[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he history of the Dutch Royal Naval air force MLD is well kept and recorded by the Traditiekamer (lit. ‘Tradition Room’) of the MLD (Marineluchtvaartdienst) at De Kooy naval airbase. The Stichting Vrienden van de Traditiekamer (Foundation friends of the Tradition Room) has recently released a very nice book on the operational use of the helicopters as used by the MLD.

60 jaar helicopters bij de Koninklijke Marine

60 jaar helicopters bij de Koninklijke Marine

Helicopter history started in 1947 with operational testing of the Sikorsky S.51, that was later acquired and given the name ‘Jezebel’. It was soon succeeded by three Sikorsky S.55’s that were mainly used for SAR work. Over the years until now we have seen various other types entering service: Sikorsky S.58, Agusta-Bell 204B, Westland Wasp and Westland Lynx. Latest acquisition is the Eurocopter NH-90.

The author Willem Geneste, a retired Navy Lieutenant, has given in this book definitely not an in-dept historical overview of the helicopters used, but in a series of short stories of individual helicopter pilots and crews a very personal impression is given on this subject.
The book contains more than 90 photographs, many in colour and many never published before. The personal stories told in this book make it very easy to read and some of these read like short novels! The book is quite recent; also the failed recent rescue attempt by an MLD Lynx helicopter in Libya is recorded.

As conclusion I can only say it is a very nice book on an interesting subject, although it is written in the Dutch language without any English summary.

Book details:
Title: 60 jaar helicopters bij de Koninklijke Marine
Author: Willem Geneste
Publisher: Stichting Vrienden van de Traditiekamer Marineluchtvaartdienst
Book details: soft-cover, 17 x 24 cm, 154 pages on glossy paper
ISBN number: not given
Price: EURO 15.00 plus EURO 3.20 P&P within the Netherlands or EURO 9.50 within Europe
Website: www.traditiekamerMLD.nl

Nico Braas

With special thanks to mr. Prudent Staal for providing a free review copy