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Soldier killed in Afghanistan survived 'friendly fire'

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 28 March 2010

A British soldier killed by a grenade on Friday in Afghanistan was a survivor of the controversial US "friendly fire" attack in Iraq in 2003, it has emerged. Andrew Thomas reports.

Woodgate still - from package

Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate, described by his colleagues as an "outstanding soldier" was killed in Sangin, Helmand Province.

The patrol was due to be the last of his current tour in Afghanistan.

It emerged today that he survived the 2003 incident which killed his colleague, Matty Hull, when US pilots opened fire on their armoured vehicle.

The incident caused outrage when the Sun newspaper showed a video of the horrified reactions of the US pilots as they realised their error.

The video, which showed the pilots saying "We're in jail, dude", and weeping when they saw what had happened, was later shown at the 2007 inquest into Lance Corporal Hull's death, where Lance Corporal Woodgate also gave evidence.  

The inquest ruled that Lance Corporal Hull's death was unlawful.

"One of our finest soldiers"

Lance Corporal Woodgate leaves behind his parents and three sisters who said in a statement: "The family are immensely proud to have had a son, brother and friend who was so brave and dedicated to his career.

"We feel so very, very lucky to have had Jo in our lives. He was more than just a professional soldier - he was a friendly young man with immense charisma, humour and artistic flair whose laid-back manner belied a great strength of character. Jo was self-disciplined, focused and carried out his duty to the very best of his abilities."

He was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and joined the Army Foundation College in 2001. When he completed his training he moved to Windsor and joined D Squadron, Household Cavalry Regiment.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Fullerton, said: "Lance Corporal of Horse Jo Woodgate was one of our finest soldiers.

"Known affectionately by his friends and comrades as Woody, he was hugely popular, tremendously capable and a truly consummate, professional warrior."

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