This page is dedicated to the memory of:
Richard J. Nunn, DFC
3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron RM
Richard Nunn was the second son of Group Captain Stan Nunn and Mrs Margaret Nunn. His older brother was also a Royal Marines officer and served during the conflict as OC M Company, the main force which recaptured South Georgia. His father served as a Battle of Britain pilot, and then in Coastal Strike, for which he was awarded the DFC, before retiring in the 1970’s to Cornwall.
Richard joined the Royal Marines in 1974; after a variety of shore appointments he then went to sea in HMS Gurkha and developed a love for the sea and water sports which he pursued wherever he could. Following the sea appointment Richard did the Lieutenants’ Greenwich Course where his natural gifts and intelligence were confirmed with the course prize. He then went on to helicopter pilot training, following in Chris, his elder brother’s footsteps, and qualified as a Scout pilot in May 1981. During the following year his warm personality, dry sense of humour, enthusiasm for flying and dedication to his work were notable. When 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron deployed south in April 1982, Richard went with them and threw himself, with his usual enthusiasm, into the work-up for war.
On May 28th he was flying his Scout in support of 2 PARA’s action at Goose Green. Enemy aircraft were known to be in the vicinity and despite the risk, Richard Nunn and his crewmen flew for most of the day bringing supplies up to the hard-pressed paratroopers in the attack on Goose Green. When a call came for urgent casualty evacuation of the Commanding Officer of 2 PARA, Lt Col ‘H’ Jones, Richard did not hesitate. Unfortunately, his aircraft was then ‘bounced’ by a powerful Argentine Pucara ground attack aircraft and the Scout was shot down. By a sheer miracle his wounded aircrewman survived.
Richard’s body was brought back to Ajax Bay for burial along with his 16 colleagues from 2 PARA on May 28th, 1982. Following temporary interment there, his remains were removed to ‘Blue Beach’ cemetery, where they rest in the beautiful Commonwealth War Grave Commission site at San Carlos.
Richard was not married; he left a sister, Sarah, in addition to his brother and parents. He was a fine young officer whose loss hit his friends very hard.
Greater love hath no man than this – that he lay down his life for a friend
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
HONOURS AND AWARDS
MONDAY, 11th OCTOBER 1982
The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the Posthumous award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to the undermentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished service during the operations in the South Atlantic:
Distinguished Flying Cross
Lieutenant Richard James NUNN, Royal Marines
On Friday 28th May 1982 the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment was engaged in fierce fighting to take enemy positions in the area of Port Darwin. From dawn, Lieutenant Nunn, a Scout helicopter pilot, had supported the Battalion flying vital ammunition forward to the front line and had evacuated casualties heedless of enemy ground fire.
After flying continuously for three and a half hours, it was learnt that the Commanding Officer and others in Battalion Tactical Headquarters forward had been severely wounded. Lieutenant Nunn was tasked to evacuate these casualties collecting the Battalion Second in Command en route. However, five minutes after take-off, suddenly and without prior warning, two Pucara aircraft appeared from the South and attacked the Scout with rockets and cannon fire. By great skill Lieutenant Nunn evaded the first attack but on the second his aircraft was hit and destroyed. Lieutenant Nunn was killed instantly and his aircrewman Sergeant Belcher was grievously wounded.
Lieutenant Nunn displayed exceptional courage, flying skill and complete devotion to duty in the face of the enemy. His achievements that day, supporting the Battalion, were exceptional and were instrumental in the eventual victory.
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