Wessex over South Armagh
Royal Air Force Wessex Helicopters in Action
A limited edition aviation art print to celebrate the 33rd Anniversary of Northern Ireland Operations and the retirement from front-line service of the Mighty Wessex. For 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 31 March 2002 the "Mighty Wessex" will be retired from front-line operations. No.72 Squadron received its first Wessex in 1964 at RAF Odiham and deployed to Northern Ireland on 15 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.To commemorate the retirement of the Mighty Wessex, Michael Rondot has painted in his CLASIC COMBAT AIRCRAFT series a striking image of a pair of gun-armed Wessex over the scene of an incident in the border area of South Armagh "Bandit Country".Limited Edition 500 signed and numbered by the Artist 50 Artist's Proofs Published in a strictly limited edition of only 500 signed and numbered copies with 50 artist's proofs, each WESSEX OVER SOUTH ARMAGH print is signed by distinguished Wessex pilot and President of the 72 Squadron Association, Air Chief Marshal Sir JOHN DAY KCB QBE ADC. John Day was a student pilot at RAF Syerston in 1968 two courses behind the artist and since then he has raced up the RAF promotion ladder. He began his flying career on Wessex helicopters in 1969, joining No 72 Squadron at RAF Odiham. Then, after 2 tours as a flying instructor he returned to the Wessex with No 18 Squadron at RAF Gutersloh. He commanded No 72 Squadron at RAF Aldergrove in 1983 and was Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group, during which time he flew all of the helicopter types in RAF service and most of the fast jet types, including qualifying as a Jaguar single-seat pilot. In 2001 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief Strike Command and continues to fly regularly in many types of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, retaining a special affection for the Wessex.
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