Remembered by: Courtesy of The Daily Telegraph
Date added: 1 Nov 2010
Flight Sergeant Gary Andrews died on 2 September, 2006, aged 48, he was a Weapon Systems Operator serving in Afghanistan with Royal Air Force Kinloss.
Flt Sgt Andrews was just five days away from celebrating 30th year of service in the RAF. In that time he achieved over 8,600 flying hours, making him one of the most experienced aviators on the maritime team.
The married father-of-two was a dedicated family man and praised for his kind and caring nature. He was a constant source of support to his colleagues, who benefited from his wealth of knowledge and experience.
The Ministry of Defence said that Flt Sgt Andrews' "impressive contribution to the Station will be impossible to replace".
Originally from Tankerton in Kent, Gary Wayne Andrews had wanted to join the RAF since he was very young. His father, Peter, served in the RAF and the Royal Engineers for 22 years.
Flt Sgt Andrews was a member of 120 Squadron at RAF Kinloss, based in Moray, Scotland, and had lived in Fochabers for more than 20 years.
He served in Germany, Gibraltar, Iraq and Jordan before deploying to Afghanistan in 2006.
On 2 September, 2006, he was taking part in a major offensive against the Taliban near Kandahar when the Nimrod MR2 aircraft he was flying in crashed, killing Flt Sgt Andrews and 11 other RAF Kinloss personnel.
A soldier, Lance Corporal Oliver Simon Dicketts, and Royal Marine Joseph David Windall, were also killed in the crash.
The 37-year-old Nimrod aircraft had just completed a routine air-to-air refuelling and the crew reported a fire on board shortly before the crash.
Flt Sgt Andrews leaves behind his wife Kristina and two daughters Sophia, 12, and Lauren, 4.
His parents Peter and Joyce Andrews said of their son: "He was a family man and he had a great relationship with his children. He was very much into computers and electrics and had just bought a new motorbike. He could also be very funny and he could talk the hind legs off a donkey."
At his funeral, Reverend Alison Mehigan said: "Gary was highly skilled at his job, his eye for detail and his dedication to doing everything just right was always of benefit to his fellow crewmates and his squadron as a whole."
Station Commander Group Captain Chris Birks expressed his sadness at the tragedy: "I am very deeply saddened about the deaths of 12 air crew from Royal Air Force Kinloss in a Nimrod accident over Afghanistan. All 12 were from Number 120 Squadron based here at Kinloss. All were long serving and experienced air crew. As well as first class personnel these were colleagues and friends of myself and my other personnel. The station is in mourning."
Wing Commander Martin Cannard, Officer Commanding 120 Squadron, said: "120 Squadron has suffered a profound loss. We have lost good friends and colleagues, many known personally to us over many years. I have been humbled by the commitment and determination of all of my people to do all that they can for those hat have lost loved ones and friends and this will be our sole focus in the coming days."