Borneo 1965

Discussions about those units who make up The Parachute Regiment.
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Rover
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Borneo 1965

#1 Post by Rover » Thu 11 Dec, 2014 10:09 am

Although to claim an action as a battle honour it is stated that elements of the Headquarter Company and at least half the Battalion needs to have been directly involved.

Even so I trust that some recognition is given to the actions of 2 Para at Plamam Mapu in 1965.

In 1965, the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, was sent to Singapore for jungle training in response to the threat of invasion from Indonesian President Sukarno. By March, the battalion was established along the Malaysia-Indonesia border in Borneo and conducting 10-day patrols in the jungle.

On 27 April, 'B' Company's base on the hilltop village of Plamam Mapu, consisting of Company Headquarters, a mortar section, and one weak platoon of young soldiers was attacked by force of 150 Indonesians supported by rocket launchers, mortars, rifle grenades, and machine guns from the surrounding hills.
The accurate fire caused several casualties amongst the defenders. The Company Sergeant Major (CSM), John Williams, was in command of the defence. He kept moving around the base, attending to the wounded, reorganising the defenders to counter each attack, and firing illumination rounds from a 2-inch mortar.

The Indonesians penetrated the wire, taking out a mortar position. CSM Williams crossed the open ground under fire to man a machine gun, which he used to engage the Indonesians inside the perimeter. Covered by the machine gun, the Paras counter-attacked and forced the Indonesians back.
The Indonesians had located CSM Williams' machine gun, and in a second attack, it was subjected to heavy fire at point blank range. Wounded and blinded in one eye, CSM Williams returned fire, defeating the second attack. He then led a fighting patrol to attack two groups of Indonesians seen approaching the base.

For the successful defence of the base, CSM Williams was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM); in the same action, Corporal Malcolm Baughan was awarded an MM.
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