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YEMEN - UNYOM
The following brief history of RCAF involvement in the United Nations Yemen Obervation Mission (UNYOM) from 6/11/1963 - 9/4/1964 is from Canadian Department of National Defence Operations Database:
Canada was requested to provide UNYOM’s fifty-man air unit (with three DHC-3 Twin Otters, two DHC-4 Caribous, and three H19 Helicopters), but even before they had departed, Canada offered an additional Caribou and Otter then in service with its UNEF contingent. The UN, meanwhile, offered three Otters from ONUC, the UN operation in the Congo. RCAF technicians were flown there from Canada, disassembled the three machines, loaded them onto USAF C-130 Hercules aircraft, and then reassembled them in Aden.
The Canadian advance party of five persons for UNYOM arrived in Sanaa on 22 June, the new unit being designated No. 134 Air Transport Unit. The main party of 40 departed Trenton on 22 June by 437 Squadron Yukon to Pisa and Hercules to Sanaa on 25 June. The Caribous were to be used for transport, resupply and reconnaissance, while the Otters were used for reconnaissance on a daily basis out of Najran and Jizan.
In November, the Canadian contingent was reorganized. The Otter detachment at Jizan was withdrawn, its responsibilities being taken over by the Caribou. Then, on 15 December, 134 ATU became a detachment of 115 ATU (UNEF), and the establishment reduced to 28. The Otters were withdrawn from use entirely. Further changes occurred in late February when the UN agreed to allow the Caribou to based out of El Arish and make a weekly circuit. This continued until operations ceased on 4 September 1964.
For more details, please see a history UNYOM provided by the Canadian Forces Headquarters (CFHQ), Directorate of History, Report No. 13 titled "Canada and Peace-Keeping Operations Yemen - U.N.Y.O.M.".
If you have any additions to this page, please email Gord Jenkins (click here to email).
Following 134 ATU and UNYOM photographs courtesy of National Defence Image Library, Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre (click on photos below to see larger image):
DIARIES / MEMOIRS
Kenneth Gaydamack - Our initial flt from Aden to Sana was was piloted by Stu Olsen and Ron Day. W/C Olsen remained in Sanaa as Air Staff Officer and when visiting Najaaran or Gizan, would capitain the a/c. Other Cairbou pilots were S/L Umbach, F/L Al Smith (2i/c), F/O Hansen, and F/L-F/O? Bourasa. The only Otter pilot I recall that I flew with was F/l Craig. My role was Supply Officer and (primarily) Air Movements Officer. I worked closely with Olsen and took most of my marching orders from him as opposed to Umbach. It was Olsen who dropped me off at Gizan (where the Yugo's were) to meet with Prince Turki to seek his permission and obtain accomodation to operate an Otter from the 'deserted' (we were the only occupants) airfield. Al Smith may have been part of the advance party. The other officer was either a chopper pilot or engineering officer and he remained in Aden to get the chopper airworthy. When it was determined to forgo using the chopper this officer was repatted. Our inital briefing with A/C Lane and our journey to Yemen is another interesting story but I'll save that for another time...
George Mayer's photographs around UN HQ at Sana, Yemen:
George Mayer's photographs around the outpost at Najran, Saudi Arabia:
George Mayer photograph's around the outpost of Harad, Saudi Arabia:
George Mayer photograph's around Asmara, Ethiopia (now Eritrea):
George Mayer photograph's around Gizan (Jizan), Saudi Arabia (Note: Otters in blue colour scheme are on loan from UN Congo mission; Red markngs are RCAF aircraft):
Desert and ocean photographs by George Mayer:
Aircraft photographs courtesy of George Mayer:
Aircraft maintenance photographs courtesy of George Mayer:
Miscellaneous 134 ATU photographs courtesy of George Mayer:
Second group that went to 134 ATU ("Twilight Zone") Yemen (1963-64) courtesy of Terry McGuire:
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