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  • united kingdom Joint Experimental Helicopter Unit

    Royal Air Force


    JEHU :

    1955 to 1959    




    Formed at RAF Middle Wallop as a joint RAF /Army unit on 1 Apr 1955 to explore the operational uses of the helicopter. It was initially equipped with Sycamores and Whirlwinds. After many landings made on an area of grass marked out as a dummy carrier deck, the unit deployed to HMS Theseus in Oct 1955 for a period of intensive live deck landing practice.
    The Whirlwind HAR.2s and Sycamore HC.12s and HR.14s embarked HMS Ocean and sailed for the Mediterranean. On 30 Oct 1956, the unit was renamed the Joint Helicopter Unit and subsequently took part in Operation Musketeer, lifting in elements of 45 Commando into Port Said. The unit returned to Middle Wallop and continued its operational research and evaluation work. It moved to RAF Andover but its days were numbered by a movement within the British Governments then War Office (now the Ministry of Defence) for the RAF to control the utility helicopters of the day. The Army viewed them as Battlefield Support helicopters; the RAF as Short Range Transports. The JHU was disbanded on 31 Dec 1959 to form the core of 225 Squadron, the next day.



    As a member of this unit from its' formation in 1955 I remember embarking on an aircraft carrier and sailing for the Mediterranean HOWEVER, Despite being almost 85 years old , I'm almost certain that the ship was HMS Theseus and HMS Ocean had naval helicopters at Port Said .


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    Locations


    YearsLocationICAO/FAA
    1958/59AndoverEGWA
    1955/58AAC Middle WallopEGVP



    Models

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    YearsModels
    1955/59Whirlwind
    1955/59Type 171 Sycamore





    JEHU List of helicopters

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    C/NVersionBuiltIn this OrgIn other Org
    13245 Sycamore 4 1954 XG500 : HR.14 ff Jan 1955, dd Feb 1955 JEHU-JHU/1 by Oct 1956
    : JHU / 1 participated in Suez action Nov 1956
    13247 Sycamore 4 1955 XG502 : JHU / 2, participated in Suez action Nov 1956
    British Army XG502 : HR.14, Gate Guardian at AAC Middle Wallop until c May 1983
    : to Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop by May 1983, still Mar 1990.
    13402 Sycamore 4 1956 XG507 : JEHU; JHU / 3, participated in Suez action Nov 1956
    : ex JEHU; MCS; 225 Sq; CFS (H)
    13369 Sycamore 4 1955 XG515 : JEHU; JHU / 4, participated in Suez action Nov 1956
    : ex JHU; MCS; 225 Sq; CFS (H)
    13377 Sycamore 4 1955 XG523 : JEHU by Jan 1956; JHU / 5, participated in Suez action Nov 1956 initially +
    : ex JHU/5 ; 225 Squadron Jan 1960; CFS-H/V by c Apr 1962, heavy landing w/o+
    - XG523 : Nose section preserved as / V, at Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, by +
    : pictured at Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton
    13388 Sycamore 4 1956 XG548 : JEHU by Oct 1956; JHU / 6, participated in Suez action Nov 1956
    : w/o 10 Jul 1957, rolled over during landing, while with JEHU.
    Bristol Aeroplane Company XG548 : HR.14 5th Sycamore built at Weston-super-Mare, after production moved ther+
    13266 Sycamore 4 1955 XJ362 : w/o asg JEHU damaged by ground resonance at Bulford Camp
    wa110 har.2 1956 XJ764 : JEHU/7 by 1956, JHU/7 by Oct 1956, Suez assault 6 Nov 1956
    wa111 har.2 1956 XJ765 : JEHU/8 by 1956, JHU/8 by Oct 1956, Suez assault 6 Nov 1956
    wa139 har.2 1956 XK968 : JEHU/9 by 1956, JHU/9 by Oct 1956, Suez assault 6 Nov 1956
    wa140 har.2 1956 XK969 : JEHU/10 by 1956, JHU/10 by Oct 1956, Suez assault 6 Nov 1956
    wa141 har.2 1956 XK970 : JEHU/11 by 1956, JHU/11 by Oct 1956, Suez assault 6 Nov 1956
    wa142 har.2 1956 XK986 : JEHU/12 by 1956, JHU/12 by Oct 1956, Suez assault 6 Nov 1956
    wa144 har.2 1956 XK988 : JEHU; 225 Sq; CFS



    Operations


    DatesOperation
    31-oct-5606-nov-56EG Operation Musketeer