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50th paratrooper anniversary fatalities

50th anniversary of Paratrooper fatalities
Radio Sintonia:

The "Roger de Flor" paratrooper returns to Tefía in memory.

Today the wind blew in the Llanos de Muchichafe de Tefía where with military punctuality at 9.45 the act of homage began on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the death of two sergeants and eleven Knight Legionaries Paratroopers (CLP, s) during their participation in the "Operation Maxorata 72".


As it will be remembered, Operation "Maxorata 72" was a combined exercise of the Captaincy General of the Canary Islands where the 1st Company of the Flag "Roger de Flor", 1st of Paratroopers, had to carry out on D+1 day (April 11) an insertion operation on the enemy rearguard; jumping on the Llanos de Muchichafe to close the road from Puerto del Rosario to La Oliva, at the height of "Montaña Quemada", and avoid the arrival of reinforcements to the area of Tefía.

During the exercise, the wind speed rises suddenly causing the paratroopers to drag through the terrain. Thirteen paratroopers die as a result of the injuries suffered and fifty are injured in different ways, many of them serious.

This year, on the 50th Anniversary of the accident, an act of Homage to the Fallen was held presided over by Alejandro Escámez Fernández, Chief General of the Canary Islands Command; the event was attended by a Company of Honors and the War Band of the Infantry Regiment "Soria" 9 of the Brigade "Canarias" XVI and a Squadron of Spenders of the Brigade "Almogávares" VI of Paratroopers (BRIPAC), in addition, civil authorities such as the Government Delegate in the Canary Islands, Antonio Pestana and military authorities of the Canary islands.

The Chief General of the Brigade "Almogávares" VI of Paratroopers, Luis Jesús Fernández Herrero, was in charge on this occasion of addressing some emotional words to those present.

During the reading of the Ephemeris, the extraordinary performance of doctors Pedro Bosch Hernández and Arístides Hernández Morán and Santander was highlighted, who, quickly, organized a large medical device that included guards such as Felipe Gil to attend to the wounded paratroopers. In addition, the massive mobilization of the residents of the place, alerted by the local radio, and who collaborated not only with vehicles to transfer the staff to the medical centers in the area, but also with a massive blood donation. In addition to them, various entities of the island participated in the aid to the injured.

Subsequently, veteran paratroopers from the Association of Veteran Paratroopers of the Canary Islands (VEPACAN) placed a flower on the monolith for each deceased companion during the emotional act of homage to the fallen; being the widow of Sergeant Francisco Lozano Conejero (one of the deceased paratroopers), the Chief General of bripac and the oldest veteran, who placed a laurel wreath in the monument in honor of the fallen in "Llanos de Muchichafe", inaugurated on September 6, 1973 by the Captain General of the Canary Islands.

After the reading of the Parachute Prayer and after reciting a spirit of the ideology of the Parachute Brigade and the "Canary Islands" XVI Brigade, the Units in formation left the esplanade at a brisk pace, to close the military parade with a parade.

Parachute jump
The event was scheduled to begin with a parachute jump executed by BRIPAC personnel, in manual opening mode, from a HU-21 helicopter (SUPERPUMA), belonging to the Maneuver Helicopter Battalion VI based in Los Rodeos (Tenerife). Due to Weather conditions and for safety reasons, it could not be carried out. Today like that day 50 years ago in the plains of Tefía, the wind was blowing.
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