PEGASUS JOURNAL JANUARY 1956
Two kills were reported on Monday, 21st November, by the Squadron, which is at present on operations and following up its success. From the details available so far it appears that voices were heard as a patrol from 13 Troop approached a small clearing. The enemy was carefully stalked and four men were seen, of whom one was killed and one seriously wounded.
Six packs, some documents of unknown importance and a shotgun were recovered. It was at one time hoped to evacuate the wounded bandit alive, but he died of his wounds. The Squadron is operating at present along the Sungi Bera in Pahang and all troops are searching the area for further traces. For over ten weeks the area has seemed barren, and although morale has never deteriorated, this first blood has come as a big boost and reward for patience and a fine climax before the end of the operation and the Christmas period. The good news, coupled with the savings of about thirteen weeks' pay, plus the spirit of Christmas, shows promise of great enjoyment for the festive season.
Having now been fully incorporated into the Regiment, we are now providing regimentally employed personnel. Several of the men are now driving and helping out in the communal work of 22 S.A.S. Tpr. Bland is one of the drivers. Since he recovered from his surprise when a concrete post jumped out into the road and hit his jeep his driving has visibly improved.
Capt. Chatterton has temporarily left the Squadron for a short spell as Adjutant, though he should be back with us early in 1956.
While the Squadron has been away on operations our contribution to Regimental Sports has become small though by no means negligible. Tpr. Catterall was able to continue with the Regimental team at water polo and he played for the Army. Lewington continues to give good service with the Regimental rugby team. In rugby, however, we are obviously going to have some very stiff opposition from the New Zealand Squadron, the first arrivals of which are now under the capable hands of the training staff in the Sungi Siput area of Pahang.
For ourselves we have yet had no new arrivals in the Squadron, although we are hoping to welcome Lieut. Nichols from the 2nd Battalion in the near future.
Our potential strength has been increased, however, by the birth of sons to Lieut.Watts, Cpl. "Buddy" Lannary and L./Cpl. Fred Weaver. Shortly after the arrival of a telegram announcing the birth of his first offspring, Lieut. Watts reported seeing numerous elephants and rhinoceroses on his patrols. We often wonder how large a part airdrop ration rum played in these observations, realising of course, that some celebration would obviously take place.
The members of the Squadron remain very fit and we have had only minor injuries. Unfortunately a 3-ton truck overturned whilst proceeding on the current operation, spilling Tprs. Troman, Geraghty and Elphinstone, who received injuries. All three have fully recovered and are now back wlth their respective Troops. Tpr. Rickaby, whilst directing the recovery of a parachute up a tree, stood and watched while the tree fell down on him, again no serious damage was done. All are fit and well, and we wish the rest of the Regiment a happy and prosperous New Year.
PEGASUS JOURNAL APRIL 1956
The Squadron has now been formed for over twelve months and as these notes go to print our tour will be half-way to its close. Much has happened in the last twelve months and nobody regrets having volunteered to come. Since the last notes we are no longer the only portion of the Regiment overseas, and we wish both the 1st and 3rd Battalions as interesting a time as we are having ourselves here in Malaya. Congratulations to R.S.M. Davies, of the 2nd Battalion, on his well-earned M.B.E.
Despite the fact that New Year falls for many people in Malaya on 12th February, Christmas came and went as usual in December. Never does the climate seem to have less effect than at Christmas dinner, and the large helpings of turkey, pork, baked potatoes and all the other trimmings that go towards a really good meal were eagerly devoured. Our morale was naturally terrifically high after a very successful operation in which 13 Troop opened our score.
The odd skirmish and fight naturally occurred, but the Squadron managed to hold its own and enjoyed an excellent impromptu jazz(?) session under the maestro "Lou" Lewington (guitar), Sgt. George Butler (tea-chest base), and several spoonslappers and mouth-organists from different squadrons throughout the Regiment. Fortunately the majority of squadrons were lucky to be in Base during the Christmas period and a good time was had by all.
In our retraining period before the current operation, which started on 19th January, all ranks who hadn't up to then made a parachute descent from a helicopter dld so. This is a very promising form of amusement and can be headed “Teach yourself to parachute the easy way”. Tpr. Bealer made an excellent exit with one leg wrapped up in the bag of the man in front (the dispatcher was heard to mumble something to the effect that he doubted if Bealer had ever attended a Basic Para. Course.). Sgt. Mitchell and Tpr. Rickaby were chosen for further flights and were members of an experimental team using the reserve 'chute for dropping into trees.
At one time a rumour concerning a visit to New Zealand had all ranks imagining leisurely days in that island paradise. The Kiwi Squadron has rapidly made itself at home in the Regiment and has proved itself a most welcome addition to Airborne Forces out here.
