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Immediate Response: The Centenary Collection
Published by Penguin Books
In 1918, the RAF was established as the world's first independent air force. To mark the 100th anniversary of its creation, Penguin are publishing the Centenary Collection, a series of six classic books highlighting the skill, heroism esprit de corps that have characterised the Royal Air Force throughout its first century. The gripping true story of a Royal Marine helicopter pilot on exchange with the RAF. Major Mark Hammond was awarded the DFC for remarkable feats in Afghanistan in his Chinook helicopter. Like the other Chinook pilots and crews, and the surgical teams who travelled with them, Hammond regularly put his own life in danger to save the lives of others. Three times on the night of 6 September 2006 he flew into hostile zones to pick up injured soldiers. During an attempt to land at the Para outpost in Musa Qala two rocket-propelled grenades passed within 10ft of his helicopter and four rounds hit it. Forced to abort the mission, he returned to Camp Bastion, found a new Chinook and flew back into battle, rescuing a soldier while still under heavy fire. Immediate Response is Major Mark Hammond's highly personal account of combat and provides readers with a vivid account of the brutal realities of war. The Centenary Collection: 1. The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary 2. Tumult in the Clouds by James Goodson 3. Going Solo by Roald Dahl 4. First Light by Geoffrey Wellum 5. Tornado Down by John Peters & John Nichol 6. Immediate Response by Mark Hammond
Major Mark Hammond joined the Royal Marines in 1989. After specializing as a pilot, he flew Gazelle and Lynx helicopters for 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron and, subsequently, 847 Naval Air Squadron. After a tour in America with the US Marine Corps flying Cobra attack helicopters, he now flies the Chinook HC2 on exchange with the RAF. He took part in the 2003 assault on Iraq's Al-Fawr Peninsula and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in Afghanistan in 2006. He now flies Apache gunships with the Army Air Corps.
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