Peter McFerran was one of three members of B Flight, No1 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment who were tasked on Thursday, 19 July 2007 with protecting aircraft operating from Basrah Airport. Their job was to ensure that the ground over which the aircraft fly was clear from the threat of militia who try to target the aircraft whilst they are at their most vulnerable, during take-off and landing.
During the early afternoon there were no aircraft movements and Peter, together with Christopher Dunsmore and Matthew Caulwell, was resting, prior to going out to patrol again. The COB came under rocket attack and tragically all three were killed instantly by the attack.
Officer Commanding No 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, Squadron Leader Jason Sutton, said:
"The Squadron has been a close knit family throughout its 85-year history, and our ethos of mutual trust and dependence is never more important than when we are engaged on challenging operations such as now in Iraq. The loss of Senior Aircraftsman Caulwell, Senior Aircraftsman Dunsmore and Senior Aircraftsman McFerran has been felt very deeply by all the on the Squadron and by other members of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing.
"SAC Peter McFerran was 24, from Connahs Quay in Flintshire and the Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) operator for his unit, a position requiring great skill for which he had been carefully selected. He demonstrated during training a genuine and natural aptitude for the role and brought to it the professionalism and ingenuity that characterized all he did.
"He had followed his father into the RAF Regiment in 2004, a source of great pride to them both and he was every inch the epitome of a Regiment Gunner: robust, strong, dedicated and loyal. SAC Bell, who served in the same vehicle with Pete says simply 'he was a genuine friend that was capable of much more than he knew'.
"He was utterly dependable and as his Squadron Commander I knew I could rely on him not only for the consummate skill he brought to the job but also for his honest, incisive opinion. His job was his life, his hobby, everything, and in Pete we have lost one of our finest.