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 .
My father has a picture of him in this unit. Its noted as "B Flight" and dated August 17th 1956 at Middle Wallop. There are 33 people in the picture with the Whirlwind helicopter behind them.
JEHU List of helicopters
|C/N||Version||Built||In this Org||In 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 || XG502 |
|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 |
|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.
| XG548 |
|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 |