ICONIC helicopters will be seen over the former naval air station on Portland as part of a ceremonial flypast to mark the end of an era.

A farewell tour of the ‘legendary’ Sea King Mk4s – known as the ‘Junglies’ – will take place throughout the South West this Monday.

It is to mark the decommissioning of the troop-carrying helicopter type, as well as Fleet Air Arm Sea Kings used for search and rescue which are being retired this year.

A squadron of Sea Kings which carried out search and rescue missions used to be based at RNAS Portland. The base, which closed in 1999, is now the Osprey Quay development site.

The Sea King Mk4s are described as the 'green giants' of the Fleet Air Arm.

Wherever Royal Marines go in the world, they have been accompanied by the venerable Sea Kings of the Commando Helicopter Force, based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.

They owe their nickname 'Junglies' to their forebears which were used in Borneo in the 1960s.

Five of the troop-carrying green helicopters, which have carried Royal Marines into action for more than 36 years, will stage a five-hour ‘goodbye flight’ around the locations most associated with them on home turf. The flight will come 10 days before they are decommissioned.

Fellow Fleet Air Arm Sea King units are also coming out of service this year – the search and rescuers of RNAS Culdrose and HMS Gannet (Prestwick).

Weather permitting, the aircraft will set off from their base at RNAS Yeovilton, home of the Commando Helicopter Force, at 8.30am on Monday and fly over a number of sites in Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Bristol before heading back to Yeovilton, landing at 2.25pm.

They are expected to pass over the former air station at Portland at 10.15am on Monday.

Mike Goodman, former commander of the air station at Portland who retired in 1995, said the flypast would be a fitting tribute.

He said: "The aircraft have done incredible service over many years and as well as the Junglies variant and SAR it was the backbone of the anti-submarine effort for the Royal Navy, replacing the Wessex."

Mr Goodman added: "The Sea King has served the Navy exceedingly well in its different roles but they are being replaced by modern and much more capable aircraft."