45166884 Chinook RAF 09092020 Defence Imagery

Chinook At 40: Memories Of The Mighty Wokka

45166884 Chinook RAF 09092020 Defence Imagery

The iconic Chinook helicopter is celebrating 40 years of service with the Royal Air Force and to mark the occasion, people have been sharing their memories of the 'mighty wokka' online. 

In service with the RAF since November 22, 1980, the Chinook has served everywhere from Bosnia and Iraq to Afghanistan and Nepal. The incredibly versatile helicopter, which can operate from land and sea, has been involved in every major conflict since the Falklands War in 1982.

Many people have taken to social media, using #Chinook40, to share their fond memories of the iconic aircraft. 

Whether it’s the distinct sound of tandem rotors chopping the air bringing back powerful memories or spying them overhead while working from home – the overall feeling is that, as a nation, we are very fond of the RAF Chinook helicopter.

The RAF video above, showcasing the long and varied history of the Chinook, prompted fans of the aircraft to respond with their memories of the mighty wokka.

Turn your volume up because it's time we dedicated some time to the much-loved unique sound of the Chinook as showcased in the BFBS Aldershot video below...

BFBS Radio listeners took to Facebook to recall their memories of Chinooks. A common theme among the comments is a fondness for the immediately recognisable sound. Listener Chris said:

"Hear them every day as I live close to RAF Odiham get reminded of my time in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Others see the helicopter in perhaps a different way to some with listener Steve describing them in a very unique way much to the amusement of others. Steve said:

"The green transit van with 2 angry palm trees on the roof."

Margaret is lucky enough to see Chinooks every day where she works, saying:

"They fly over my workplace every day. I keep hoping they’ll stop, and rescue me."

On the Forces News Facebook page, Mark vividly remembers how it felt to sit in a Chinook while it was in the air. He said:

"Sat on the open tailgate..flying low over the Falklands in '86...AWESOME EXPERIENCE."

RAF Odiham posted an interview BFBS Radio broadcaster Richard Wyeth did with the first Chinook pilot to bring the aircraft to RAF Odiham, Wing Commander (Retired) Dick Forsythe, which prompted Matt to remember this, saying:

"I remember them flying in/out of RNAY Fleetlands in the early 80s. Used to shake the school buildings as they came over.

"Frequently eliciting “Have you not seen a helicopter before?” from the teacher as we all stared out of the window 😀

"Love that wokka sound."

Catie managed to sneak a picture of a vodka luge shaped as a Chinook - ice-cold memories of a much loved and iconic aircraft.