British soldier thanks his helmet Mark 7 which saved his life which was removed by insurgent bullet
United Kingdom British Army News
Thursday, July 14, 2011, 06:23 PM
British soldier thanks his helmet Mark 7 which saved his life which was removed by insurgent's bullet.
A British soldier has had a miraculous escape after the strap of his helmet Mark 7 was shot off during his first patrol with his new unit in Helmand province.
Bombardier James Hallam's Mark 7 helmet without the strap, which was removed by an insurgent's bullet [Picture: Crown Copyright/British MOD 2011]
Bombardier James Hallam, from 148 Battery, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, has been in Afghanistan since April 2011 working with the Warthog Group and the Royal Marines of 42 Commando, but he recently joined the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF).
Bombardier Hallam was deployed on Operation POT KHANJER 20 to search compounds in a known insurgent area to the east of Lashkar Gah when his brush with a Taliban bullet occurred.
The soldiers, Royal Marines and engineers who make up the BRF inserted into the area by helicopter and then moved out on foot to carry out searches of buildings where it was believed explosives used in IEDs were being made.
Bombardier James Hallam with his Mark 7 helmet which was damaged after an insurgent's bullet hit the underside of the rim, severing the strap [Picture: Crown Copyright/British MOD 2011]
This was Bombardier Hallam's first operation with the BRF and no sooner had they landed on the ground, than the troops came under fire. During the exchange of gunfire, an insurgent bullet flew past the side of Bombardier Hallam's head:
"It was pretty punchy, I could hear the bullets whizzing past me and all I was focusing on was firing back," he said. "I knew that one had come pretty close to me because I heard the noise, felt the heat, and the force of it knocked me over. But it wasn't until later that I realised just how close it'd come."
Bombardier Hallam picked himself up and continued to return fire. A few minutes later, once under cover, one of the officers asked Bombardier Hallam what was wrong with his helmet.