By By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief | May 1, 2014
Another Royal Air Force (RAF) Chinook pilot, Flight Lt. Charlie Lockyear, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for operations in Afghanistan with Master Aircrew (MACR) Bob Sunderland receiving a Mention in Dispatches during the same action.
While on a mission in May 2013 to insert British forces the Boeing Chinook came under fire from insurgents. The incoming fire wounded MACR Sunderland and disabled the Chinook’s radio and intercom. Still under fire, Flight Lt. Lockyear aborted the mission but due to the lack of radio was not aware that some troops had already disembarked the aircraft and were engaged with the enemy.
However, aware of the damage to the aircraft, Lockyear once again landed the aircraft to extract the troops on the ground. During this time MACR Sutherland engaged the insurgents with suppressing fire from the helicopter despite his wounds.
Flight Lt. Lockyear flew the damaged aircraft, which also had bullet hits on the rotor blades, back to Camp Bastion where the injured could be treated.
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