Lieutenant James Williams of the Royal Navy was killed when two Mk 7 Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASAC) helicopters collided over international waters in the Gulf. The helicopters were from 849 Squadron A Flight, which is based at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, in Cornwall. The crash was not the result of enemy action and tragically there were no survivors.
James was the much-loved son of Vernon and Liz. He grew up in Winchester with his older sister Caroline. In 1994 he went to Liverpool University where he met his fiancée Sarah. James joined the Royal Navy in January 1999 and trained as a Sea King Observer. He was awarded his wings in July 2002. He joined 849 A Flight in January this year.
James was a very popular character in the Squadron, he and Sarah have many good friends, who are now providing tremendous support at this difficult time. They chose to settle in Falmouth where Sarah intends to practice as a dentist. The deployment to the Gulf was his first operational tour of duty. He was 28.
From an early age James had been fascinated by aircraft, he joined the Royal Navy in fulfilment of an ambition to fly and to serve his country. His parents recall how proud he was to wear his uniform and said that he died doing the job he loved most.