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Relic of 2010 helicopter crash presented to Australian War Memorial

The parents of Private Benjamin Chuck, Gordon and Susan Chuck, with the Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power, and the helicopter cowling that was presented to the Australian War Memorial on 11 November.

The Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power, has presented the Australian War Memorial with an engine cowling from a coalition helicopter that crashed in southern Afghanistan on 21 June 2010.

Military personnel used the engine cowling as an improvised stretcher to extract the wounded from the crash site.

Despite the heroic efforts of all involved in the incident, three Australian Commandos were killed as a result of the crash: Private Benjamin Chuck, Private Timothy Aplin and Private Scott Palmer.

Several relatives of those killed, as well as representatives from the Army, attended the ceremony at the Australian War Memorial.

Lieutenant General Power said the engine cowling could serve as a reminder for all Australians of the valour and sacrifice of their fellow countrymen.

“The significance of the remnant lies not only in representing the terrible loss of life that day, but also reflects the heroic efforts of the rescue personnel to transport the wounded, eventually allowing for their return home,” Lieutenant General Power said.

The makeshift stretcher hung in the hospital trauma area in the ISAF Role 3 Medical Centre at Kandahar as a memorial to those who lost their lives and as a token of recognition to the health staff involved in resuscitation efforts on that fateful day.

It is expected that the cowling will go on display at the Australian War Memorial during 2013.