No 1 Commando War Diary January 1945
Commando packing operational equipment and stores, and attending lectures on future Operations. Special pack rations were issued. Operation Order No. 1 and Adm. Instr. were issued (see Appx. 1 and 2). 16 I.A.M.C. Stretcher bearers, Det.of Tank Recce Unit, R.M. Beach Unit and R.A. FOO Party were temporarily attached to the Commando.
News received of the award of the MC to Capt. J.G. Jones (Welch Regt) and the MM to L/Sgt. Crow and Pt.Oliver all of No. 3 Troop, for distinguished service during Ops in Maungdaw area in November .44.
0900: All troops paraded and commenced moving by march route to the Jetty. Here L.C.Ms and L.C.Ps moved personnel to six minesweepers at anchor in the River Naf.
1400: All ships moved slowly out of the river to form up in mouth of river.
18.30: All craft stopped and anchored off St. Martins Island for the night.
04.45: Convoy commenced to move towards R.V. with supporting craft off FOUL POINT.
11.15: Commando transferred to 10 L.C.As. and 2 L.C.Ms.
13.05: Commando landed on AKYAB ISLAND on Beach Map Ref 756650 (Maps Akyab 1 & 2 1/2500) and concentrated. Landing unopposed. Admin. Party remained on shore collecting extra ammunition and ration dropped by men as they landed.
1310: C.O. received instructions from Brigadier to move forthwith to KAUNDAGA 8060.
1320: Commando moved off. All attached Tps except FOO Party and stretcher bearers left unit of beach.
16.10: Commando reached KAUNDAGA where C.O. decided to establish Adm. Base. Commando then moved onto KAWADI8358.
17.30: Commando concentrated area KAWADIL and bivouacked night. No enemy contacted during day or night. Brigade ordered no patrolling.
Unit at KAWADIL all day. Checks of stores and ammunition were made.
10.00: F.O.O. Party left the Commando to rejoin the Artillery.
12.30: C.O. & I.O. attended conference at Brigade H.Q.
14.30: Conference of Dept. Offrs. of HQ. and Troop Commanders to discuss future Ops.
Unit still at KAWADIL.
08.30: C.O. & I.O. attended conference at Bde. H.Q. ref future Ops and moves. During the day B.I.C. and Unit Intelligence personnel searched the area for information from local inhabitants. Several suspects were handed over to Bde. HQ.
09.30: Commando left KAWADIL area by march route for new location at FAKIR POINT884529, where Commando HQ. was established.
12.00: Commando billeted in three houses in area 885528. Rest of day spent clearing houses and areas and making Adm. arrangements.
1700: C.O. & I.O. attended conference at Bde HQ re future Ops. Bedding Rolls commenced to arrive in L.C.T. from TEKNAF.
Commando still in area FAKIR POINT 885528.
1000: Bde. Comd. (Brig. C.R. Hardy DSO) visited Commando HQ.
1500: Int. Sgt. visited all Troops and outlined Burma War Situation.
1600: The I.O. visited all units in the Area & Div. HQ, also 'V' Force HQ.
1730: 2nd in Command held conference with Troop Commanders re. Adm. Arrangements and future training.
1000: C.O. & 2 i/c visited KAUNDAGA.
1200: C.O. attended conference at Bde. HQ. re future Ops.
1430: A.T.E.W.T. was held for all officers in Area FAKIR POINT on Beach defences. Adm. HQ. at KAUNDAGA closed down and moved to join main body. Special order of the day by Maj. Gen. G.N. Wood (Comd 25 Ind Div) was received (see Appendix 3). Personnel attended bathing parades in the harbour. IAMC Stretcher Bearers left to rejoin M.D.S.
09.15: C.O. held conference with Tp Cmd and HQ Department offrs. re future ops. 1 OR left for 28 days leave in U.K. M.O. held skin inspection. Move postponed for 24 hrs.
Spent day in preparation for future ops.
1010: Commando moved to B.O.A.C. jetty AKYAB.
1215: Embarked in LCAs.
1300: Transferred to LCI in harbour.
1445: Weighed anchor and sailed.
0630: Commando still in LCI approaching MYEBON peninsula.
0915: Commando transferred to LCAs.
1010: Commando landed on MYEBON peninsula on beach Map Ref. BURMA 84 1" 435375 in two flights. C.O. and I.O. went off to contact the Brigadier.
1110: 1 & 4 Troops under command of Major J.M. Davies moved to hills 424383 and 424486, 3 & 6 Troops to island 4336.
1120: HQ and 5 Troop moved 431374.
