Kanimbla Black Hawk trooper farewelled

Trooper Joshua Porter, who died when his Black Hawk helicopter crashed into the sea off Fiji late last year, has finally been farewelled in a Catholic funeral at Toukley on NSW's Central Coast.

Porter and Captain Mark Bingley were killed on 29 November last year when the Black Hawk helicopter in which he was flying plunged to the bottom of the Pacific during a mission involving Australian naval vessel, the HMAS Kanimbla, the Ninemsn reports.

The men's helicopter had clipped the HMAS Kanimbla while attempting to land.

Trooper Porter's wife and family were joined by his SAS comrades and senior military personnel at his funeral at St Mary's Church.

Members of the Perth-based Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) formed an honour guard as his coffin left the church.

The honour guard also fired three volleys, while a bugler played the last post.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Peter Leahy and the Commander Special Forces, Major General Mike Hindmarsh, joined the mourners and the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Bruce Billson, represented the government.

Trooper Porter's family had requested the service be kept strictly private and no media was granted access.

Details of the service were provided by the defence department.

Nine of the 10 people aboard the Black Hawk were rescued before it sank but Capt Bingley later died of his injuries.

Trooper Porter remained trapped in the wreckage and his body was finally recovered from a depth of nearly three kilometres earlier this month during a salvage operation.

HMAS Kanimbla was part of an Australian task group on standby to evacuate Australian nationals from Fiji amid rising tensions before the military coup.

Kanimbla chopper victim finally laid to rest (The Australian, 23/3/07)
Mourners remember SAS trooper Porter (Ninemsn, 22/3/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
HMAS Kanimbla (Wikipedia)
St Mary's Community, Toukley

23 Mar 2007

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