Members of all squadrons continue to participate in various Regimental activities, including the boxing team. The team unfortunately lost to the 15th/19th Hussars in the semi-final of the Malayan Championships, but considering that the Regiment had never before entered a boxing team, a very fine showing was given. Tpr. "Spud" Taylor, the Squadron representative, lost on points after an excellent fight.
The latest Regimental activity took place in Bangkok, Thailand (Siam). Thirty men of the Regiment, of whom half were from the N.Z. Squadron, along with thirty from The Royal Australian Regiment, represented the Commonwealth Army in a large S.E.A.T.O. parade. The contingent was accompanied by the Pipes and Drums of the King's Own Scottish Borderers and although the party was small compared to all the other national representatives, an excellent impression was made. Tprs. Sculthorpe, Trotman and Bullivant were lucky enough to be chosen to represent the Squadron on this trlp and came back sporting wings, etc., of the American Airborne (of whom a whole Battalion took part in the parade) and telling tales of "plush night joints" and "moonshine" at five shillings a bottle. They returned from Bangkok in two parties on destroyers of the Royal Australian Navy, H.M.A.S. Tobruk and H.M.A.S. Anzac, durlng whlch tlme they witnessed various naval exercises and enjoyed the truly wonderful hospitality extended by the Royal Australian Navy.
The Squadron is at present on operations in its old hunting ground of the Pahang-Negri Sembilan border. Our run of good luck came to a close on Friday, 24th February, when a patrol from 14 Troop were fired on by a lone terrorist who shot the leading scout, Tpr. "Aussie" Phillips. Tpr. Phillips spent a very uncomfortable period before Sgt. Harry Baxter, the Regimental "doctor," reached him by helicopter the following day.
Difficulty was encountered in winching Tpr. Phillips into the helicopter owing to the fact that there was no landing zone, but we are glad to say he is now under the capable hands of the staff at B.M.H. Kinrara, and we look forward to the day when he will be fully recovered and returns to 14 Troop. We in the Squadron wish to convey our heartfelt thanks to Sgt. Baxter, who, on the day he should have flown to the United Kingdom, did such excellent work in very difficult surroundings.
Finally we welcome two newcomers to the Squadron. First, Lieut. Nichols from the 2nd Battalion. who takes over command of 14 Troop, who have up to now been under Sgt. Ferguson.
Our other newcomer is Tpr. Bob Farley, who joins us from "B" Squadron, 22 S.A.S. Tpr. Farley is well acquainted wlth Malaya and its jungle and is a most welcome addition to 14 Troop.
PEGASUS JOURNAL OCTOBER 1956
One more operation has finished and the Squadron is doing rather a long period of retraining. Approximately one-third of the Squadron, immediately after a short spell of leave, started on a three weeks' course for 2nd Class Certificate of Education, the results of which are now eagerly awaited.
A course is in operation for extra signallers, and great promise is being shown in this sphere. While those hard-working people were slaving away, the remainder of the Squadron prepared for the Administrative lnspection which now takes place after every operation. We managed to slide through all right, except for a very few comments. S.Q.M.S. Hay discovered a couple of old storemen who we really believed to be in hospital.
After our Administrative Inspection we settled down to some early mornings on the ranges, and spent two days on section firing competitions. These proved to be extremely popular, even though our monsoon ditch explorer, Roberts, was heard to say something to the effect that running up and down the range 11 times in the sun was not his cup of tea.
The last operation after the unfortunate incident in which "Aussie" Phillips was wounded, ended rather like a treasure hunt with all troops rushing round the jungle covering long distances, spurred on by a very enthusiastic higher Commander. Oh to have had him in the jungle with us! Phillips, we are glad to say, although still in hospital, is well on the way to recovery.
A very successful swimming gala was held with "B" Squadron in which, much to their joy, No. 13 Troop managed to wipe the floor with the rest of the Squadron. "B" Squadron, who have been on training as ourselves, suffered at our hands to a 5-1 defeat at water polo; while at rugby, after two very hard games, we went down 9-4 after a non-scoring first game. The football team, as usual, has been keeping the flag flying by beating the Kiwi Squadron in a friendly and " B Squadron (not so friendly).
The new pay rise has been greeted with mixed feelings as we still think we should have a car allowance to enable us to keep pace with the increasing fleet of large American cars which sweep away from the Kiwi lines at night.
Since the above notes were written another eleven, weeks' operation has been carried out, this time in what is probably the most mountainous district of Malaya, the Kirbu-Kinta area, Korbu being over 7,000 ft. high, and at least two troops have been to the top.