1202: Patrol of 1 Offr & 20 ORs of 5 Troop moved to area 424376.
1300: Troops in position - nothing to report - NES.
1407: All Troops except 1 & 4 ordered to concentrate at Commando HQ 431374.
1425: C.O. and I.O. went to Bde.
1450: C.O. returned with orders for move for 1 & 4 Troops to 403418. Remainder of Commando to TIGER NORTH 425385.
1540: Commando less 1 & 4 Troops arrived 425385. Dispositions for night: 1 & 4 Troops 419402 under command of Major J.H. Davies. 6 Troop & mortars under command of Major J.H.S. Turnbull, MC at 425393.
0720: Orders sent to Major J.H. Davies to patrol to 415412 and be prepared to cover paddy WEST of VIOLET. 6 Troop & mortars ordered to remain present posn. Main HQ 3 & 5 Troops moved to 421395.
0750: H.Q. 3 & 5 Troops moved off.
0915: H.Q. 3 & 5 Troops halted at 419401.
0920: Enemy guns firing from NORTH slope of hill 425434. Fire being directed upon MYEBON village.
1000: H.Q. 3 & 5 Troops linked up with Nos. 1 & 4 Troops.
1040: Order received from Bde. to concentrate area 427397 prior to attack on ONION 424418.
1043: C.O. held O Gp at 420398 to give orders to move to concentration area.
1110: H.Q. and Troops move off to concentration area.
1145: C.O. went to Bde.
1305: O Gp.
1330: Leading Troops moved off for ONION.
1440: 3, 4 & 6 Troops reached area 424410. No. 1 & 5 Troops, mortars and Commando HQ 424409.
1500: No. 6 Troop advanced on to ONION 424418, followed by 3 Troop.
1615: ONION occupied. 1 Jap killed. Own cas nil.
1700: Disposition for night - 3, 4 & 6 Troops area feature 423423. Commando HQ 1 & 5 Troops and 423418.
2000: Mortars defensive task Tk junc 424427.
0830: Commando moved off for WORTHINGTON 425425.
0900: 1 LO to meet 44(RM) Commando at village 424411 to act as guide to ONION.
0940: Commando concentrated at WORTHINGTON.
1000: Brig. arrived.
1200: Patrol of 1 Sec 4 Troop with IO to recce approaches to Hill 432441.
1430: Patrol returned having seen no enemy but found many signs of recent occupation by the enemy, including freshly dug posns.
1500: CO & IO attending conference at Bde HQ at WORTHINGTON 425435.
1600: 2 patrols from 4 Ytoop to 428439 and 431433 left unit area. Bde Tec HQ move up to WORTHINGTON.
1710: Patrol to 428439 returned nothing to report.
1715: Patrol to 431433 returned nothing to report.
1730: O Gp at Commando H.Q.
1850: Patrol from 5 Troop to Pt 163 Map Ref 428442.
2200: Patrol of 5 Troop returned nothing to report.
Lieutenants G.A. Knowland [view], F.H. Crewe & G.W. Stradwick were posted to this Commando and joined Adm. HQ party for night.
0630: Commando left for forming up place 432432.
0745: Commando arrived at forming up place.
0800: O Gp held.
0830: Shelling of feature 432441 by HMISloop commenced.
0920: Commando moved forward for attack on feature 432441.
1000: 5 Troop crossed the start line anti tank ditch 432435.
1010: 4 Troop crossed the anti tank ditch.
1020: 5 Troop contacted enemy in area 432439.
1026: 4 Troop engaged in area 432437. Own cas Pte. Coman [view] killed, Capt. D.H. Cowap, MC wounded. Lt. R.W. Semple assumes comd 4 Troop.
1031: 6 Troop move up to support 5 Troop.
1117: 1 tank moved up onto hill to support left flank of 5 Troop.
1120: 1 Troop moved up behind 4 Troop in support.
1130: 5 Troop plus 1 tank cleared hill 431441. 1 Dead Jap found - own cas 4 ORs wounded.
1145: Tank overturned on slope 433442.
1155: Patrols clearing NORTHERN slopes of feature from 432441.
1200: Commando concentrated and HQ established area 432441. O Gp held at Commando HQ.
1400: 3 Troop left to patrol 432447.
1508: 3 Troop in posn 43247 asked for permission to proceed to village NATTHETKE 433450.
1545: 3 Troop ordered to proceed to NATTHETKE 433450.
1700: 3 Troop searched NATTHETKE 433450 and returned to 432447 digging in for the night.
1730: O Gp held at Commando HQ.
