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Accidents/Incidents at RAF Sek Kong

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Accidents/Incidents at RAF Sek Kong

Old 30th Aug 2015, 20:12
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Accidents/Incidents at RAF Sek Kong

Having seen a couple of memorial brass plagues commemorating the deaths of 2 individuals in Sek Kong I wonder if anybody has any history or background they could share.

the first says

"To the memory of Flying Officer Hunter Dennison who tragically died whilst serving with the Royal Air Force at Sek Kong 13 January 1986"

the second says

"In memory of Sergeant Andrew George who died whilst serving with the Royal Air Force at Sek Kong 4 May 1988 Aged 37"

I have tried a Google search for the names but unfortunately have drawn blanks so any help would be appreciated.
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Old 30th Aug 2015, 20:45
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Robert Hunter DENNISON, b. 14 Aug 1958, 3 Balfour Village, Shapinsay, OKI, SCT d. 13 Jan 1986, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong (Age 27 years)

This comes from an online family tree. The page also indicates he was a helicopter pilot.
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Old 30th Aug 2015, 21:19
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I was aware that we lost a Wessex in the sea around that time. Wikipedia gives this information:

On 5 November 1986 XS518 a Westland Wessex HC5 of 84 Squadron flew into the sea and sank wile flying a medical flight at night, three killed including a Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service nurse.[27]
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Old 30th Aug 2015, 21:42
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This puts 518 as going down off Cyprus which would be right as its 28 Sqn with the HC2 that was in SEK Kong, 84 were based in Cyprus using the HC5


ASN Aircraft accident 05-NOV-1986 Westland Wessex HC5C (S-58T) XS518

Last edited by NutLoose; 30th Aug 2015 at 22:00.
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Old 30th Aug 2015, 22:04
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Quite right, Nutty. Brain fade on my part, I'm afraid.
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 05:48
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The Wessex mentioned was lost off Cyprus. Limassol Bay in fact

Those who died were: Flt Lt Fiona Johnstone PMRAFNS, Master Aircrew Peter Barwell AFC and Cpl Martin Cook PMRAFNS.

I believe the last fatal RAF helicopter accident in Hong Kong might have been Whirlwind XR477, which struck cables near Fanling. Flt Lt Ernest Roy Taylor and F/Sgt James Lucas were killed. However, I could be wrong as I have not checked thoroughly.

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Old 31st Aug 2015, 07:33
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"The Wessex mentioned was lost off Cyprus. Limassol Bay in fact"

The night before the AOC's formal inspection, IIRC.

AVM KW H carried on, drinks in the mess at lunchtime was a vquiet affair.

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Old 31st Aug 2015, 09:13
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I have now checked the Armed Forces Memorial register and although both Fg Off R H Dennison and Sgt A George are listed in the Roll of Honour at St Clement Danes, neither is commemorated on the AFM wall at Alrewas.

This means that their deaths are nor ascribed to their service and so their deaths were natural causes, an off duty accident or similar.

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Old 31st Aug 2015, 10:18
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I knew and flew with Hunter at Sek Kong and returned to the UK shortly before his untimely accident. He was killed whilst riding a motorbike in the New Territories. He was liked and missed by all of us on 28 Sqn and the rest of the Wessex Fleet.

I'm sorry I cannot give any information on the other name you mention but as a long serving member of the Wessex / Hong Kong world I suspect it was also an accident or natural causes.

RIP both.

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Old 31st Aug 2015, 12:28
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Shy The Wessex that ditched in HK was XR 500 IIRC - no fatalities and would have been about mid-80s. Will look it up.

One understands the pilot concerned subsequently "did time" for some sort of insurance scam (??) but I may be getting confused ......

[Edited to add:

A few years out! Got the right frame (XR 500), but it was April '79
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 12:44
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I'm pretty sure that another 28 Sqn Wessex ditched on 17 September 1993.
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 13:16
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Accidents at SekKong

Unable to help with helicopters at SekKong, but between 1954 and 1957, we lost five in fatal accidents on Vampires at SekKong, and two more fatals of pilots from 28 who were away on detatchments. (I have all the details if anyone is interested). No-one seemed to think that such a high rate of loss was at all unusual in those (thankfully far off days).

