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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 aircraft from the Argentine Navy strafed and bombed Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, in what remains to this day the only air assault ever on the Argentine mainland. The attack targeted the square as a large crowd was expressing support for president Juan Peron. In the organizers' version, the flight was meant to repair an offense to the national flag allegedly carried out by supporters of Peron. Actually, the episode was to be the first action in an eventually aborted coup d'etat.

Thirty-four Argentine Naval Aviation airplanes, consisting of twenty-two North American AT-6, five Beechcraft AT-11, three Consolidated PBY Catalina amphibians, and four Gloster Meteor, took part in the attack.

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 local time. Three planes were downed by hastily-mounted anti-aircraft 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 Revolucion Libertadora, which overthrew President Peron 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 Peron's instructions to his loyal base, given from his exile in Madrid, to tactically vote for Frondizi.

Bullet marks are still visible on some buildings on the south side of the Plaza.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Bombing of Plaza de Mayo


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