Aviation Historian 19
S.Rivas - Blue on blue
More than 120 North American AT-6/SNJs were operated by Argentina’s Aviation Naval, the service acquiring its first mixed batch of refurbished AT-6As and SNJ-4s from American surplus stocks in 1947. Navy serial 0208/EAN-219 was originally an SNJ-4 and was struck off charge in 1970.
The FAeA’s Meteors retained a natural-metal finish during the revolution, the rebels applying hand-painted symbols including the letter “V” with a cross above it, denoting “Cristo vence” - “Christ wins” - symbolising their support for the Catholic church, which opposed Peron. Loyalist Meteors had a “V” with a “P” for “Peron”.
When the rebel FAeA Meteors landed at Montevideo in Uruguay in the wake of the failed June 1955 military coup, the Uruguayans had little first-hand experience of jet-powered fighter aircraft, its own most advanced fighter being the North American F-51 Mustang. Naturally, the Uruguayan Air Force made the most of the opportunity to explore the most modern military aircraft then in South America. The four Meteors that escaped to Uruguay - I-031, I-058, I-094 and I-098 - were all comprehensively inspected by the Uruguayans, as seen here, before being returned to Argentina the following month. The Uruguayans received their first jet aircraft in the shape of the Lockheed T-33 trainer in the late 1950s.
Meteor I-066 taxying at an airfield some time after the September 1955 revolution, but still bearing the somewhat crude markings applied by hand to the aircraft by the rebels. The “I” designation was originally applied to denote "Interceptor", but when the type was modified in the late 1950s to carry rockets and bombs for the ground-attack role, the designation was changed to “C” for Caza (Fighter). Thus I-066 became C-066.
Rebel groundcrew members pose with a Meteor at Cordoba during the Revolution. The “MR” lettering applied to the forward fuselage stands for Movimiento Revolucionario - “Revolutionary Movement”.
A Fuerza Aerea Argentina (FAeA) captain in full flying gear poses in the cockpit of his Meteor F.4. By 1955 President Juan Peron’s increasingly repressive grip on power had begun to create divisions within the Argentinian military, leading ultimately to an attempted coup that June.
Following the failure of the attempted military coup in June 1955, four of the Meteors operated by the rebels escaped to neighbouring Uruguay, where I-094 is seen here being inspected by Fuerza A ere a Uruguaya (Uruguayan Air Force) personnel.
Argentina became the first export customer for the Gloster Meteor when it ordered 100 F.4s in May 1947, the first 50 to be examples from RAF stocks, the remainder to be provided new from the factory. The first arrived at Buenos Aires by ship that July. The last, I-100, delivered in July 1949, is seen here at Base Aerea Comandante Espora, south of Bahia Blanca, in the late 1950s.
Rebel-operated Meteor I-043 at the FMA in Cordoba during the September revolution. This aircraft was originally built as part of an RAF batch and given the serial EE540, although it never served as such and was diverted to become part of the FAeA consignment in June 1947. It was written off in an accident in May 1956.
Мятежники использовали продукцию местного авиапрома - самолеты IAe-22DL и "Пульки II" (фото)
Following the conclusion of the Revolution on September 21, 1955, a victory parade was organised for the following day, to include a flypast by FAeA aircraft, including the IAe-33 Pulqui II and Meteors seen here being prepared at the FMA.
Wearing 'Revolution' markings, a Meteor during the 'Victory Day' parade at Cordoba. To the left is the prototype Pulqui II, which probably was also used in combat.
A 1949 photograph of a group of FAeA pilots in front of an impressive line-up of the air arm’s Meteors at Comandante Espora. The latter was one of the most active air bases during the Revolucion Libertadora in September 1955, although none of the Meteors - rebel or loyalist - ever operated from it during the revolution.
The FAeA acquired 30 Avro Lincoln B.2s, again a mixture of ex-RAF and new-build aircraft (12 and 18 respectively) in 1947, to supplement its bomber force of Lancasters. The type entered service that year and operated with I Grupo de Bombardeo of V Brigada Aerea until the last example was retired in 1967.