Scram by Harry Benson (BSc, 2000)

2 April 2012 marked the 30th anniversary of the invasion of the Falkland Islands. This is the thrilling untold story of the young helicopter pilots - most barely out of their teens - who risked their lives during this brief but ferocious war.

‘SCRAM! SCRAM! was all I heard through my coms as I caught sight of two Argentine A-4 Skyhawks blasting through bomb alley toward the anchored British flotilla.  In front of me every ship opened up with everything they had as missiles and tracer fire streaked through the sky to meet the incoming aircraft. All we could do as helicopter pilots caught out in the open was head for the hills.  Literally.’

In April 1982 Harry Benson was a 21 year-old Royal Navy commando helicopter pilot, fresh out of training and one of the youngest helicopter pilots to serve in the Falklands War.  These pilots, nicknamed ‘junglies’, flew most of the land-based missions in the Falklands in their Sea King and Wessex helicopters.  Much of what happened in the war – the politics, task force ships, Sea Harriers, landings, Paras and Marines – is well-known and documented.  But almost nothing is known of the young commando helicopter pilots and aircrewmen who made it all happen on land and sea.  This is their ‘Boys Own’ story, told for the very first time. 

Harry Benson has interviewed forty of his former colleagues for the book creating a tale of skill, initiative, resourcefulness, humour, luck and adventure.  This is a fast-paced, meticulously researched and compelling account written by someone who was there, in the cockpit of a Wessex helicopter. 


Aged 21, Harry was one of the youngest helicopter pilots to serve in the Falklands war.  Following two tours as a Royal Navy pilot, Harry moved to Asia in 1988 with his wife Kate to work in finance.  He returned to the UK in 1997, gained a first class degree in Psychology from Bristol University and started what has become Britain’s most successful local relationships project. 

Harry and a selection of his fellow ex-pilots are available for interview.

For further information, please contact Amelia Harvell on 020 7840 8623 or