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RAF Odiham soldiers killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash

Captain Thomas Clarke, Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner, Corporal James Walters and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas were killed in the crash

Hart District Council chairman Stephen Gorys lays flowers at RAF Odiham
Hart District Council chairman Stephen Gorys lays flowers at RAF Odiham

Four servicemen from RAF Odiham were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan at the weekend.

Captain Thomas Clarke, Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner and Corporal James Walters died when a Lynx helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on Saturday (April 26).

A fifth serviceman on board the aircraft, Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas, was also killed in the crash.

 

Group Captain Richard Maddison, Station Commander at RAF Odiham, said: "I am extremely saddened to hear of the loss of Captain Thomas Clarke, Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner and Corporal James Walters, all who served at Royal Air Force Odiham.

"My deepest sympathies are with their families and friends at this most difficult time, and also with the family of Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas, who was not from Royal Air Force Odiham but who was also on the Lynx aircraft.

"It was only a week before the accident that I visited their unit in Afghanistan, and flew in a Lynx with Captain Clarke, Warrant Officer Faulkner and Corporal Walters.

"It was an absolute pleasure to fly with them and to discuss their work; it was also incredibly reassuring to meet such professional and enthusiastic members of their unit.

"As with all losses of personnel in Afghanistan, we mourn the loss of our most capable and dedicated personnel, who served without complaint and in full understanding of the risks associated with their roles. They were fine ambassadors for their Unit and for Defence as a whole, and we shall not forget them."

Flags have also been flying at half mast at Hampshire County Council's headquarters in Winchester as a mark of respect.

Council leader Roy Perry added: "Our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends left behind by this tragedy.

"Hampshire is home to the largest contingent of armed forces personnel in the country and tragic incidents such as this are a sad, but stark reminder of the contributions and sacrifices that the armed forces make and all that they do to protect our country and serve the cause of freedom.”

The flags will remain at half mast until sunset on Tuesday.

 
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