Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Gary Nicholson

Hull, England

January 30, 2005

Age Rank Unit/Location
42 Master Engineer 47 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Died when a Royal Air Force C-130K Hercules transport aircraft crashed during a flight from Baghdad International Airport to Balad Air Base.

It is with great regret that the Ministry of Defence can confirm that Master Engineer Gary Nicholson, Royal Air Force, is missing believed killed following the loss of an RAF C-130K Hercules aircraft over Iraq on 30 January 2005. Aged 42 and divorced, he was an Air Engineer serving with 47 Squadron at RAF Lyneham.

Gary Nicholson 'Gary Nic' was born in Hull on 12 March 1962. He joined the RAF on 13 April 1982 and undertook training as an Air Engineer at RAF Finningley on 15 September 1982. He was awarded his Air Engineer brevet on 15 August 1983 and was posted to RAF Lyneham to join the Hercules fleet.

Gary started his long and distinguished career on the Hercules on 47 Sqn on 14 April 1984. He was then posted to 24 Sqn in July 1987 followed by a return to 47 Sqn on 2 July 1990. Gary then became an instructor in the simulator on 12 October 1994 and again returned to 47 Sqn for the third time in September 2002. During his flying career Gary amassed a total of 6400 hours, the vast majority of which was on the Hercules

Gary Nic saw action in many theatres over his 23 years of service. He has a campaign medal and a General Service Medal for Operation Granby (Iraq 1991), NATO and UN Service medals for the Balkans 1993 and 1994 and an Operational Service Medal for the recent operations in Iraq.

Gary Nic was known and loved by all who worked with him. It has been commented once or twice in the past that you could hear him before you could see him; seeing him was not a problem either as he was a giant of a man, with a giant heart and ebullient nature. Indeed, Gary was the embodiment of a Master Air Engineer and in the finest traditions of the service, always put the interests of his subordinates before himself. Gary leaves behind two sons who he loved and nurtured with a tenderness rarely seen. He will be sorely missed. 

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