C Troop 33 Para Field Reg - On The Radfan 1957 logo
David Bushel

Major David Bushel joined the army in 1951 as a boy soldier, age 14 years and 6 months.  He joined the Royal Artillery and on passing out joined the 16th Independent Parachute Brigade as gunner in the 33rd Field Artillery, 97 Battery.  At 18 he was offered a place at Officers' School, which for very good reasons he rejected.  He served in most of Britain's small wars from 1955 to the 1970s.  After a while he was offered, and accepted, a place in an Officers' School and passed out as a 2nd lieutenant,  but he soon rose to the rank of Major, commanding some of the first atomic rockets in Germany under British control.  After being out of the country for 12 years, Dave resigned his commission for a bit of family life

The Yemenis started cross border shelling in 1957 and there was no artillery in Aden. We drew 75 mm pack howitzers from reserve stocks and were flown to Aden as a four gun troop. As there was no back up available we took with us two spare guns. Immediately on arrival we re-organised and split into three two gun sections and moved to different parts of the Radfan.

I went to Dahhla. there no maps, so we used blown up air photo,s with a grid superimposed. there were no roads so all movements was along Wadis our guns were stripped down and moved by camel. We were resupplied by airdrops throughout the campaign as there were no helicopters.

Our Infantry were local troops- Aden protectorate Levies. They had no support weapons what so ever. Our base camp was fired on every night from the surrounding hills. All the locals carried weapons and shooting at us appeared to be the main sport.

For some operations we were joined by a section  of machine guns and two armoured cars. these were mainly for defence as we moved through the mountains. Movement was a great and we often had to move back to desert then into a different valleyto get to the next area of operations. It was impossible to dig in, and we built sangers out of the volcanic rock for protection. It was very hot every day but at night the temperatures dropped dramatically . We only saw about ten minutes of rain during out stay.

As the Senior NCO it was a good command with plenty of action in a very hostile environment we had no supplies other than food and ammunition, and return home in the same clothes that we went out in, we also had no pay, but the money useless out there, as there was no were to spend it, therefore we were very well of on our return home.

Loading at Aden on to Blackburn Beverly
Loading at Aden on
to Blackburn Beverly

Unloading at Dalla Airstrip
Unloading at 
Dalla Airstrip

Guns being calibrated on Aden Flats
Guns being calibrated 
on Aden Flats

Action at Mahaw Waddi 1957
Action at Mahaw 
Waddi 1957

Action at Mahaw Waddi 1957
Action at Mahaw 
Waddi 1957

Lower Dhala Pass
Lower Dhala Pass

On the Dhala Pass
On the Dhala Pass

View from Dhala Camp
View from
Dhala Camp

Fort Thutmion Aden
Fort Thutmion Aden

Manaina Waddi
Manaina Waddi

Engagement of some Yemen mortors
Engagement of some
Yemen mortors

Dhala camp from Gobel Gehaf
Dhala camp from
Gobel Gehaf

End of the runway at Dhala Airstrip
End of the runway
at Dhala Airstrip

View from Dhala
View from Dhala

Re Supply drop at Dhala
Re Supply drop at Dhala

Loading the forward trail assembly. Dave centre right
Loading the forward trail assembly. Dave centre right

Moving forward by Camel
Moving forward
by Camel

Near Sana Fort
Near Sana Fort

Dhala Convoy
Dhala Convoy

Guns in action near Ahiz
Guns in action
near Ahiz

Action near Sanna
Action near Sanna

Loading 75mm Pack Howitzer on to camels
Loading 75mm Pack
Howitzer on to camels

Engaging the Tribesmen from Dhala
Engaging the Tribesmen
from Dhala

Dhala airstrip
Dhala airstrip

Samna Fort British & Government soldiers
Samna Fort British &
Government soldiers

Beihan
Beihan

The Suleh or local shopping mall
The Suleh or local
shopping mall

Vickers machine gun being set up to fire on fixed lines for the night
Vickers machine gun
being set up to fire on
fixed lines for the night

Behihan Village
Behihan Village

Somea
Somea

BANG!
BANG!

Manawa Gun Postion
Manawa Gun Postion

Armoured Cars and main gun at Sayar
Armoured Cars and
main gun at Sayar

3inch mortar being readied of action
3inch mortar being
readied of action

106 mm Recoilless Rifle
106 mm Recoilless
Rifle

On the track
On the track

On the track
On the track

On the track
On the track

On the track
On the track

Aden Salt Flats
Aden Salt Flats

Setting up camp for the evening. Note the MMGs set out
Setting up camp for the evening. Note the MMGs set out

Old hill fort
Old hill fort

 

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