[ Sgt Michael Willetts & Sgt Walter Beard ]

Aden & Radfan - South Arabia 1957-1967

[ Cap Badge ]

[ 2 Para ]

[ 2 Para ]

[ 3 Para ]

[ 4 Para ]

Roll of Honour:


The Parachute Regiment

131 Parachute Engineer Squadron 


The South Arabian Army (SAA) had come into existence with the combining of the Federal Army and the Federal Guard. The SAA numbered about 15,000 troops with it's own artillery, armour and engineers. It had been commanded by British officers up until 1967 when, because of the imminent British withdrawal, Arab officers replaced the British officers. Within the ranks of the SAA there were large elements of FLOSY and NLF supporters. During 1967 the British Government was not entirely sure where the SAA loyalties lay. In June of 1967 Nasser's Egyptian Army took a terrible beating from the Israeli Army during the Six Day War. This Arab defeat strained relations between the Arabs and the British in Aden because the Arabs thought that Britain, along with the United States, had aided Israel. The United States certainly had aided Israel.

The Aden Mutiny began on the night of the 19th of June 1967. Men of The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers were enjoying the film "The Battle of the Bulge" at the cinema when shots were heard. the Fusiliers immediately returned to their barracks at Waterloo Lines and deployed to guard the married quarters. Next morning Arab soldiers based at Lake Lines mutinied and burnt down their barracks. This mutiny had started because three Arab colonels had been suspended and also because of tribal rivalries with in the SAA. A three-ton truck containing men of 60 Sqn, was returning to Normandy Lines. These troops had just completed weapons training on the local ranges. As the lorry passed the SAA camp they came under heavy machine gun fire from the SAA troops. Eight of the Royal Corps of Transport were killed in this unprovoked attack. The SAA now directed their fire into Radfan Camp killing a British officer, 2nd Lieutenant Young of the 1st Battalion Lancashire Regiment. Also two policemen and a public works employee were killed. C Company the 1st Battalion King's Own Royal Border Regiment under the command of Major David Miller was ordered to put down the mutiny using minimum force. C Company set off for Champion Lines accompanied by a troop of the Queens Dragoon Guards in support. As the first British truck entered Champion Lines it came under machine gun fire. One British soldier was killed and 8 wounded. The British NCOs ordered their troops to keep their cool. Even though they could see the bodies of British soldiers lying on the ground, they remained calm. Major Miller sent 10 Platoon to release the officers still hiding in the guardroom.

Davis's had been unable to inform Major Moncur that he was under fire, because his radio operator had left the Pig with him and most likely killed shortly after the firing started. Moncur was concerned about Davis's patrol, as he had not heard from them since they entered Crater. On hearing the shots and fearing that Davis was in trouble, Moncur and his escort, Sgt. Maj. Pete Hore, Fusilier Hoult and Fusilier John Story and two others, jumped into the Majors Land Rover and headed in to Crater up the Queen Arwa road. Major Bryan Malcolm, OC "D" Company of the Argylls, along with Pte. Moores and Hunter followed close behind in another Land Rover. The two Land Rovers drove up the Queen Arwa road not realizing they were driving into a treacherous ambush. As the two Land Rovers drove past the Arab Police Barracks, the trap was sprung. Without warning the police opened fire with a well planed murderous cross fire. The Land Rovers pulled up and those men who had not already been hit leapt out to fire back. But there was no cover for them and the massacre was soon over. Only one British soldier managed to survive. Fusilier John Storey managed to race across the road to the cover of the flats opposite the Police Barracks without being hit. As he looked back he saw that all the others had been killed apart from one soldier, who was still firing at the Police. Fusilier Storey watched with horror, as the last soldier was machine-gunned down. Later, Storey was unable to identify this man.

By the end of the day 22 British soldiers lay dead and Crater was in the hands of an estimated 500-armed Arab terrorists and the Arab Police.

The Parachute Regiment


Pte J. Deere ...
Capt E B. Jewkes ...
Pte M F. Davis ...
Pte P R A. Sheppard ...
Pte H R. Alexander ...
Pte R. Gray ...
Pte C. Carver ...
Pte J. McIntosh ...
Pte B. Quinn ...

1st February 1963
5th May 1964
5th May 1964
14th September 1964
20th May 1965
22nd August 1965
1st June 1967
18th June 1967
30th May 1967

131 Parachute Engineer Squadron


About 0015 hrs on Monday 12 April 1965 dissidents using machine guns firing on fixed lines, together with rifles and hand held rocket launchers, attacked the tented camp at Al-Milah, which is situated about 50 miles from Aden in the Radfan Mountains. The enemy were firing from a nearby ridge. The incoming fire was considerable and prolonged and concentrated on the Officers' and Sergeants' lines. During a lengthy exchange of fire by 300 and 24 Squadrons the enemy were driven off.

[ WO2 John F Lonergan ]

WO2 John F Lonergan 12th April 1965


Airborne Engineers Association Scotland


[ 131 Parachute Engineer Squadron  ]