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Wessex - Aircraft Profile - Westland : Wessex


Manufacturer : Westland
Number Built :
Production Began :
Retired :
Type :

For over 33 years, the Wessex has been at the centre of RAF operations in Northern Ireland. As a reliable workhorse the Wessex has no equal, but after 31st March 2002 the Mighty Wessex will be retired from frontline operations. No.72 Squadron received its first Wessex in 1964 at RAF Odiham and deployed to Northern Ireland on 15th August 1969 when Air Marshal Sir Tim Jenner (then a junior pilot) landed the first Wessex at the start of the current Troubles. Since then, the Wessex has been employed on all major security operations as well as day-to-day troop carrying and re-supply tasks. It enjoys a unique reputation as a tough and reliable foundry-built aircraft and will be sorely missed by the aircrew who regard it as an indestructible evergreen


Wessex Artwork Collection

Willing Workhorse by Ivan Berryman.

Search Party Reaction by David Rowlands.

Wessex Over the Copelands by David Pentland.

Joint Rescue by David Pentland.

Pup Northern Ireland by John Wynne Hopkins.

Wessex Over South Armagh by Michael Rondot.

Squadrons for : Wessex
A list of all squadrons from known to have used this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.

No.72 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 28th June 1917
Fate : Disbanded 12th November 1981


Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of No.72 Sqn RAF

No.72 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.
Signatures for : Wessex
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.

Air Chief Marshal Sir John Day KCB OBE ADC BSc RAF

Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Air Chief Marshal Sir John Day KCB OBE ADC BSc RAF
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Day KCB OBE ADC BSc RAF

Air Chief Marshal Sir John Day was educated at the Kings School, Canterbury and Imperial College, University of London where he read aeronautical engineering. His first tour was on No 72 Squadron at RAF Odiham flying Wessex helicopters and then, following the CFS course, he instructed on jet Provosts at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. On promotion to Squadron Leader in 1976, he was appointed to command Oxford University Air Squadron, after which he returned to the Support Helicopter Force as a flight commander on No 18 Squadron at RAF Gutersloh. Attendance at the RAF Staff College, Bracknell in 1981 was followed by a tour as the Personal Staff Officer to the Air Member for Personnel, and in 1983 he assumed command of No 72 Squadron at RAF Aldergrove, again flying Wessex. He then spent a year at the RAF Personnel Management Centre at Barnwood where he was responsible for managing the careers of General Duties wing commanders. This was followed by a tour as Group Captain Support Helicopters/Air at Headquarters No 1 Group, RAF Upavon where he was involved in developing joint operations and the joint Forces Headquarters concept. He then commanded RAF Odiham, operating Puma and Chinook helicopters. He attended the 1990 Course at the Royal College of Defence Studies before being promoted to Air Commodore and being appointed as the Director of Air Force Plans and Programmes in the Ministry of Defence. Following promotion to Air-Vice Marshal in 1994, he was appointed as the Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, responsible for all the Royal Air Forces Strike Attack, Offensive Support, Reconnaissance & Support Helicopter forces. In May 1997, he was promoted to Air Marshal and appointed Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Commitments) in the Ministry of Defence where his primary responsibility was to be the United Kingdoms Director of Operations, which included overseeing the Kosovo campaign and operations over Iraq. He then served from March 2000 as the Air Member for Personnel and Commander-in-Chief Personnel and Training Command. He took up his current appointment as Commander-in-Chief Strike Command in April 2001 on promotion to Air Chief Marshal. Air Chief Marshal Day is the President of the Royal Air Force Rugby Union, the No 72 Squadron Association and his local Branch of the Royal British Legion. He also sits on the Council of the Burma Star Association. Sir John and his wife, Jane, have 2 sons. One is a Captain in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, and the other is an Accountant working in investment banking.

Commander David Hobbs MBE RN

Click the name above to see prints signed by Commander David Hobbs MBE RN
Commander David Hobbs MBE RN

Commander David Hobbs MBE RN joined the Royal Navy in 1964 and since qualifying as a pilot, flew both fixed and rotary wing aircraft “to the deck”, including Gannet AEW aircraft, Wessex Commando helicopters and Canberra ECCM aircraft. He has served on the aircraft carriers, Victorious, Centaur, Hermes, Bulwark, Albion and two Ark Royals (the 1955 and 1985 ships) with 849, 845, 846 Naval Air Squadrons and 360 RN/RAF Joint Squadron. While serving in the Director General Aircraft (Naval) Department, he was responsible for developing the visual and electronic recovery aids for the Sea Harrier. He also organised the flying trials that cleared the Invincible class and Hermes to operate the modern generation of aircraft at sea.He has been Curator and Deputy Director of the Fleet Air Arm Museum at RNAS Yeovilton since leaving the active list of the Royal Navy in 1998. After a lifetime interest in naval history, he is the author of numerous books, contributes regularly to a variety of international publications and has presented papers at naval historical symposia in Australia, France, New Zealand, the United States and Great Britain. He is an adviser to the naval Staff on a range of aircraft carrier matters.

Air Vice-Marshal Eric Macey

Click the name above to see prints signed by Air Vice-Marshal Eric Macey
Air Vice-Marshal Eric Macey

Eric Macey joined the RAF in 1954 and, after graduating as a pilot, flew Hunter fighters with 263 and 1 Sqns. He next joined the rapidly-expanding V-Force, initially flying Valiants of 214 Sqn on in-flight refuelling trials, and completed the first non-stop flight to Singapore. Then followed a Vulcan captaincy with 101 Sqn on which, over the next several years, he served as Sqn Pilot, Training Officer and Sqn Cdr (and which formed part of his Wing when he was OC Waddington). Between times, he was Chief Instructor of the Vulcan OCU at Scampton and, for a short time, also Stn Cdr there. Posted to Germany in 1979, he flew the Wessex, Puma, Jaguar, Phantom and Harrier and later served as AOC (of the University Air Squadrons) and Commandant of the RAF College Cranwell where he re-qualified on the Jet Provost. His final tour as Director-General Training added another 15 aircraft types bringing his total flying hours to about 3400 (1900 on the Vulcan) and total types flown to 60.

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