Two “Junglies” who can write!
Thirty years after serving together as young Wessex V helicopter pilots on 845 Naval Air Squadron, fellow “junglies” Howard Leedham and Harry Benson exchanged copies of their books in London.
The hitherto unknown story that Howard Leedham has to tell could have come from the Northwest Frontier of Rudyard Kipling's time...From the Foreword by Frederick Forsyth [Ask forgiveness, not permission]
The moniker Junglies was coined by UK troops in the jungles of Borneo when intrepid RN aviators and support personnel were supporting them in their fight against Communist insurgents in the 1960s. The nickname is still coveted by serving and retired personnel.
Both pilots served together at Yeovilton in 1983 although log books record that they never actually flew with one another. Leedham went on to serve with special forces whereas Benson became a Wasp helicopter flight commander.
Howard Leedham’s book Ask forgiveness, not permission (Bene Factum, 2012), tells of his subsequent adventure setting up anti-terrorist helicopter operations in Pakistan on behalf of the US State Department.
“The hitherto unknown story that Howard Leedham has to tell could have come from the Northwest Frontier of Rudyard Kipling's time … Kipling would have loved them.” - From the foreword by Frederick Forsyth
“This true account reads like adventure fiction. All you have to do is manipulate someone into buying you this book. You will not regret it.” - FAAOA
Harry Benson’s book Scram! (Preface, 2012), tells the story of the Falklands war through the eyes of the many junglie aircrew he interviewed, including his own experience as a newly qualified 21 year old pilot.
“Harry Benson’s book is immensely readable as a lucid, exciting account of the entire Falklands conflict, and valuable too, as written by a combatant, not a historian”. - Daily Mail
“Opening with details of a failed aerial insertion, this helicopter pilot’s account of the Falklands war is difficult to put down". - Soldier magazine
To their (limited and fallible) knowledge, only three other junglie pilots have published books:
- Jim Newton (Armed Action [Headline, 2007])
- Richard Hutchings (Special Forces Pilot [Pen & Sword, 2008])
- John Beattie (Fly Navy: The View from a ‘Jungly’ Cockpit [RNHF, 2009])
Tignes, Val Claret, France
HMS Cambria, South Glamorgan
HMS Flying Fox, Bristol
HMS Forward, Birmingham
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