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Roger Cook, Pynelea Photo Bureau reports that Helitech '99, the International Helicopter Technology & Operations Exhibition, was held on a very damp and soggy Redhill Aerodrome from 28th September to 1st October. Among all of the exciting multi-coloured new civilian helicopters on display there was a mere sprinkling of military visitors, even though a 'Defence Meet' had been promoted by the organisers. One new type was on display, ZJ116 EH101 Heliliner was flown in to the show each day by Westlands from Yeovil. The Belgian Army visited with Agusta A109HA H33 from 18Bn HATK and 814 Squadron, Royal Navy flew the tiger marked Sea King HAS6 XV712 up from Culdrose. The ex-60 Squadron Wessex HC2 XT671/D was up for sale and 'A' Flight 22 Squadron flew the Sea King Mark 3A, ZH541 from Chivenor.
The 22 Squadron Sea King carries a plaque to commemorate the exploits of Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1941. Flying with 22 Squadron as a Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, on 6th April 1941 FO Campbell attacked the German battle cruiser Gneisenau over Brest Harbour in France. Flying through concentrated anti-aircraft fire he launched a torpedo at point-blank range. His aircraft then met a withering wall of flack and crashed into the harbour. The Gneisenau was severely damaged below the waterline and was forced to return to the dock from where she had sailed only the day before. FO Campbell was killed in the action. He was 23 years old.
© 1999 Roger Cook, Pynelea Photo Bureau