Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2006, five British personnel were killed in Basra City after their Lynx helicopter was shot down and crashed: Flight Lieutenant Sarah-Jayne Mulvihill, Royal Air Force; Wing Commander John Coxen, Royal Air Force; Marine Paul Collins, Royal Marines; Lieutenant Commander Darren Chapman, Royal Navy; and Captain David Dobson, Army Air Corps.
Flight Lieutenant Mulvihill, from Canterbury, was 32 years old and married. Tributes paid to her described her as "upbeat and unselfish", but also made plain her ambition and powerfully competitive streak. She had been deployed to Iraq before and had been eager to return.
Wing Commander Coxen, from Liverpool, was 46 years old and married. Group Captain Welham said: “John’s reputation across the Support Helicopter Force and RAF was second to none. He was a unique individual, humble and courageous. A true professional at work in all that he touched, outwardly quiet, but always had a twinkle in his eye that gave away a mischievous and dry sense of humour."
Marine Collins was 21 years old. His commanding officer said of him: "Paul was the epitome of what the Royal Marines represent. A fit, intelligent young man he was totally professional, in every thing he did and enjoyed life to the full. He was an extremely popular member of both his squadron and throughout the Commando Helicopter Force."
Lieutenant Commander Chapman was 40 years old and married with three children. He had worked his way up through the ranks from Able Seaman to commanding officer of 847 Naval Air Squadron, and according to his parents he died "doing the job he loved."
Captain Dobson was 27 years old. His commanding officer said of him: "Although only with the Commando Helicopter Force for a short period of time, David had made a most impressive start. Extremely well respected, he approached all his duties with tremendous levels of enthusiasm, displaying a positive attitude and ready cheerfulness."