Members of 824 Naval Air Squadron visited a memorial remembering four aviators from the squadron who were killed nearly 50 years ago on the coast of Cornwall.

Tragedy struck on March 21, 1974, when their helicopter crashed near Beagle Point on the Lizard Peninsula, not far from the squadron’s base at RNAS Culdrose.

All the crew of XV702, who had been on a training flight, lost their lives in the crash.

Chief Petty Officer Dave Toseland said “Personally, it was a valuable and rewarding afternoon. While we were there, we placed four crosses with attached poppies and had a go at cleaning the plaque.

“All members of the team that visited the site were very professional in their behaviour and attitude and grateful to be given the opportunity to carry out this visit.”

One of the squadron’s Merlin helicopters also flew over the site as it returned from a training sortie.


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The memorial remembers the tragedy in 1974 when a Culdrose Sea King helicopter crashed just feet from the top of the cliff and burst into flames. All four crew from 824 Naval Air Squadron were killed.

They were pilot Captain Kenneth McDonald, 25 and on exchange from the Canadian Navy, Sub-Lieutenant Robert Johnson, 24 and from Edinburgh, Sub-Lieutenant Edward Wild, 22 from London, and Leading Seaman Brian Sharpe, 27 from Peterborough.

Newspaper reports from the time describe how Sub-Lt Wild was buried with full naval honours and a guard of honour at St Michael’s Church in Helston.