Discussion in 'Military History' started by QC, Jun 7, 2012.
The account of Sparrow Force on Timor. The second vid is the original version.
Very interesting coverage. I wonder if any of these soldiers took part in the formation and training of SAS soldiers later?
Thanks for posting that QC.
Interesting question indeed.
The book by the same name as the thread title doesn't mention anyone staying in the Army and/or being part of the SAS company, SASR or cadre. Phantoms of the Jungle goes into the experience of the initial crew of Officers and NCOs in 1957, with most having an Infantry background from Korea and a few with WW2 experience. They mention doing some cross training with 1 Commando Company, but I'm not sure what experience that unit still had in its ranks 12 years after the war. I've seen them mention that they track their lineage to Z special force on a few occasions, but not to the Independent Companies as much.
2/2 was pretty much the start of it all here for Australian SF. The Z Unit was raised on the strength of the success of the Timor guys, or their tenacity, more likely. And up to a point Z Unit infils and the rest were effective, but they lost quite a few killed or captured. The Commando Companies here were started so those guerrilla warfare skills wouldn't be forgotten. I'm a bit hazy on the SASR connection except that the commando companies predate the formation of SASR here. The other book of interest is the Coastwatchers who were doing their thing on Bougainville and other islands in providing INT at the same time. One coastwatcher even had the distinction of saving a young guy named Jack Kennedy. BTW, Anyone pick up a .303 with the telescopic sights in the doco?
Yes, a couple of times. I thought that was quite interesting. Not often you see a MKIII with a scope on it.
Another good one for the coast watchers is Fear Drive My Feet by Peter Ryan MM, phenomenal story of a 19 year old Warrant Officer sent off into the bush with the barest of essentials with a 3 or 4 man native contingent to locate and report on Japanese activities.
Probably the best diary account of the Independent Companies is Peter Pinney's three books, The Barbarians (UQP 1988), The Glass Cannon (UQP 1990) and The Devil’s Garden (UQP 1992) which was combined in Signaller Johnston’s Secret War (UQP 1998).
I just did some reading on this book/s. It's a fictionalized account based on true events.
Hell of a life.
Aren't these the guys that did the long distance open-ocean kayaking in collapsible kayaks from subs? Hell of a workout.
Yep, Operation Jaywick, they had a 50km paddle from the MV Krait to an Island LUP, then into Singapore Harbour, back to the LUP then a few days later 50km back to the Krait. 8 or 9 days all up. They tried it on again a year later in October 44, Operation Rimau, it turned to shit and 10 of the boys were killed or captured, with the captured being beheaded just before the end of the war.
More info & images for Jaywick
I always wondered where Z Special Unit trained. I was on a holiday in Queensland, Fraser Island to be exact. I walk in to the lobby of the resort and there's a small display saying they trained there during the war.
The Rimau & Jaywick guys trained separately in Refuge Bay, Pittwater just north of Sydney.