Temple Cliffs, Aden

The full title of this painting is "Temple Cliffs, Aden, Yemen, 20 June 1967" and it was painted by Terence Tenison Cuneo and it relates an incident that led to the crashing of a Westland Sioux helicopter. The crash detals were recorded:

At 12:50 on 20 June 1967, a Sioux helicopter was shot down as it was positioning an Observation Post (OP) on Temple Cliffs.

A helicopter attempting to land Fusiliers at an Observation Point on Temple Cliffs above Crater crashed whilst coming under heavy fire from Armed Police. The pilot, Sgt Martin Forde of the Queens Dragoon Guards, sustained gunshot wounds to his right knee, and was unable to control the rotor.

As he attempted to land, the rotor blades struck the sides of a ravine.

Forde managed to keep the aircraft upright as it descended, and dreading an ensuing fire when the helicopter struck down, frantically flicked off all switches and transmitted a "May Day" which was acknowledged.

Lance Corporal Keightley was being carried in a litter at the side of the helicopter, Fusilier Duffywas seated next to Forde in the aircraft. In the resulting crash, Keightley lost a leg, the other having to be amputated later.

Under fire, Duffy rescued Keightley and Forde, who was still strapped into his seat, he recovered a Self Loading Rifle (SLR) and an A41 man pack radio from the helicopter before it was completely destroyed. He tended the wounded and called for further assistance.

About 45 minutes later a Wessex helicopter arrived on scene and deployed Royal Marine Commandos to sort out the enemy snipers and extract the three survivors.

Duffy was later awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Aden | Aden Artwork


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by Stephen Luscombe