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On parade: The RAF marks the Freedom of Carterton


Queen's Commendation for Chinook pilot

Flt Lt Chris Gent Credit: RAF

A Royal Air Force Chinook pilot who skilfully guided his helicopter through dense fog to try to save an Afghan soldier's life has been awarded a Queen's Commendation for Bravery in the Air.

Flight Lieutenant Chris Gent, who is 31, from 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, flew his Chinook on a Medical Emergency Response Team mission. He tried to save the life of an Afghan National Army soldier who had been shot in the head by insurgents.

VIDEO: New era for the mighty Merlin

RAF Benson has been home to the military's Merlin helicopters for the last ten years. Now, though, after deployments in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, they are leaving the base, headed for pastures new.

Under the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review the Merlins will be refitted and then join the Royal Navy replacing the retiring Sea King. Juliette Fletcher reports.


Donald's secret diary is finally cracked

Click video. Now a remarkable story about a truly remarkable man. Donald Hill was an officer in the RAF. He was captured by the Japanese and became a prisoner of war and spent four years in a camp in Hong Kong.

Donald kept a diary that he wrote in secret mathematical code. Years after his death the code was finally cracked, and his family found out for the first time what he went through during the war. Heather Edwards reports.

Bomber drawings to help restore aircraft

Design drawings have been presented by aerospace and defence company EADS to the RAF Museum.

CEO of EADS UK, Robin Southwell, presented the drawings to Peter Dye, Director of the RAF Museum.

He said: "Now that the aircraft has been recovered from the water, we can see not just that it is in remarkable condition, but how much work needs to be done, and to do that we need to understand how the aircraft was constructed in the first place."

"The work of the RAF is absolutely vital. You cannot decide where you are going unless you know where you come form. The aerospace industry is all about knowledge, and then applying that knowledge innovatively."

RAF Museum drawings to restore bomber

The design drawings being presented to the RAF Museum Credit: RAF

Design drawings that could help restore a shot down WWII German bomber have been handed to the RAF Museum at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The drawings will help with the rebuilding process of the aircraft, which was recently recovered from the seabed of the English Channel.

Shot down in 1940, the Dornier is historically important as it is the world's only surviving example of its kind although more than 1,500 were manufactured.

Research by the Air Historical Branch and the RAF Museum suggests that the wreck is a Do-17-Z2 lost on 26 August 1940, the height of the Battle of Britain.

Speaking after the presentation of the drawings to the museum, CEO of defence company EADS UK said: "EADS has access to more than 7,000 drawings which would enable the aircraft to be built from scratch, and these are the first 2,500 of those drawings,"

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