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Commando Pilot Recieves Special Award

11th August 2009 - 08:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Commando Helicopter Force pilot, Lieutenant James Coleman Royal Navy, of 846 Naval Air Squadron received the coveted Darren Chapman award at RNAS Yeovilton in a ceremony at the South Somerset base.

Mrs Elizabeth Chapman, the widow of Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman Royal Navy, Commanding Officer 847 NAS who was killed in action over Basra, Iraq, made the presentation accompanied by her son and Darren’s father.

The award is presented annually by the Commanding Officer, Commando Helicopter Force, to the Front Line pilot who has, from training through to the successful award of his Certificate of Competence to fly a front-line aircraft, demonstrated the highest personal, professional and leadership qualities.

During the presentation the CO CHF stated: "James Coleman is a pilot of the highest calibre. Thrust into Afghanistan during the hottest, most demanding summer period, he conducted two exemplary tours to theatre. In early 2009, he achieved his Arctic flying qualification in Norway where he also flew a real time Search and Rescue mission in appalling weather conditions to save the life of a passenger in a downed civilian helicopter crash". 

After the presentation Lieutenant Coleman who lives in Somerton with his wife and daughter said: “It’s been an extremely busy year for myself, and all of the crews of CHF. It is a great honour to be recognised in this way, and to receive this award from the Chapman Family.”

By Royal Navy

The Shephard News Team


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