Operation 'Bean' report which took place on 23 November 1944.
Apart from No 1 Cdo this operation included elements of No 5 Cdo/ 8th Fd Regt/' V' Force .
All abbreviations have been transcribed as written to maintain the integrity of the original document.
OPERATION “BEAN” SECRET
Copy of Original document supplied by John Mewett
Transcribed by Elaine Southworth-Davies
NA Document Ref:- WO218/63
OP “BEAN” REPORT
Date of Report - 23 Nov 44
Date of Op - 22/23 Nov 44
Time Out - 1730 22 Nov
Time In - 1200 23 Nov
1 Cdo 3 Troop. 6 Troop. 1 Sec 4 Tp. Cdo HQ. 1 MMG det of 2 Tp
5 Cdo 4Troop. 1 Mortar Det of 6 Tp.
8th Fd Regt R.A. - “W” Batt.
“V” Force 1 and 10
Total Str of 1 & 5 Cdos - 22 and 293 OR’s
1. At 1730 hrs 22 November 44 force left NURULLAPARA and CHIRADAN. Route was through GODUSARA to Mil Road and SOUTH along this road.
The force split into three distinct groups.
At 2200 hrs on night of 22 Nov No. 3 Troop crossed TON CHAUNG unobserved and took up defensive perimeter at 408263 where it remained until ½ hr before dawn. The troop then moved up to 500 yds east of HINTHIYA. HINTHIYA was then shelled and MMG opened up on two JIFS seen to be running from the village in a SE direction. It is not if any casualties were inflicted. At 0715 hrs, No. 2 sec plus HQ less wireless and 2” Mortar moved into the attack and cleared the North of the village as far as track 405256. No.1 sec remainder of HQ, Gunner OP and MMG were then brought forward. No. 2 Sec then advanced South beyond track when it met opposition. 3 JIFS were observed crossing track and the sec opened fire – the enemy returned the fire. D sub moved on the right and C sub on the left. As C sub moved forward, 3 JAPS were seen who were fired at by TSMG and Grens. 3 JAPS were killed, 1 wounded, and 1 prisoner was taken. C sub then came to a clearing and took up fire posns, and D sub moved up in line on the right. The sec came under fire from 2 LMGs and tree snipers. The Bren opened up at 30 yds range and either wounded or killed 4 Japs. D sub Bren killed 1 sniper who fell out of tree, and hit one other. Another rifle gp killed 1 JAP and silenced the enemy auto fire. During this action, a JAP officer (recognised by his superior dress) was wounded in the leg and while being dragged away by two others was again hit by a burst of Bren.
When 2 sec became static, No. 1 sec plus MMG were brought up on left flank. After crossing track they were fired on by tree snipers who engaged and silenced them. Advancing a further 100 yds, 1 sec came under cross fire from 1 LMG on PIMPLE 409254 and 1 LMG at 407255. Own Bren opened up on PIMPLE and silenced enemy LMG. The MMG on left flank opened up on tree snipers immediately to No. 1 Sec front and no fire was again returned. The MMG saw 15 JAPS plus an LMG of which 5 broke cover. The order was then given for No. 3 Troop to withdraw over the Chaung to Cdo HQ.
CAS - ENEMY
Killed - 6
Wounded 7 and 1 Offr
Prisoner - 1
Possibles - 6
CAS – OWN TROOPS
HINTHIYA full of trenches. Bunker posn at 403254 approx. Enemy str, since at least 2 possibly 3 LMGs met and 1 gren discharger possibly 2 secs of a pl. No. of JIFS not known, possibly other JIFS were sniping as some of long range sniping was very accurate.
4 Troop 5 Cdo with FOO att had moved off Mil road at 2100 hrs on track to KAINGYI at 399282. This track was no more than a pig trail through dense jungle and mud in places 2 and 3 ft deep. Speed was 3 hrs to 1 mile. At 0300 hrs firm base made at 419275 and at 0700 hrs OP moved to pt 432276, NES. Arty fire from 0800 to 0900 hrs approx. On return party investigated Hil 213. NES. Rejoined Cdo HQ at 1000 hrs. The entire force then returned along Mil road through GODUSARA and reached BOLSTER by 1200 hrs 23 Nov 44.
