Army Air Corps


Captain David Ian Dobson

On Saturday 06 May at 1350 hours local time a Lynx Mark 7 helicopter, on a routine flight, came down in Basrah City, crash-landing on the roof of an empty building.  "Five UK personnel on board the aircraft lost their lives" Wing Commander John Coxen RAF Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman RN Flight Lieutenant Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill RAF Captain David Dobson, Army Air Corps  Marine Paul Collins RM British Army units in Basrah deployed immediately to the scene of the crash and secured the area with the help of the Iraqi Army and the Police Service. A crowd swiftly formed on the streets surrounding the crash site and the House, you will have seen the television coverage of the volatile situation that developed over the next few hours "British troops and Iraqi Security Forces came under attack with a variety of weapons, including stones, gunfire, petrol and blast bombs, rocket propelled grenades and mortars".  Seven UK personnel were injured as a result of the disturbance, sources indicate that 5 Iraqis may have died and approximately 28 were injured during the civil disorder that followed the crash.

Captain David Ian Dobson, Army Air Corps, Aged 27, was serving as a pilot with 847 Naval Air Squadron, based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton. He was single.  Dave, or Dobbo as he was known in the Squadron, joined the Army in January 2001 and on completion of his officer training at Sandhurst was commissioned into the Army Air Corps. He completed his flying training and qualified as a Lynx helicopter pilot in December 2003. He then served with 5 Regiment Army Air Corps in Northern Ireland as a Lynx pilot, receiving the General Service Medal (NI). On completion of this two-year operational tour of duty, he joined 847 Naval Air Squadron in March 2006 as a Flight Commander of the Air Door Gunner Flight and immediately deployed on operations to Iraq. An impressive young officer, he was a keen sportsman and represented the Army at Basketball and the Army Air Corps at Cricket. Colonel John McCardle Royal Marines, Commanding Officer Commando Helicopter Force, said of him:  "Although only with the Commando Helicopter Force for a short period of time, David had made a most impressive start in 847 NAS. Extremely well respected, he approached all his duties with tremendous levels of enthusiasm, displaying a positive attitude and ready cheerfulness."


Lance Corporal David Wilson with his fiancé Michelle Curry and daughter Poppy .

Lance Corporal David Kenneth Wilson died on Thursday 4 December 2008, while serving on operations in Basra, southern Iraq.

LCpl Wilson, who was serving with 9 Regiment Army Air Corps, was found at Basra's Contingency Operating Base having suffered a gunshot wound. Immediate medical assistance was provided, but sadly he was declared dead at the scene a short time later. The incident, which occurred at 0900 hrs local time, will be subject to a full investigation. No enemy forces were involved and there is no evidence at this stage to suggest that anyone else was involved. LCpl David Wilson, aged 27, was born in Huddersfield to Ian and Doreen Wilson. He joined the Army in August 2003, completing Phase 1 training at Army Training Regiment Pirbright in November that year. He moved to 668 (Training) Squadron at Middle Wallop for specific training as an Army Air Corps Ground Crewman before being posted to 9 Regiment Army Air Corps in his home county of Yorkshire.  Initially LCpl Wilson worked as a Ground Crewman in 672 Squadron, deploying to Afghanistan at the end of 2006 as part of Operation Herrick 5. More recently he moved to 659 Squadron as the Stores Corporal, deploying to Iraq on Operation Telic 12 with the Joint Helicopter Force (Iraq).  A real family man, LCpl Wilson leaves behind his fiancé Michelle Curry, his 11-week-old daughter Poppy, his parents, brother, family and friends. He was well known for his generous, kind-hearted nature and willingness to help others. He was one of the more experienced junior non-commissioned officers in the squadron and his positive and infectious nature made him a popular and respected friend and colleague for many. David's family have released the following statement: "David was a loving and devoted family man who was the light of Michelle's life. The recent gift of their beautiful baby daughter had made his world complete. "David wore his uniform with pride and was fulfilling his lifelong ambition to be a soldier. "The family are extremely proud of him and our world will be a much sadder place without him. Words cannot express how much he was dearly loved." The Commanding Officer of Joint Helicopter Force (Iraq), Lieutenant Colonel Richard Green, said: "Lance Corporal Wilson embodied exactly what is best about soldiers in the British Army; he was a jolly, friendly and selfless character who was wholly respected by his peers and friends alike. He was a committed family man and recently became a proud father. He leaves behind his fiancée Michelle, daughter Poppy, parents and a brother "Lance Corporal Wilson was an excellent soldier who will be deeply missed. We have all had the privilege to serve with him and will fondly remember him as a chatty, affable individual who was always at the front of the queue to help others. A dearly loved father, our thoughts now sit firmly with Michelle and his family." Major Al Stocker, Officer Commanding 659 Squadron and the Lynx Detachment Commander in Iraq, said: "LCpl Dave Wilson's death will impact on all our lives but our thoughts go out to his fiancée Michelle, his parents, family and friends for whom this must be a devastating time - particularly as he only recently became a father and leaves behind a newborn baby daughter, Poppy. David was part of the fabric of the squadron, renowned for helping others, always happy, kind and positive - he will be truly missed."  LCpl Wilson's Squadron Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class 2 David Hope, said: "LCpl Wilson always lifted the mood in any room he entered. He was a popular soldier and friend to all, always willing to help those who struggled. His honesty, integrity and hard work were a good example to all. We will miss him."  Staff Sergeant Tony Todd, LCpl Wilson's immediate boss, said: "Dave was an outstanding soldier and good friend. Nothing seemed to faze him and his sense of humour was nothing short of ‘stage' quality. He could always make others around him smile and his own smile was infectious. He will be very sorely missed." Other members of LCpl Wilson's squadron added: "Dave was always the first person to shout across the car park and say hello… a real team player." "Dave was a funny and outspoken guy, always making me laugh with smart comments and a smile on his face." "I remember him well from my time in 672 Squadron, always cheery and keen to chat. Such a loss."