Operational Honours List 40
The following members of the JHC received Honours and Awards in the Operational Honours List 40.
Distinguished Flying Cross
Flt Lt Christopher Gordon
27 Squadron, RAF Odiham
Mentioned in Dispatches
Cpt Jonathan William Mortimer Hendry
3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment
L Cpl Christopher Morton
2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment
Sgt Daniel Stephen Rudge
16 Medical Regiment
Sgt Anthony Russell
845 Naval Air Squadron
Flt Lt Jonathan Cowdry
Sgt Atis Hernandez
7 Air Assault Battalion
Sgt Barry Graeme Kirkland
Flt Lt Chris Gordon, a Pilot on 27 Sqn based at RAF Odiham has been awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) following his third tour of Afghanistan.
lt Lt Gordon, came under fire on three separate occasions within a week whilst serving in Afghanistan during 2012 as the Captain of a Chinook aircraft on 1310 Flt.
During one mission where two Chinooks were tasked to retrieve troops that had seized an identified suicide bomber his aircraft was on final approach when it came under small arms fire resulting in his co-pilot being shot in the hand. Whilst retaining control of the aircraft at 50ft above the ground, Flt Lt Gordon safely retuned the aircraft back so that his co-pilot could receive medical attention.
On the another mission, Flt Lt Gordon and his crew extracted troops from a firefight, despite one of his engines being disabled by an insurgent bullet. The crew was briefed to lift soldiers from C Coy, 1st Bn Royal Anglian Regt, whose target was a known IED cache to the Salaang area of Helmand province.
Once the soldiers had completed their mission the Chinooks approached the landing site to pick them up. It was then that the troops on the ground came under fire from insurgents. Despite Gordon’s unwavering determination, coordinating with Apache attack helicopters to facilitate the extraction, he was forced to return to Camp Bastion for fuel. UK forces became aware that the insurgents were preparing to mount a fierce attack as soon as the Apache left the scene. Energised by the increased threat to the troops Gordon motivated his crews to try and extract the troops once more before the Apaches departed. Leading by example, Gordon displayed exemplary flying skills and considerable courage, placing his aircraft very close to the troops in order to minimise their exposure to enemy fire.
On landing, the crack of a shot was heard from the left hand side of the aircraft. Moments later one of the crewmen, opened fire using the helicopter’s mini gun in the direction of the enemy.
On looking in the cockpit Flt Lt Gordon realised that the engine had been shot. With only one engine running he then recalculated his aircrafts performance, electing to conduct a highly advanced low level transition within a dust cloud.
He said: “One of the crew said that a soldier in the back had received a minor gun shot wound and would need medical assistance at Bastion, so I knew that I had to get them back quickly. I called ahead to make sure an ambulance was waiting for us as I couldn’t land at the hospital site on one engine.”
On being told that he had been awarded the DFC for his actions Flt Lt Gordon said: ‘I feel humbled to be receiving this award on behalf of the Chinook aircrew and engineers that put so much effort into operations in Afghanistan. All in all, I was just doing my job and my job on the Chinook force is to make sure that every soldier on the ground is supported in every way possible in any situation.’