0730: Commando still on hill 432441. 1 Troop ordered to move to 427457.
0915: 3 Troop patrolled to 426437.
0950: 1 Troop contact 3 Troop NATTHETKE.
1030: 1 Troop arrived 426456 and remained.
1330: 1 Troop patrolled along chaung 430457 - 1 Jap killed and contacted 3/2 Ghurkas and 5 Commando at KANTHA bridge 418451.
1400: 1 Troop patrolled chaung EASTWARDS to 440457. Sampans observed 429456.
1430: CO ordered ambush to laid on sampans same night.
1535: 3 Troop ordered to re-inforce 1 Troop with 1 Platoon to take the place of 1 Troops ambush party.
1630: CO and IO attended O Gp at Bde.
1730: 1 Troops patrol left posn for ambush.
2230: Ambush party returned to 1 Troop posns.
0835: 3 Troop recce for possible embarkation beaches for LCAs area 435447 to 435453.
1000: CO & IO attended conference at Bde. HQ with Capt. A.R. Evill and Lt. J.G.L. Larcher.
1020: All troops ordered towithdraw 500 yds SOUTH of KANTHA chaung for air strike at 1100 hours. NORTH of Chaung.
1100: 1 Troop moved to NATTHETKE.
12.30: 1 Offr & 10 ORs of 6 Troop warned to be prepared to move for patrol same night. Lt. J.G.L. Larcher gave out the orders.
13.50: Recce patrols left Commando HQ for EASY beach 425376. Major J.H.S. Turnbull, MC, Capt. A.R. Evill, Lt. D. Nias, Lt. J.G.L. Larcher and 10 ORs.
1500: C.O. went to Pt. 163 427442. Patrol from 3 Troop left NATTHETKE for area 434457.
1540: 1 Troop returned to the posn at 426457.
1645: 3 Troop patrol returned. OP est in Troop posns. to observe BRANDY ONE IS. 456460. Lt. B.W.F. Goodrich (RA) and 7 ORs joined the unit and were posted to Troops.
Unit still on Hill 432441.
1430: Recce party returned (Major J.H.S. Turnbull, MC, Lt. D. Nias).
1530: Major J.H.S. Turnbull, MC, left HQ to recce new Commando area.
Unit still on Hill 432441.
1130: All were warned to move.
1200: Lt. J.G.L. Larcher and patrol returned - nothing to report.
1540: C.O. left for Bde for conference.
Unit still on Hill 431441.
0930: HQ 4,5,6 Troops & mortars left posn for new area 433384.
1030: 1 Troop left 426457 for 433384.
1045: 3 Troop left NATTHETKE for 433384.
1145: HQ 4,5,6 Troops and mortars arrived 433384 and made bivouac.
1245: 1 & 3 Troops joined rest of Commando.
1730: CO, IO and SO to conference at Bde.
0800: Commando O Gp. Nos. 1 & 2 Troops were amalgamated and renamed No. 12 Troop under the command of Capt. J.S. Biscoe. Rest of morning spent on preparation for ops at KANGAW.
1400: Burmese guide (ex Burmese policeman from KANGAW area) attached to Commando.
1545: Commando moved from location to EASY beach 425376.
1700: Commando embarked LCAs.
1800: Transferred to HMI Sloop 'NARBADA' with Bde. HQ. Vessel extremely crowded. Anchored for night 2 miles SE of MYEBON peninsula.
06.30: Sloop moving up the THEGYAN river.
08.30: Anchored south of island 5434.
1000: Commando disembarked onto 16 LCAs.
1045: LCAs proceeded up DAING BON CHAUNG.
1245: Air strike by Mitchels on Pt.170 5149.
1308: Commando landed on GEORGE beach 505481 and concentrated.
1330: Commando moved off to Hill 170 in the following order:- 6 Troop 3 Troop 4 Troop HQ 5 Troop. 12 Troop with mortars in posn 509481.
1417: 6 Troop started moving onto Hill 170 from SOUTH.
1435: 6 Troop came under fire from enemy on NORTH end of Hill. 1 OR slightly wounded.
1500: HQ established 519492, 5 Troop moving up on WEST of feature came under fire at 512498 and 5 ORs were wounded.
1530: 12 Troop joined HQ from beach.
1648: 3 Troop passing through 6 Troop to clear enemy from NORTH of feature encountered heavy opposition and were ordered to withdraw and dig in for the night. Casualties suffered - killed L/Cpl. Dumigan [view] (R. Innis.Fus.), missing believed killed Gnr. Graves [view] (RA), wounded 6 ORs. L/Sgt. Baker DCM [view] (6 Troop) killed.
