It is with deep regret that the MOD must confirm the death of Flight Lieutenant Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore, who was killed following the crash of a Nimrod MR2 aircraft in Afghanistan on Saturday 2 September 2006.
Flt Lt Leigh Mitchelmore, Weapon System Officer (Navigator)
Flt Lt Leigh Mitchelmore, 28 and from Bournemouth, was a young and highly enthusiastic Nimrod Weapon System Operator with a very bright future. He had a natural ability and personality that perfectly suited him to the Nimrod role.
His tall and striking presence, mixed with his affable manner, ensured he was well received wherever he was. This was particularly of value during his deployment to New Zealand as a junior navigator on the crew who were successful in the 2005 Fincastle international maritime patrol competition.
An exceptional golfer and devoted family man, he will be sorely missed by his young family.
Shortly after the incident RAF Kinloss Station Commander Group Captain Chris Birks said:
I am very deeply saddened about the deaths of twelve air crew from Royal Air Force Kinloss in a Nimrod accident over Afghanistan. All twelve were from Number 120 Squadron based here at Kinloss. All were long serving and experienced air crew and were known to me personally.
As well as first class personnel these were colleagues and friends of myself and my other personnel. The station is in mourning. The main priority now is to provide support for the families of those lost, their friends and colleagues. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Officer Commanding 120 Squadron, based at RAF Kinloss, Wing Commander Martin Cannard, added:
120 Squadron has suffered a profound loss. We have lost good friends and colleagues, many known personally to us over many years. I have been humbled by the commitment and determination of all of my people to do all that they can for those that have lost loved ones and friends and this will be our sole focus in the coming days.