Flags are at half-mast after helicopter crash

Defence correspondent om Cotterill on the jet simulator

The News defence correspondent ‘lands’ jet on HMS Queen Elizabeth

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FLAGS were flying at half-mast at Hampshire County Council’s headquarters in Winchester as a mark of respect to the five servicemen killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Saturday.

Four of them were based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.

They were named as Captain Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner Corporal James Walters – all of the Army Air Corps – and Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan of the Royal Air Force and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas of the Intelligence Corps.

Council leader councillor Roy Perry, said: ‘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 today, when Cllr Perry, with the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Dame Mary Fagan, will host a ceremony to thank people who helped out in this winter’s floods.