Last edited by John Purdey; 31st Aug 2015 at 13:18. Reason: incomplete
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 14:05
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Shy The Wessex that ditched in HK was XR 500 IIRC - no fatalities and would have been about mid-80s. Will look it up.

One understands the pilot concerned subsequently "did time" for some sort of insurance scam (??) but I may be getting confused ......

[Edited to add:

A few years out! Got the right frame (XR 500), but it was April '79
Clem Clemence (sp) was the crewman I think? Pitched up on 33 afterward.

CG
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 17:20
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I think the 93 ditching was K... T... and his merry men launched as a multi aircraft SAR call in a typhoon to a sinking rig support vessel, I think with a dive decompression chamber in use on board. The Wessex suffered a double flame out from salt ingestion, followed by a good eol into the south China Sea. Crew in dinghy impressed
that it stayed upright and floated away towards mainland China.
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 17:50
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The Wessex that ditched in 79 was indeed XR500 (A) and for years the hulk languished on the far side of the runway at Sek Kong. The crew were Flt Lt Mxxxxxl, FS Cxxxxxxs and Sgt Pxxxxxxs. As for the one in 93 it was XT667 (F) on a SAR callout during a Typhoon. It suffered a doubled flame out due to water down intake during the storm. I don't remember all the crew but ''Old Sarboy'' would be able to tell as he was the winchop. It is at the bottom of the South China Sea!!!!!
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 18:49
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As an aside, there is an amusing tale of one Fg Off H Dennison, although at the time he felt his career had taken a real nose dive. At the end of 1985 there was a service held at St Clement Danes which required the 28 (ac) Sqn Standard to be paraded. Hunter was the Standard Bearer and along with one escort FS B J******s they set off from Sek Kong. Now that was in the days when the charter was B Cal staging through Dubai into Gatwick. At Kai Tak as is the custom they watched the Standard being loaded onto the aircraft before taking their seats. At Dubai they had to enter the transit lounge and stay there before resuming their onward journey. What could go wrong!!!! You guessed it on arrival Gatwick, no Standard. Of course the handlers at Dubai just had to take it off and somehow forgot to put it back on. Luck prevailed and 24 hrs later and just before it was needed it caught up but for a moment Hunter thought he would always be known as the man who lost the Squadron Standard
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 20:26
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Thumbs up

Thanks very much for all of the detail, it is really appreciated.
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Old 1st Sep 2015, 17:03
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Yes, Huget, I was indeed the Winchop when we ditched Foxtrot in the South China Sea. We were heading out during a typhoon to go to the aid of a vessel, which turned out to be a hoax, when we lost an engine due to water ingestion from the heavy rain and salt spray,but managed to get it back. Shortly afterwards we lost both engines and KT carried out a perfect EOL, probably his finest landing ever, with not a drop of water in the cabin. The flot gear worked perfectly and TP, the Winchman, and myself were able to carry out a gentlemanly exit with the multi seat liferaft. Once clear we inflated the dinghy and, typically, it was upside down so we hung on the outside and were joined by KT. We decided not to try and right it due to the wind speed and rough sea as it would probably have ended up in mainland China. Meanwhile CN, the co-pilot, had gone under the nose, got caught up in the Homer aerials and finally emerged to see us about 30 metres away so he inflated his single seat dinghy and didn't attempt to join us.
Two more Wessex from the squadron arrived about 40 minutes later and we were recovered to the usual banter of "SAR Boys, w*****s"and taken back to Sek Kong and waiting spouses who had heard the news on the radio!
When we departed the scene Foxtrot was still afloat and heading for China complete with my aircrew watch! Happy days
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Old 1st Sep 2015, 18:14
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Amazing you had the presence of mind to take the watch off!
Did you leave the disco gear behind too?
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Old 1st Sep 2015, 19:57
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When we departed the scene Foxtrot was still afloat and heading for China complete with my aircrew watch!
Didn't the rest of the crew remember to leave their watches behind, too?
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