Top pilot mentioned in despatches and awarded DFC

Search-and- rescue pioneer Captain Roi ‘Tug’ Wilson has died aged 87. Wilson helped the Navy become expert in the use of helicopters for SAR operations, ditching an early type of service craft, the Dragonfly, in the Solent in 1953 when its engine failed.

He was not put off and went on to make nine SAR lifts in the icy waters of the Denmark Strait just two years later. He was awarded a DFC during the Malaysian conflict and mentioned in despatches after 54 sorties in the Korean War.

His last appointment was as Captain of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.