HMS Daedalus’ helicopter heroes celebrate their birthday in 1985

Some crew members with the specialist equipment carried in each aircraft based at HMS Daedalus.
Some crew members with the specialist equipment carried in each aircraft based at HMS Daedalus.

A helicopter rescue crew squad from Lee-on-the-Solent had 850 good reasons for birthday celebrations. 

That was the number of people who had been winched to safety by the Royal Navy’s Search and Rescue flight, based at HMS Daedalus. 

Nationally, the Fleet Air Arm organisation was celebrating 40 years of life-saving service.  

At HMS Daedalus, helicopters had scrambled to more than 2,000 incidents since the flight moved there in 1972. They covered the area between Devon, Sussex and the Channel Islands. 

However Flight Commander Lt Peter Bowden, who headed the 33-strong rescue team at Daedalus, explained they were leaving the celebrations until the 50th anniversary.