Corporal D Jim Vale with the Special Recce Squadron, RAC and joined with Cyclops, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment to form the Parachute Squadron RAC and served with the Squadron from 1964 until 1966. Jim took part in overseas deployments with the Squadron to Aden, based in Bahrain.
In addition to ordinary duties in Bahrain, he recalls:
'The first tour of Aden in 1965 was by members of 1st Troop, Para Sqn RAC stationed in Bahrain with the 1st Battalion the Parachute Regiment Group (rather than the Radfan as mentioned in the Squadron history – that came later).
When C Company, 1 PARA were deployed to Aden town toward the end of 1965 I was a member of a group from First Troop RAC Para Squadron deployed to Aden with members of the ‘Drums’ of the 1st Battalion (1 PARA) to form a ‘Composite Platoon’ which became part of C Company.
We were awarded the GSM and Clasp for 'South Arabia' for this tour of Aden, under Troop Leader, Cpt Donald Chappel, our OC for this deployment of 1st Troop.'
Later, the troop was also involved in the OMEX patrol of the Jebel Akhdar in Northern Oman, the troop spent a very hot summer under canvas in Wadi Siji in the Trucial Oman States. Jim remembers: 'a handful of us were aboard the minesweeper HMS Chilcompton for about a month during 1965, hunting for gun runners in the Persian Gulf'.
Jim and another 1st Troop member accompanied the 1st Battalion Climbing Club to Kenya and climbed both Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro. Later, on return from Malkara firing in Sharja and onboard an Army LST, the boat was almost capsized by a Arab Dow that was sinking in the Gulf: '[We] managed to save many passengers - sadly a naval officer was drowned in the rescue.'
He also recalls having to 'hitchhike' back to the UK at the end of out tour of duty in, flying to Kuwait before hitching various lifts before eventually returning to Tidworth.