Argentinian veteran Carlos Mazzocchi standing left during the Falklands War
In April 1982, Britain and Argentina were at war over the Falkland Islands.
Argentina’s military junta sent troops to occupy the Falklands, as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Britain responded by sending its own army to defend the South Atlantic territory, which led to a ten-week conflict.
Carlos Mazzocchi was part of the Argentine force sent to claim the islands.
Last year Carlos received photos he had taken during the conflict which were found by Mark Willis, a Falklands War veteran from Fleet, Hampshire.
Reflecting on the experience, Carlos explains that at the time he was eager to get involved in helping his country.
He said: “I was 32 years old and I was in Comodoro Rivadavia. Malvinas radar requested an additional radar controller, and therefore I volunteered to go to the islands. I was happy and looking forward to it.
“I especially remember May Day when we had harrier bombings, ship bombings, and me and my mates working in air combat. Some days were quiet, some weren’t.
“On May 31, two powerful missiles hit our radar dish, and there was also minor damage from the second missile.”
The Falklands War ended with a victory for British troops and in 1983 the end of the junta in Argentina.
For years after the war, Carlos’ footage of the conflict had remained in Mark’s loft after he found the film tape in Stanley during the war and brought it back with him to the UK.
Eventually, Mark was connected with Carlos on Facebook and the two have stayed in touch ever since.
Carlos explained his joy to see his photos after so many years.
Carlos said: “I was surprised, I thought it wasn’t real, I was very happy and grateful to Mark.
“He is very honest, a gentleman. I told my story in speeches in schools in my town of Bariloche (Argentina), and I tell everyone about Mark.
“We have a good relationship and we understand each other. We have some similarities in our personalities, he is very calm, he likes to take care of plants and vegetables, and he knows all kinds of mushrooms. I am very calm too, I like mountain walks, taking pictures, listening to music and travelling.”
Mark also talked about how well he got along with his former nemesis and how excited Carlos was to receive the photos.
He said: “He was absolutely thrilled to find out that I had found his long-lost film which he thought was gone forever.
“During my interview with him, I found him to be charming, courteous and very likeable.”
While Carlos retired a few years ago with the equivalent rank of Lieutenant Colonel, he now lives in the town of San Carlos de Bariloche in the Rio Negro region of Argentina.
These days, Carlos spends his time on hobbies and travel, and eventually Mark and Carlos hope to meet in person.
“I love spending time with my family and friends,” he said. “I hike, I travel and when I can I go abroad, otherwise I travel in my country.
“I love watching movies and enjoying life, it’s a blessing to have the opportunity to do that.”
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