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April 2nd, 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the invasion of the Falkland Islands. This is the thrilling untold story of the young helicopter pilots -- most barely out of their teens -- who risked their lives during this brief but ferocious war.
In April 1982 Harry Benson was a 21 year-old Royal Navy commando helicopter pilot, fresh out of training and one of the youngest helicopter pilots to serve in the Falklands War. These pilots, nicknamed 'junglies', flew most of the land-based missions in the Falklands in their Sea King and Wessex helicopters. Much of what happened in the war -- the politics, task force ships, Sea Harriers, landings, Paras and Marines -- is well-known and documented. But almost nothing is known of the young commando helicopter pilots and aircrewmen who made it all happen on land and sea. This is their 'Boys Own' story, told for the very first time.
Harry Benson has interviewed forty of his former colleagues for the book creating a tale of skill, initiative, resourcefulness, humour, luck, and adventure. This is a fast-paced, meticulously researched and compelling account written by someone who was there, in the cockpit of a Wessex helicopter.
None of these pilots has spoken before about:
- The two helicopter crashes and eventual rescue following a failed SAS mission high up on an in hospitable glacier in South Georgia
- The harrowing story of the Exocet strike that sunk the transport ship Atlantic Conveyor
- The daring missile raid on the Argentine high command in Port Stanley
- The constant mortar fire faced while supporting troops and evacuating casualties
- The hair-raising head-on attacks by Argentine jets on British helicopters
- The extraordinary courage shown during the evacuation of the bombed landing ship 'Sir Galahad'
If you liked Apache, Vulcan 607 and Chickenhawk, you'll love Scram! The word "Scram" was coined by Falklands helicopter pilots to warn other 'junglies' to go to ground or risk being shot down as Argentinean jets blasted through 'bomb alley'. The term has never been used before or since.
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Aged 21, HARRY BENSON was one of the youngest helicopter pilots to serve in the Falklands war. Following two tours as a Royal Navy pilot, Harry moved to Asia in 1988 with his wife Kate to work in finance. He returned to the UK in 1997 took a 1st class degree in Psychology from Bristol University and started what has become Britain's most successful local relationship project, Bristol Community Family Trust, teaching practical relationship skills to thousands of couples.Review:
"This is the real deal - amazing stories of a forgotten front line from one who was there" Patrick Bishop "Harry Benson's book is immensely readable as a lucid, exciting account of the entire Falklands conflict, and valuable too, as written by a combatant, not a historian. With a Falklands commander warning us only this week that Britain without aircraft carriers can never again send a Task Force to the other side of the world, this book reminds us that we may need more Harry Bensons" Daily Mail "Excellent" Daily Telegraph "Excellent.truly must-read stuff" Flight International magazine "A detailed account of the outstanding contribution of the medium-lift Marine and Royal Navy Wessex and Sea King helicopters.The best part of the book is his account of the frantic pace of helicopter support for land operations from D-Day on 21 May" Literary Review
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