Jump jet war hero is selling off his medals

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THE only British serviceman to be held prisoner-of-war by the Argentinians during the Falklands War is selling his medals at auction.

THE only British serviceman to be held prisoner-of-war by the Argentinians during the Falklands War is selling his medals at auction.Retired RAF Squadron Leader Jeffrey Glover was badly injured when his Harrier was shot down off Port Howard by enemy fire, on May 21, 1982, dragged from the sea at gunpoint and later taken to the mainland of Argentina.

He was handed over to the British Consul in Montevideo on July 8 and three years later, after making a remarkable recovery from his wounds, was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air and went on to fly for the Red Arrows.

Sqdn Ldr Glover (53), who was based at RAF Wittering at the time, has lived in Stamford since 1981.

He has been told that his South Atlantic and NATO medals, together with his Queen's Commendation certificate, should fetch between 6,000 and 8,000 at specialist auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb in London on September 21.

He said: "I moved house about 18 months ago and found these medals in a drawer, which hadn't seen the light of day for 10 years. I don't get a chance to wear them now I've retired – so I thought I may as well get something for them."

Recalling the drama during the Falkands War, Sqdn Ldr Glover, now a civilian flying instructor, said he ejected into the sea after three-quarters of one wing had been shot off.

"The plane must have rolled very rapidly to the right, almost through 360 degrees. I looked down, saw my right hand and pulled the ejection seat handle. At that point I blacked out and was unconscious . . . I had effectively jumped out in a 600 mph wind up in the free airstream with my left arm still out.

"It flailed backwards and pretty well broke my arm, my left shoulder-blade in two places and my collarbone. My face was badly bruised through wind-blast and possibly the speed at which I had hit the water."

He found himself close to drowning in the icy sea but managed to swim to the surface. He was taken aboard a rowing boat by Argentinian soldiers at rifle point.

He was later taken to the mainland but says there was no tactical interrogation.

He said: "Someone who has just ejected and is in stress, maybe injured, is probably an ideal candidate to interrogate, but fortunately that didn't happen. Medically, they did a reasonable job on me. There was certainly no aggro. When I was in the officers' mess I was visited by 10 or 12 Argentine pilots who came in to say hello and ask me how I was feeling.

"One chap gave me a bottle of wine. Another said he would shake me by the hand because I was a pilot, but he didn't agree with what I was doing. I said 'fair enough' and that was it."

He was in "virtual solitary confinement" for five weeks before being flown to Buenos Aires, where he spent another four or five days in hospital before his plaster cast was removed.Then he was flown to Montevideo where he was met by the military attach and driven to the ambassador's residence.

Sqdn Ldr Glover joined the Red Arrows in 1988 and later served with NATO on operations in the former Yugoslavia before retiring in 1996.

David Erskine-Hill, of Dis Noonan Webb, said: "He is a remarkably modest man who, for reasons of his own, has decided to take the momentous decision to sell his rare and emotive medals. From the look of them he has never even worn them."