CLIFFORD, Richard

Rank: 
Captain (Local Major)
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Marines
Service: 
Royal Navy
Born: 
Sunday, May 19, 1946
Died : 
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Captain Richard Cormac Clifford
Lieutenant Richard Clifford received the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct.
Citation
"On the morning of 18th May 1972, a team of Service personnel was sent to deal with a bomb threat in the Queen Elizabeth II which at that time was in mid-Atlantic on her way to Europe.
To get the team on board the ship a parachute drop into the sea was necessary. The two Royal Marines members of the team were responsible for ensuring that the two Army bomb disposal experts together with their equipment arrived on board the ship; thereafter they were to assist them in locating and dealing with any bombs that might have been aboard.
During the flight it was discovered that Captain Williams had little parachuting experience and none of parachuting into the sea. On arrival over the ship weather conditions were found to be adverse and it was necessary for the aircraft to carry out several trial runs before the jumps could be made. The team faced three problems: the presence of an 'inexperienced' parachutist, adverse weather conditions requiring a drop from minimum height through cloud, and the carriage of unusually heavy and bulky loads.
There is no doubt that under ordinary conditions the mission would have been abandoned but in view of its urgency and importance it was decided to proceed with the operation despite the risks to those involved. On the fourth run over the ship Staff Sergeant Oliver and Corporal Jones dropped with the heavy equipment and on the seventh run the two officers dropped.
Lieutenant Clifford supervised Captain Williams' parachute drill and when they arrived in the sea he supported him until they were picked up. Once on board, the team immediately started their search of the ship and the suspect cargo.
The courage and determination of all four members of the team in the face of unusual and hazardous conditions resulted in the successful execution of this operation." [1].
 
  • 31 December 1986 (Captain) (Local Major) appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) [2].
Sources
[1] London Gazette Supp.  45775, page 10835.
[2] London Gazette Supp. 50764, page 5.
[Image] Obituary in the Daily Telegraph 29 November 2015.

 


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