1730: Enemy shelled the beach area.
1900: Platoon of 5 Troop withdrawn from 512498 and ordered to remain as standing patrol at 513494. Commando dug in for night. Dispositions for night - 5 Troop less 1 Platoon, 6 Troop less 1 Platoon. 1 Platoon 6 Troop, 3 Troop, 4 Troop and Tac HQ in posn along top of Hill from 514495 to 515492. Main HQ and 12 Troop at 514492. 5 Commando on SOUTH of Hill 170.
0001: Enemy attacked 5 & 6 Troops posns (515495), with force estimated from 20 - 25 strong with LMCs and grenades. Enemy were driven off by grenades but continued assaults up to 0345 hrs. without success.
0100: Enemy attacked Standing Patrol (Pl. 5 Troop) but were driven off leaving three dead. Total enemy casualties during night - 9 bodies including 1 Offr counted. Own cas - killed Gnr. Clay [view] - wounded Capt. H.J. Symonds and 9 ORs (5 Troop). Casualties evacuated to 61 ADS. Lt. E.M. Dawson took over comd 5 Troop.
0900: Arty registered on NORTH end of feature preparatory to attack by 4 Troop.
0930: Arty preparation.
1000: 4 Troop moved on to feature which was completely occupied by 1040 hrs. without opposition. Commando continued digging in during the day.
1745: Bridgehead shelled by Japs - no cas in Commando. Booby traps were laid by own Troops between 4 & 5 Troop posns.
06.30: Mortars stand by to put down smoke on enemy occupied features (Sq.5150) to cover evacuation of cas from 44 (RM) Commando.
1000: Mortars 'Stand Down'.
1100: 44 (RM) Commando took up posns on feature between 4 & 5 Troops. Maj. Gen. Wood Comd. 25 Ind Div visited Tac HQ.
1120: O Gp at Command HQ.
1630: A number of trees on feature were blown down with explosive to avoid tree bursts from enemy shelling. Enemy shelling bridgehead spasmodically throughout the day - no cas in Commando.
2300: Small party of enemy dispersed from 4 Troop area by grenades.
The Adm party (Capt. J.W. Gardner) moved from beachhead and now established at 513494.
1300: O Gp at Commando HQ. Enemy continued periodical shelling of bridgehead - no cas in 1 Commando.
0630: Heavy shelling of Hill 170 by enemy arty - no cas.
0930: O Gp at Commando HQ.
1000: Hill 170 again shelled by enemy - one tree burst over 3 Troop posn caused 3 cas.
1100: Body of Gnr Graves [view] previously reported missing believed killed found near 4 Troop posn and buried at 514496.
1600: Patrol of 1 Offr & 6 ORs left hill 170 for HILL (527487).
1900: Hill 170 shelled by enemy. Own cas 1 OR wounded. Spasmodic shelling of bridgehead by enemy continued throughout the day. Numbers of promotions and appointments being made to bring Commando up to full NCO strength.
0630: Enemy shelled Hill 170 - no cas.
0700: No. 12 Troop patrol returned.
0800: O Gp at Commando HQ re ops in KAGAW area 28 Jan 45.
1000: Enemy shelled Hill 170 and bridgehead area - no cas.
1730: Enemy shelled Hill 170 - no cas.
0830: 3" mortars of 3 Commando Bde (less 5 Commando) concentrated under command of No. 12 Troop and five Brens on tripods sighted in 4 Troop posns for diversionary fire on enemy held feature in Sq. 5150.
1000: Mortars and Brens opened fire on features Sq. 5150. One large fire started, thought to be oil in area 508500. One enemy MMG area 508510 silenced. Enemy shelled 4 Troop posn - own cas 1 OR wounded.
1730: Four large calibre shells burst near 12 Troop posns - no cas.
1830: Enemy again shelled Hill 170 - no cas.
0630: Enemy again shelled Hill 170 - no cas. Spasmodic shelling by enemy during the afternoon until dusk.
Enemy shelling Hill 170 during the day.
15.30: Warning order issued to Troops to be ready to move out of posns by 1100 hrs 31 Jan 45 on relief by 7/16 Punjab Regt.
0545: Enemy commenced shelling Hill 170 and concentrated their fire on 4 Troop posns.
0615: Small parties of enemy area 512495 WEST of Hil 170 fired on by own Troops and cas inflicted.
0630: Enemy attacked 4 Troop posn in great strength. Fighting continued throughout the day.
Notes Copy of original document supplied by John Mewett. Transcribed by Jennie Barlow.