Early Handover of Junglie Merlin!
WELL NOT EXACTLY – a model of a Merlin Helicopter, Sea King, Wessex and Lynx helicopter were presented to Captain Matt Briers RN Commanding Officer, Commando Helicopter Force by Mr Phil Thomas a keen aircraft enthusiast and master modeller.
The model of the Merlin, in the iconic Junglie Tiger Stripes livery, took over 2 months to complete and depicts the aircraft operating from the Royal Norwegian Air Force base at Bardufoss in Norway where Junglies undergo Mountain flying and Cold weather survival training.
After accepting the models Capt Briers commented, “The models are hugely impressive and so accurate. Mr Thomas has captured the Merlin scene in Norway and the Sea King in Afghanistan so well although I would have thought his son Lt Michal Thomas who is a pilot on 846 Naval Air Squadron would have provided advice on this particular project. I am delighted to accept the models on behalf of the Force and they will now take pride of place in my Head Quarters.”
Mr Thomas who is Vice President of the Lolstock Branch of the British Legion in Preston has produced a number of models of historic Fleet Air Arm (FAA) aircraft that have included the Sea Fury and Sea Vixen fixed wing aircraft. These were later auctioned and raised £2000 for the FAA Historic Trust.
On completion of the presentation Mr Thomas added, “Whilst my full time employment as a Project Officer for the national Grid keep me very busy, I find that making models is extremely relaxing and tremendously enjoyable. I am a very strong supporter of the military and it is wonderful to visit the Junglies at their home in Yeovilton.”