Four Royal Marines flew into a battle zone clinging to the outside of helicopter gunships in a bid to rescue a fallen comrade, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.
Unwilling to leave behind one of their number following a retreat, the commandos strapped themselves to the small stabiliser wings of two Apache helicopters and returned into the midst of a fierce gunfight with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
Following an intense gun and mortar battle, the commandos were forced back. When they realised L/Cpl Ford was missing, four soldiers volunteered to return.
Three Apaches were available for the mission, but the 200mph helicopters have no room inside for passengers. The soldiers made the snap decision to travel on the outside of two of the armour-plated aircraft, with a third helicopter providing covering fire.
HT to AndrewR at Ace of Spades HQ.