The whole operation was most satisfactory, as the four kills were evenly distributed among 11,13, 14 Troops and Squadron Headquarters. So far 12 Troop has not been in luck, but this is certainly not from lack of trying. For the kills we have to congratulate S.S.M. Philipson and "Doc" Taylor from Squadron Headquarters; Cpls. Finn and Duggan from 11 Troop, Cpls. Carter and Biggs from 13 Troop; and Sgt. Ferguson and Cpl. Lanting from 14 Troop.
We are afraid we cannot send photographs of the subjects as they would not be passed by the censor, but we are enclosing a photo of the "Boy David," who so far is the only capture the Squadron has achieved;. he was being carried by his terrorist mother, who was killed in the Squadron Headquarters contact. The picture shows that he definitely approves of his unit transfer from the C.Ts. to the Salvation Army, who are now looking after him. We cannot say all the weight he has put on was due to the feeding of Pte. Beveridge, who was O.C. P.O.W. cage, although he was seen doing very well with a dessertspoon and a tube of milk.
Sgt. Ferguson and his patrol are probably one of the few to find themselves under blow-pipe and shotgun fire at the same time; in spite of this, the blowpipe is not to be laughed at too much as the poison darts are alleged to kill within three minutes.
Cpl. Carter's kill is probably the most senior in Service among the terrorist organisation; while 11 Troop's kill brought an end to a chain of operations in which they had not even seen a terrorist. Unfortunately the "crystal gazers" are unable to give him a name, although he was a courier with four sealed letters containing some quite good information.
A Squadron patrol consisting of S.S.M. Philipson, Ptes. Grey, Bullivant, Talbot and Cook managed to "fiddle" their way into a special short operation under Capt. Slim. All five of them managed to get hooked up successfully in the trees, and came to earth without any mishaps, but, unfortunately, due to two members of another patrol who suffered fractures, an L.Z. had to be blown to evacuate them, and security was lost.
At the moment the Squadron is on retraining. A useful week has been spent at Morib beaches, combined with a certain amount of pleasure. Cpl. Rickaby and L./Cpls. Carter and Farley have been on an advanced booby-trap and demolitions course under the Sappers. We must congratulate Cpl. Rickaby on being nominated as capable of making the biggest and best bangs; the remainder of the Squadron are now being put through a slightly less advanced course.
Under the lead of the S.S.M., the S.A.S. water polo team have won the Kuala Lumpur Garrison League. Both the S.S.M. and Catterall have represented the Army at water polo. Cpl. Richardson, L/Cpl. Rickaby, Ptes. Daubney,Talbot and "Punchy" Taylor are still representing the Regimental football team when they are out of the jungle; even Capt. Chatterton has managed to free himself from the "Adjutantal" chair on occasions to represent the team.
Sgt. Ferguson must be congratulated on being given the C.-in-C.'s award for the way he commanded 14 Troop from the time the Squadron started operations until the arrival of Lieut. Nicholls.
We also congratulate Sgt. Mitchell and Cpl. Lannery on their well-deserved promotion to C.Q.M.S. and Sergeant. We are also extremely pleased to see "Aussie" Phillips back with us; he is walking with the assistance of a shoe connected up with "mirrors and strings," but we understand this will only be for a few months until the muscles in his leg have become strong again.
Lieut. Williams was lucky in the draw from the hat and found himself in charge of the party taking Ibans on leave to Borneo; we are hoping for some intimate details on "long-house" life when he returns.
PEGASUS JOURNAL JANUARY 1957
During this time we had to produce two members for a trackers' course (Lieut. Nicholls and Sgt. Lannery); they did extremely well, both getting good results, showing up most other units with their exceptional fitness; and just as we were expecting Lieut. Nicholls to return to 14 Troop we were informed he had been made chief instructor for the next course. This in itself speaks of his ability on the course he attended as a pupil.
Leave will finish on 3rd December when we start a four week period of retraining, two weeks done on the island of Blakan Mati off the west coast of Singapore; this will include an infiltration exercise against the R.A.F. We also have to fit in rifle classification, demolitions, wireless training and air training. All members of the Squadron are awaiting the latest news of the Brigade in Egypt; we have no doubt that many old members were delighted to "meet the ***" without C.O.L.P. interference, even if the "no holds barred" time limit was too short.
At the moment everyone is awaiting definite news of the future of the Squadron; a general idea has been given but always subject to confirmation. We hope the Brigade will be home for Christmas and wish them all a very Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.
[Editor's Note: No further notes published due to Squadron being on operations and subsequently disbanded.]
Compiled by Harvey GrenvilleRead More