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Squadron Leader Alex Duncan with his crew at his AFC Investiture.
The amazing story of how a hero Chinook pilot miraculously kept a helicopter which was hit 34 times by Taliban rockets airborne saving the lives of 16 civilians on board can be told after his bravery medals emerged for sale for £50,000.
Squadron Leader Alex Duncan was at the controls of a Chinook carrying a group of VIPs including the Governor of Helmand Province when it fell victim to an assassination plot on May 17, 2008.
Rockets blew away most of a rotor blade and left a huge hole in the fuselage, causing the helicopter to spin violently out of control, but Sq Ldr Duncan somehow stopped the Chinook from crashing and located a safe spot to offload the relieved passengers.
Just six days later, Sq Ldr Duncan was once again in the thick of it, leading a wave of Chinook helicopters delivering paratroopers against a tenacious enemy under intense enemy fire during a dangerous night mission.
Those two acts of bravery led to him being awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross which has emerged for sale alongside his Air Force Cross granted after he flew in complete darkness in the middle of a battle to rescue an injured six year old child.