united kingdom Joint Experimental Helicopter Unit

Royal Air Force


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.

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1955/58AAC Middle WallopEGVP


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1955/59Type 171 Sycamore

List of aircraft

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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
13402 Sycamore 4 1956 XG507 : JEHU; MCS; 225 Sq; CFS (H)
13369 Sycamore 4 1955 XG515 : JEHU; MCS; 225 Sq; CFS (H)
13377 Sycamore 4 1955 XG523 : JEHU-JHU/5 by Oct 1956; CFS-H/V, heavy landing w/o on 25 Sep 1962 at Ternh+
- XG523 : Nose section preserved at Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, by 2000
13388 Sycamore 4 1956 XG548 : 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 27jun56 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


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

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