me as the biggest ship I had ever seen was just in pictures.

We sailed that night, we went straight to Norway with a full embarkation of Royal Marines, the trips abroad were endless and after we had being to the West Indies and Med I was coming to the end of my time onboard Intrepid.

I had options, either go to a shore establishment or get another ship, I fancied the thought of getting another ship and travelling some more, my next draft came through and it was to be HMS Sheffield, a type 42 destroyer.

All this changed though in early 1982 when Argentina decided they would invade British soil, although when they did at first we had not got a clue where the Falklands were!

It became apparent that I would be needed to stay onboard Intrepid and a lot of men came back to Intrepid who had previously left her because the ship was going into a standby role.

So my draft to Sheffield was cancelled and I set sail with the ship, fully loaded with ammunition, stores etc and all got ready in two weeks.

We joined the rest of the task force, having being one of the last to be made ready, our ship was a vital piece in the machinery, we were to land 3 para in San Carlos.

The night before we landed the para's I was coming out of my mess and stood in front of me was a guy who 2 years previous had being a barman in my local bar pulling me pints of beer and was now in the para's, we had a good chat before he went off and got all his ammunition ready for the landings the next morning.

We closed up at action stations through the night, it was bitterly cold and dark, entering into San Carlos was so strange, there was no gun fire from the enemy, just the sound of ships dropping anchors!

As daylight broke the silence was short-lived, we were then subjected to a constant wave of aircraft ducking and diving into the bay and then in a flash gone, the pilots were very brave and courageous.

After sitting in my gun for over 31 hours we were eventually allowed to rest, I found a quiet spot and decided to write a letter home to my mum, telling her ho w much I loved her and that I didn't think I would be coming home, at least not alive!

Then before I went to sleep I prayed and cried myself to sleep, the next few days were similar.

When it was all over and I got home, my mum knew there was something wrong, she told me I wasn't the same person that went away, which is quiet understandable.

I left the Royal Navy in 1989.  As the years rolled on I was having some major problems, my marriage was on the rocks and I was loosing it gradually, no money although I always worked.

I was eventually diagnosed with having PTSD, for people who have never had this or heard of it, it is one of the most horrendous things that could happen, it changes a person and you have to live with it forever. I relive the Falklands every day of my life, but I learnt how to control my problem, not by doctors or shrinks, by finding out how it all works, learning techniques and making myself aware when the problems are going to hit me, how to cope with it all and it works for me.

The Royal Navy like every branch in the armed forces taught me discipline and how to live, i can honestly say it was the best ten years of my life and I would join again if I had my time again.

I am now remarried and I have two children, plus two children from my previous marriage, my two boys are grown up are like brothers to me.

My life has recently become very interesting lately after discovering that one of the pilots I was credited with shooting down in the Falklands had survived, after 8 months of trying to locate the pilot I eventually found him in February 2008, we are in contact through the internet and I hope that one day we could meet.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.



Date: Saturday, 13 June, 2009, 12:24 AM

Hi Jeff,

This is a picture I drew last night at art group, I thought you may like it?

 Take care


Neil and I sometimes have long discussions about world problems and the atrocities of war.  Here is one of your latest sessions. C. Jeff Dyrek

6 August 2009
I am excited but also now getting nervous and jittery.
I spend my days practicing what I will do, say and hope I don't fluff anything. haha
Because this is going national with a potential audience of 20 million people, then there are the people abroad that will watch it.

My life is quite mundane and routine and this will blow that apart for a while, I am mentally prepared, or so I think!  A funny thing happened today at work, I don't know if this has ever happened to you Jeff and you are the only person I have told, but I was at work and I was thinking what to say as I was doing my job.  Straight out of the blue I got all emotional and felt myself ready to cry, don't ask me how or why but this feeling was overwhelming, but it wasn't making me sad or depressed, it was the opposite, why?


