Aged 21, Harry was one of the youngest helicopter pilots to serve in the Falklands war. Following two tours as a Royal Navy pilot, Harry moved to Asia in 1988 with his wife Kate to work in finance and start a family. Surviving a marital crisis, he sold his share of a successful partnership and returned to the UK in 1997. After acquiring a 1st class degree in Psychology from Bristol University, he started what has become Britain’s most successful local relationship project, Bristol Community Family Trust, teaching practical relationship skills to thousands of couples. He has now been married 25 years and has six children.
His writing includes co-authoring two influential family policy papers for the Centre for Social Justice – Breakdown Britain and Breakthrough Britain – writing several high profile research papers, and editing an online international academic book What Works in Relationship Education. His two paperback books are Mentoring Marriages and Let’s Stick Together – The Relationship Book for New Parents, both published by Lion Hudson.
His latest book, Scram: The Untold Story of the Helicopter War in the Falklands, was published by Preface in March 2012.
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SCRAM: THE GRIPPING FIRST HAND ACCOUNT OF THE HELICOPTER WAR IN THE FALKLANDS
April 2nd, 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the invasion of the Falkland Islands. This is the thrilling untold story of the young helicopter pilots — most barely out of their teens — who risked their lives during this brief but ferocious war. In April 1982 Harry Benson was a 21 year-old Royal Navy commando helicopter pilot, fresh out of training and one of the youngest helicopter pilots to serve in the Falklands War. These pilots, nicknamed ‘junglies’, flew most of the land-based missions in the Falklands in their Sea King and Wessex helicopters. Much of what happened in the war — the politics, task force ships, Sea Harriers, landings, Paras and Marines — is well-known and documented. But almost nothing is known of the young commando helicopter pilots and aircrewmen who made it all happen on land and sea. This is their ‘Boys Own’ story, told for the very first time.
Harry Benson has interviewed forty of his former colleagues for the book creating a tale of skill, initiative, resourcefulness, humour, luck, and adventure. This is a fast-paced, meticulously researched and compelling account written by someone who was there, in the cockpit of a Wessex helicopter. None of these pilots has spoken before about:
– The two helicopter crashes and eventual rescue following a failed SAS mission high up on an in hospitable glacier in South Georgia
– The harrowing story of the Exocet strike that sunk the transport ship Atlantic Conveyor
– The daring missile raid on the Argentine high command in Port Stanley – The constant mortar fire faced while supporting troops and evacuating casualties – The hair-raising head-on attacks by Argentine jets on British helicopters
– The extraordinary courage shown during the evacuation of the bombed landing ship ‘Sir Galahad’
If you liked Apache, Vulcan 607 and Chickenhawk, you’ll love Scram! The word “Scram” was coined by Falklands helicopter pilots to warn other ‘junglies’ to go to ground or risk being shot down as Argentinean jets blasted through ‘bomb alley’. The term has never been used before or since.
PUBLISHER: Preface (Random House)
PUBLICATION DATE: 15th March 2012