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During the Falklands war Jerry Pook, a pilot in No. 1(F) Squadron RAF, flew air interdiction, armed reccon, close-air-support and airfield attack as well as pure photo-reccon missions. Most weapons were delivered from extreme low-level attacks because of the lack of navigation aids and in the absence of Smart weapons. The only way he could achieve results was to get low down and close-in to the targets and, if necessary, carry out re-attacks to destroy high-value targets. Apart from brief carrier trials carried out many years previously there had been no RAF Harriers deployed at sea. The RAF pilots were treated with ill-disguised contempt by their naval masters, their professional opinions ignored in spite of the fact that the RN knew next to nothing about ground-attack and reccon operations. Very soon after starting operations from the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes the squadron realized that they were considered as more or less expendable ordnance. The Harriers lacked the most basic self-protection aids and were up against 10,000 well-armed troops who put up an impressive weight of fire whenever attacked.
During a twenty-five year flying career in the RAF, Jerry Pook has flown Hunter Fighter/Ground Attack aircraft in the Gulf, Harriers in West Germany, the supersonic Starfighter with the Dutch Air Force, the Harrier in Belize, Central America and the Tornado bomber at the Tri-national Tornado Training Establishment where he trained German and Italian pilots and navigators.Jerry had a long relationship with the Harrier Fighter/Ground Attack vertical take-off aircraft. This he flew in West Germany at the height of the Cold War operating from Wildenrath and off-base operations with Field Wing operations based in the fields and woods of the German countryside. Jerry saw action during the Falklands War when based on HMS Hermes and flying one of the few RAF Harriers in the Ground Attack role in support of the troops fighting ashore. He then enjoyed flying the American-built Starfighter RF 104G during a 3 year exchange tour with the Dutch Air Force - he describes the Starfighter as ' beautiful to fly, smooth and sophisticated, supremely fast and powerful - if you took liberties with it you knew it would kill you in an instant.'After 3 years with No 1(Fighter) Squadron and again flying the Harrierhe moved to the then new Tornado, flying in its bomber role. This he continued to fly operationally and in the instructional role for 13 years until grounded from military flying for medical reasons.
The conception of the Pegasus engine in 1957 upset all the conventions of aircraft design. It was previously usual for aircraft designers to seek a suitable engine, but this was an engine that sought an aircraft. The aircraft that resulted was the famous Harrier that is still in front-line service with air forces around the world including the RAF and US Marine Corps. This book takes an in-depth look at the engine's original design concept, initial production and flight testing. It then goes on to explain how the developments and improvements have been made over the ensuing years and includes experiences of operational combat flying, both from land and sea. The book is written in a non technical style that makes comfortable reading for all enthusiasts and historians and is copiously illustrated with many previously unseen photographs and diagrams.
This is a revelatory account of three un-tabulated special forces operations, PLUM DUFF, MIKADO and KETTLEDRUM, that were tasked to destroy Argentina's Exocet missiles during the 1982 Falkland's campaign. In that context alone this book is of international military importance. ?Using previously unknown material and through interviewing key players who have remained silent for 30 years, Ewen Southby-Tailyour has finally established the truth: that it has taken so long reflects the sensitivities, both military and personal, involved. ?Interviews with the SAS officer commanding Operation PLUM DUFF, members of the reconnaissance patrol for Operation MIKADO, plus the navigator of the helicopter that flew eight troopers into Tierra del Fuego, has allowed the author to describe the tortuous events that led, instead, to a significant survival story. ?The RAF pilots ordered to conduct an 'assault-landing' of two Hercules onto Rio Grande air base during Operation MIKADO have spoken of the extraordinary procedures they developed: so have the commander of the SBS and the captain of the British submarine involved in Operation KETTLEDRUM. ?The Super √Ątendard pilots who sank HMS Sheffield and MV Atlantic Conveyor and then 'attacked' HMS Invincible, plus a key member of the Argentine special forces and the brigadier defending Rio Grande, add credence, depth and gravitas to the saga: as does an equally revealing interview with the SIS (MI6) officer who led the world-wide search for Exocets on the black market. ?Disturbing over-confidence by commanders at home was finely counter-balanced by stirring accounts of inspiring physical and moral courage across the South Atlantic. ?Exocet Falklands is a ground-breaking work of investigative military history from which many salutary lessons can be learned.??As featured in the Daily Record, Western Morning News, Plymouth Herald and on BBC Radio Wiltshire.
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. If you liked Apache, Vulcan 607 and Chickenhawk, you'll love Scram! The word "Scram" was used to warn other junglies to go to ground or risk being shot down by their own side as Argentinean jets blasted through 'bomb alley'.

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