Estimated posns reported West of KAINGYI are not manned in strength and at KAINGYI is not occupied.
6 Troop in posn during night at 414257 at 0515 hrs. Moved through dense jungle to hill 187 arriving 0610 hrs. NES. Report on defences of hill att. Troop then moved down hill to give help need be to 3 Tp, but was ordered to gd pt where TON CHAUNG emerges from foothills. 6 Tp followed 3 Tp across TON CHAUNG and back Cdo HQ.
Cdo HQ in posn during night at 408267 est OP at first light, observing HINTHIYA. During 3 Tps action occasional sniper fire directed at OP. As 3 Tp was withdrawing a large with small explosions seen on South of village. 3” Mortar fire approx. 20 rds HE at this target and into the village.
On 23 Nov 44 during operation “BEAN” (1 Cdo., 3 & 6 Tps, 4 Tp 5 Cdo, and att Arty OP and SBs under command Major J.H. Davies of 1 Cdo). The enemy were engaged in HINTHAYA (map ref 398255). A number of Jap were killed and wounded and 1 prisoner was taken. A statement was taken from the man who took the prisoner.
6286923 PTE. OLIVER. L.R.S. (BUFFS) joined the reg army in boys service at the age of 14. He volunteered for Cdo work in 43 at the age of 20, and was posted to 1 Cdo in Oct that year. He description of the action on 23 Nov is given below:-
“My troop (3 Tp) left the base at LAMBAGUNA early in the morning of 23 Nov and took up osn outside a village (HINTHAYA). Our arty shelled the village very accurately and my sec advanced to the track running through the area, covered by No. 1 Sec. As we moved along the track I saw 9/12 JAPS on my left and fired at them with my Tommy Gun, and in my excitement got ahead of the chaps in my sub sec who were moving in extended order. I saw one of the JAPS fall, hit in the leg, and several others dashed to pull him into cover. He was dressed differently from the others and was recognised by others as an officer. All this happened very quickly and Cpl. Jenkins called to me to join the sub sec. As I turned the mag fell off my gun and at the same moment I spotted four of the enemy in a V shaped trench 30 yds in front of me and as they were about to open fire I managed to throw a 36 gren which burst just at the rear of the trench and kept their heads down long enough for me to fix a mag on my gun. The sub sec was covering me and I fired 16 rds at the 4 men in the trench. One was a Sikh and was hit in the stomach, 2 others were Japs got it in the back. L/Sgt. Crow and one of the other chaps rushed into the trench while I covered them. The fourth JAP was only stunned and of the other three, 2 were dead and 2 were dying.
-- took up posn with D sub sec on our right flank and remained there for about 30/40 minutes. Enemy snipers opened up and our crews opened up. The snipers seemed to be tied in the trees because when hit they did not fall. Some Japs seemed to be trying to move around on our left flank and were engaged by one of our sub secs. We tied up the prisoner, and as the sniping was rather persistent and sometimes appeared to be aimed at the prisoner, we withdrew carrying him with us. We had gagged him as he was screaming. As we reached Tp HQ we withdrew across TON CHAUNG. I noticed that the bashas in the South part of the village were burning and could head ammunition exploding. The prisoner was very strong and struggled hard to get away.
POSITION ON PT. 187
The sketch that was here will be uploaded as a separate document.
Please refer to ‘Operation Bean Pt. 187’
NOTE 1. Fire lanes and grenade chutes down steep slopes all around.
2. Approach by spur well camouflaged.
3. Dead leaves and state of old pieces of paper found indicated that the hill not lived for 2 to 3 weeks.
4. All around view of up TON CHAUNG and area HINTHAYA to coast and South to ALETHAUNGYAW and ST. MARTINS ISLAND.
An excellent OP but would not withstand 25 pounder HE fire.