7 August 2009

Dear Neil,

I break out crying at air shows when they fly the missing man formation.  When I watch the movies and documentaries about our soldiers, I start to cry.  I can't tell people the war stories, or I break up too.  It's difficult and the real reason that I start to cry, is why did these men give their lives when my country is pushing drugs, sex, violence and foul language on every media form and people who speak against it are the ones that get talked down to.  I'm soap boxing here right now, but the U.S. Congress gave Michael Jackass a moment of silence, yet they won't give a man who lost an arm and had had his whole face burned off in the Iraq war disability.  We have 400,000 homeless disabled vets, yet the government will not even give them welfare, because they don't have a home address.  So these guys live in the streets of our cities.  Chicago alone has 35,000 homeless  disabled veterans living in the streets.  I've seen them, they sleep in cardboard boxes along the highways, they sleep on park benches or in the doorways of apartments and in alleys eating their meals out out of garbage cans.  This is why I cry.  Why did these guys fight with their lives when a rich pervert child molester druggie gets a moment of silence but the Korean War Veterans Memorial in San Diego had to be torn down because one atheist said that a cross above the grave offended him.
When I look at TV on a family show, Joan Rivers was advertising her new program, at the same time a dog was hunching her elbow, yes having sex with her elbow.  The next ads talk about how Viagra can make your life much better and you will enjoy more sex.  The kids cartoons on Saturday morning say things like, "We need a massive, all girl, sex orgy, we're all turning gay."  This is all psychological warfare against our countries and we, the U.S. has five percent of the population, yet twenty five percent of the prison population.  At the same time the news says that they just don't understand why.  My ex girlfriends twelve year old boy said for me to listen to this, this is his favorite song.  The song went like this, " My dick is hard, my balls are blue, so Blankity Blank Blank, F You."  I don't remember the Blankety blank, blank part, but this what our kids are listening to.  How can we win.  Video games, like "Grand Theft Auto" simulates grabbing a gun, stealing a car, and killing a cop.  Yet this and the music is all legal, but when I asked the former Chief of Police, the current Sheriff, and the States Attorney if I would go to jail for saying these exact same things to a ten year old girl, I will go to jail. 

So I realize that it's all about money. We have he highest lawyer to citizen ratio of any country in the world, they all make money.  We have privatized prisons, they all make money.  We have security companies of all types, they all make money.  We have drug dealers and politicians and police who take bribes, they make money.  Crime has been one of the biggest industries in the United States, so that's why they promote crime in every way, because they make money.  So why did our soldiers die, so big industry could make money.  That's why I cry, because I know that this is the truth, yet we are told that we are protecting our country.  If we were protecting our country, we would put all of Hollywood in prison, that would protect the country.  But the United States is falling and it will happen really fast.
Sorry for soap boxing, but the truth must be told and your letter really kicked this into my mind.  I'm trying to forget all of this and ignore this because I know that there is no way to stop it, so I'm not going to try.  Our country will fail and I have camping gear and will be away from the cities.
Take care,

7 August 2009
Hi Jeff,
Wow, that was some mighty powerful stuff!
But, I do agree with you on that one, people have and will always make millions on the backs of our veterans, whether it be doctors, shrinks or some other way.
The veterans are then left to fend for themselves (tread water or sink) the problem is that the clever people in politics who have never fired a rifle or driven a tank or worse killed somebody always like the media attention, but for doing what? sending a bunch of kids into battle! they don't realize that you can only tread water for so long, you become tired of trying to survive and give in, that is why we have and always will loose our veterans to suicide, not enough was done in the first place to help these poor people and now that they have realized the failings of yesteryear it is just a big massive patching up job.
That's it for now, soap boxing is good.
Take care.

From the Webmaster. Yes, after a war the was isn't over in the experiences and minds of the soldiers. What these people still retain is worse than any horror show that you have every imagined.  This is why there were so many soldiers from the Falklands war, from both sides, that committed suicide than were killed in the war.  Neil summed this up better than I have ever heard anyone else describe the effects. "The veterans are then left to fend for themselves (tread water or sink) the problem is that the clever people in politics who have never fired a rifle or driven a tank or worse killed somebody always like the media attention, but for doing what? sending a bunch of kids into battle! they don't realize that you can only tread water for so long, you become tired of trying to survive and give in, that is why we have and always will loose our veterans to suicide, not enough was done in the first place to help these poor people and now that they have realized the failings of yesteryear it is just a big massive patching up job."

