Capitan Augusto Bedacarratz was born in the Argentine Pampas in July 1943 to a wealthy farmer’s family. His father was a descendent of a French family from the Basque country, who arrived in Argentina in 1855. He is one of seven children and the only one who did not pursue a career in agriculture. At the age of 12, he moved with his family to Buenos Aires where he completed high school. Bedacarratz began his military career at the Argentine Naval Academy where he graduated first in his class in 1965. He became a Midshipmen in the Armada de la República Argentina, the Argentine Navy. His first assignment was in the navigation department aboard the carrier Independencia. In 1967, Bedacarratz went through naval flight training. After 200 hours of training in the North American T-28 Fennec, he earned his wings, graduating at the top of his class. The following year, he completed advance training and carrier qualification aboard the Independencia. He completed his jet training with the Argentine Air Force Fighter-Attack Replacement Squadron in 1969. In 1970, Bedacarratz was assigned to fly the Grumman HU-16 Albatross. He spent the next year flying long range, all-weather and over the sea search and rescue missions. He was then assigned to the 3rd Argentine Navy Fighter squadron, flying the Douglas A4-Q Skyhawk. With the 3rd , Bedacarratz built valuable flight and carrier experience aboard the carrier Veinticinco de Mayo. In 1978, he was promoted to Executive Officer. He then attended the Argentine Navy War College, graduating first in his class. In 1981, he was assigned as an Executive Officer to the 2 Escuadrilla de Caza y Ataque. The Argentine Navy was in the process of buying the Super Entendard from the French. He was part of a squadron detachment sent to Landivisiau, France to train with the French Navy flying the Super Entendard with the Exocet anti-ship missile. Upon return to Argentina, his unit was directed to a high state of readiness. As war with Great Britain loomed over the horizon, on 4 May 1982, Bedacarratz led a two-ship formation of Super Entendards on a long range wave-top attack against the British Royal Navy. While evading enemy detection and operating in low visibility conditions, Bedacarratz maneuvered his formation in position and launched two Exocet missiles at the HMS Sheffield. The damage inflicted by his audacious attack led to the sinking of the HMS Sheffield. It was the first sinking of a Royal Naval vessel in nearly four decades. For this action, he and his wingman were awarded the Medal of Congress, by the Argentine government for their courageous and honorable service during the Falklands Conflict. Following the conflict, he commanded the squadron, which operated for the first time with the carrier Veinticinco de Mayo. He then commanded at the wing level. Bedacarratz was also a professor at the Argentine War College and attended the French Joint War College in Paris. He concluded his career with a tour in Naval Headquarters. He retired in 1991 with over 3500 military flying hours and 200 carrier landings. Following military retirement, he returned to his family’s farming business. In 2001, he took control of the Administration of Agricultural Production of the Argentine Navy. He held this position until 2004. Capitan Augusto Bedacarratz and his wife Marcela have two daughters, a son and three granddaughters. They split their time between Buenos Aires and La Pampa, Argentina.
Years Honored: 2009
Aircraft/Specialty: Super Etendard
On 4 May 1982, Capitan Augusto Bedacarratz led a two-ship formation of Super Entendards on a long range wave-top attack against the British Royal Navy. While evading enemy detection and operating in low visibility conditions, Capitan Bedacarratz maneuvered his formation in position and launched two Exocet missiles at the HMS Sheffield. The damage inflicted by the Exocet Attack led to the sinking of the HMS Sheffield. It was a historic aerial victory for Argentina.