Ben Cartwright

Ben joined the Army in 1963 and trained as an Avionics technician, with the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers. He served in many aviation units, around the world: UK, including Northern Ireland, Germany, Aden, Persian Gulf, Cyprus, Sudan, Canada and Falkland Islands. Ben worked on all the types currently represented by the Flight, as well as the later Gazelle and Lynx helicopters.

In 1972 Ben was part of the crew of two pilots and two technicians for a Beaver aircraft supporting the “Darien Gap Expedition”, to move two Range-Rover vehicles through 250 miles of the jungles of Panama where no roads existed. Their role was to re-supply the expedition by dropping parachute loads, which ranged from food and water to drums of fuel. There were a few airstrips, which could be used; especially important for casualty evacuation. The journey took four months.

This was followed in 1974, by the “Zaire River Expedition”, where another Beaver aircraft supported groups moving by boat, along the almost 3,000 mile length of the Congo River.

After leaving the Army in 1985, Ben turned to the field of Aircraft Restoration, specialising in the electrical rewiring of vintage military aircraft, ranging from Pre-war biplanes, through World War II fighters and early jet fighters, to the last-flying Vulcan, XH 558.

Now retired, Ben is also a volunteer at our own Museum of Army Flying.