In the United States, alone, there are over 400,000 homeless disabled veterans, with no place to live and no hope for the future, no hospital care and no disability payments.  At the same time a Congressman can serve a four year term and then collect a 15,000 per month retirement, immediately after his term is up.  It's a disgrace on our nation, the United States, to have these kinds of differences. 

Recently I listened to a man say that anyone in the service is an idiot.  Another man recently said that war isn't anywhere as bad as the TV makes it look like.  He was never in the service and at the same time he lives in his grandmother-in-laws house and has never paid rent and pays no bills.  He raised his family, or should I say made babies, yet the Grandmother, Great-grandmother to the babies raised the kids.  Furthermore, this man put her in the smallest room in the house, her house, and also uses her room as a storage room and only allows her kitty litter box to be in that room.  I'm telling you the truth.  Soldiers, the very people who willingly gave their lives to serve our country and make sure that everyone can enjoy the freedom and wealth that we see now, are the very people who are treated the worse and put down, repeatedly, by people who have never been in the service and who have never even as much as experienced hard times.   

The statements made by Neil in his letter above are the very reason that we have put this expedition together, "When Enemies Become Friends." It's because our enemies are just the young kids of the country who are doing a job.  But the people who make the wars are the people who have never experienced the horror of reality.

 C. Jeff Dyrek.


   Neil Wilkinson in London 2007 - 2009  

Neil Wilkinson and Family in London

  Neil's Wife and Mother-in-law 

Photo By Neil Wilkinson



  Click Here for North Pole Global Warming
















More about the HMS Sheffield  

More about the HMS Plymouth

More about the HMS Antelope   

 More about the Atlantic Conveyor

More about the HMS Intrepid  

 More about the HMS Hermes  

  More about the HMS Coventry

  More about the HMS Invincible

  More about the Harrier Jet Fighter

  More about the A-4 Skyhawk Jet Fighter

  More about the Mirage Fighter

  More about the Falklands War

  More about the Malvinas Guerra




Useful Links
Argentina - Great Britain 1982 War for the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands

Air War in the Falklands

Ships of the Falkland Islands War.


South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust

Visit the Official HMS Intrepid Website

Other Action Adventures

Aviation Books

Aviation Videos

Airplane Models and Toys

Airplane Calendars

Go to Yellow Airplane's own Online Museum

Aircraft Museums




These are Some of the other Exhibits at
Home Exhibit Home Model Airplanes Model Ships Model Tanks Movies
A-7 Corsair II Exhibit Alpha Jet Exhibit Baka Bomb Exhibit Deane Kesterson Doug Keller Five Miles Book Review
Famous People Gee Bee Aircraft Inaki Ruiz Jeff Dyrek Story North Pole Exhibits One More Mission
Patco Exhibit Pitts Exhibits Poland to Pullman P-51 Mustang Short Straw Siamak Hatami
South Pole Expedition Space Shuttle List of Airplane Museums, Click Here Stolen P-40 USS Kitty Hawk
Willow Run Exhibit Y-I-Bet Go to the
Yellow Airplane Museum
Home Page.
34th Fighter Squadron 413th Fighter Group
Svalbard Dog Sleds South Pole Trek Longyearbyen Coal Mine

 Airplane Calendars               
Svalbard Dog Sleds Longyearbyen Ice Caves    *   Longyearbyen Coal Mine       South Pole Trek

Thank you for visiting

    Books    Movies      Models    Motorcycles

Alaska Discount Travel Deals Discount Insurance Rates

Cheap Travel Best Auto Insurance Travel Insurance Alaska Travel

Z Notes

Global Warming Index

Foods Index

Main Articles Index

Veterans Index

Added 18 DEC 2008


        Write to the Webmaster    

AVIATION TOP 100 -  Best Aviation Sites Airplane Web Sites