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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 19:02 GMT 20:02 UK
UK helicopter crash victim named
Colour Sergeant Mark Powell
Colour Sergeant Powell was described as an "exemplary soldier"
One of the servicemen who died when two helicopters crashed in Iraq on Sunday has been named as Colour Sergeant Mark Powell of the Parachute Regiment.

The family of the other man who died in the crash, an RAF airman, has asked for more time before his name is released.

The Ministry of Defence said Colour Sergeant Powell, 37, originally from south Wales, was "an exemplary soldier, father, husband, friend and Briton".

He lived in Hereford with his architect wife and their six-month-old baby.

Colour Sergeant Powell, a keen surfer, joined the Parachute Regiment in 1990.

He was utterly selfless, never shirking danger, effort or hard service in the pursuit of his mission
Ministry of Defence

His friends in Porthcawl, where he grew up, described him as "an awesome, unassuming, lovely bloke".

Simon Tucker, who runs the local surf academy, added that his death had come as "a shock to everyone".

In a statement the Ministry of Defence said: "Colour Sergeant Mark Powell was an exemplary combat leader, soldier, father, husband, friend and Briton; dedicated to his family, his men, his mission and his country.

"In the finest traditions of the Army and his regiment - he was utterly selfless, never shirking danger, effort or hard service in the pursuit of his mission.

"His loss is tragic, and keenly felt by all but his example to others will be sure to endure and inspire us all for years to come. Our thoughts now are with his family and his comrades."

Both of the Puma helicopters involved in the crash were from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.

Defence Secretary Des Browne said on Sunday that reports suggested the crash, north of Baghdad, was an accident.

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