Bombing of Plaza de Mayo


Bombing of Plaza de Mayo

The bombing of Plaza de Mayo is an event in Argentine history.

On June 16, 1955, starting at 12:40 PM, a force of 34 Argentine Navy airplanes, consisting of 22 North American AT-6, five Beechcraft AT-11, three Consolidated PBY Catalina amphibians, and four Gloster Meteor, from the Argentine Air Force, on a flight meant to repair a perceived offense to the national flag, straffed and bombed Plaza de Mayo, in what was, to this day, the only air assault ever on Argentine soil.

A total of 9.5 tonnes of ordnance were dropped, killing 364 (mostly civilians) and injuring more than 800. Fire ceased at 5:20 PM. Three planes were downed by hastily-mounted anti-air guns.

After the failure of the intended coup (as neither the Army nor the Air Force joined in), the aviators received orders to flee to Uruguay and ask for asylum.

In September of that year, all the armed forces would join in the Revolución Libertadora, which overthrew President Juan Perón and started a period of military rule that ended in the 1958 presidential elections, won by Arturo Frondizi of the UCRI. Even though the Peronist party was not allowed to enter the ballot, Frondizi's victory was influenced by Perón's instructions to his loyal base, given from his exile in Madrid.

Bullet marks are still visible on some of the buildings that flank the Plaza to the South.

References


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