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Adm. John Woodward dies at 81, led British Falklands invasion

Aug. 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM   |   Comments

BOSHAM, England, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Adm. John Woodward, who led the British naval force that recaptured the Falkland Islands from Argentina in 1982, has died. He was 81.

Known as "Sandy," Woodward was the nearest available British admiral to the Falkland Islands, a British possession in the South Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Argentina. Conducting naval exercises in Gibraltar in the Mediterranean Sea, he was chosen to lead the naval command, with two aircraft carriers, ships and submarines, which supported the invasion force of 6,000 soldiers, the British newspaper The Guardian reported Monday.

Woodward was thus in the right place at the right time, the newspaper commented, and Woodward mentioned in his memoirs that "no one would ever have heard of me but for the events of 1982."

He was knighted twice for his naval career, as a Knight Commoner of the Order of the Bath after the Falklands War, and in 1989, immediately before his retirement, with the Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, the newspaper noted.

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