Play / pause Op Paraquet: the recce

Op Paraquet: the recce

  • Sir Andy Pulford
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnet


So the plan

They wanted an assessment of what

So they could

And that was what Maggie wanted.

She wanted an early liberation.

Of course, the cause of the trouble

So we knew there were scrap

We knew that there was some military,

And they wanted to know

what the full size was.

So the SAS bless'em,

they said that they wanted to go 2000

and they were going to walk about five

And then they were going to observe

They wanted to go in the dark

and they wanted this to go together.

So we thought about this and we said, No

and we have no way

So we said we weren't going to go in

in the dark,

And off we went.

Wessex 3 Ian Stanley in the front Mike

And we got

And and Ian went in.

He landed.

Mike Tidd over shot.

He went round and I landed second.

And then Mike was behind me

blowing an absolute hooley.

These roughy-toughy SAS and their white

and they were just down by the aircraft

we're going

And then it cleared again,

and we got back

to mother, weather still still really bad.

I mean, the winds up

And we immediately went on to search

these guys are not going to survive

If not today, certainly by tomorrow.

And sure enough, they managed to walk

They had big fissures in the in the snow.

And they were in in huge wind strength

Following morning effectively a mayday.

If we're not off by lunchtime,

Funny old thing.

And at that stage Mike Tidd and Andy

and Ian Georgeson went single pilot.

We've been single part of the day before.

They they crewed in with the two crewmen

and myself

And the story then I clearly wasn't

I wasn't flying but this they they

And two attempts

landed on and embarked the the troopers.

And then, of course, Mike Tidd took off.

Exactly as he'd done the day before

He took off.

And as soon as he took off, it fogged.

No visibility on the ground whatsoever.

Just complete white.

And he flared the aircraft

and it tipped over on its left side.

By this stage, the other aircraft

weather cleared again.

They could see he'd crashed.

So I'm on now

I say, okay, you know,

Everybody's okay.

We got the message.

Everybody is okay,

and we're going to split the load

So what they did

not know that none of the troopers

One had got a gash under his own.

I think he'd made it with his rifle

But the crewmen were fine.

Pilots. The pilot was fine.

Crew man was fine.

Troopers were fine. Split the load,

and Ian and Stanley and Ian Georgeson

Experienced briefed,

They got airborne.

And when they came in again

back into fog and

and was able

And then he remembers the Wessex

And as he started to lower the lever,

And guess what?


smash itself to pieces.

Same situation shuts the engine down.

And again, everybody's fine.

One trooper damaged his other

his rifle, and Ian Stanley sort of saw

I could see that everybody was okay.

He came back

and you know the end of the story is

that Wessex 3 then went back again

and got the remaining people

  • The Wessex at RAF Museum Midlands

    © RAF Museum

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