Belize garrison reinforcement 1977

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by HIGHLANDER_SPY, Jul 18, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Can anyone remember if the reinforcement of Belize Garrison in June/July 1977 was ever given an Operational name.

    The Guats were again threatening to invade and IIRC, 1 Queens were resident Battalion in Airport Camp. The RAF had flown in a Squadron of Harriers and they were camoflouaged and hidden in the groves around the airport. The invasion petered out after they brought up their only running M3 tank from Guatamala City on a Tank Transporter and it then subsequently drove past the Cadenas OP in a show of strength.
  2. The only time 1 Queen’s would have been in an APC in 77 would have been in preparation for the Sennelager jubilee parade.

    It may have been those wasters in 2nd Bn.

    edited to add Just checked wiki and it was the 3rd bn.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Grateful Offog,

    Couldn't remember which Battalion, but knew it was the Queens. I was one of the reinforcements posted into the Headquarters temporarily and had very little to do with the Battalion, apart from seeing them in the NAAFI etc.
  4. Hi

    I was in 2nd Queens and we were in Belize from Late January to July 1976. On arrival there was still additional tent accommodation at Airport Camp put up during the earlier 1975 scare, the year before.

    By the time of the July 1977 invasion scare we had long departed, just returning from a tour of West Belfast.

  5. There was a comment in one UK newspaper last week on Lord Ashcroft and his involvement with Belize.
    Seems the Guats are playing up again and Ashcroft wanted a Brit show of force, however he is in bad graces with the Tory Party and he could not attract any support.

  6. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Yes, 1 Queen's were there in 1980 - and great fun it was too, if you didn't mind tarantulas in the shower, etc.

    AFAIK there were never more than 4 or so Harriers there, not a Sqn - but there was sufficient BritMil presence then, and for a while after, to discourage the Guats from trying anything. I seem to remember a 'show of force' by some Guat Tucanos near the border - which was responded to by a pair of Harriers, flying low and VERY fast down the border.
  7. There is a book called "Long Reach" by Mike Lunnon Wood ISBN 0 00 651163 5

    It is a pretty well researched novel about an invasion attempt by the 'Guats.

    If you were ever in the shitehole that is Belize, the memories of scorpions in yer boots and the dogs in Rauls Rose Garden will come flooding back.

    Here are a couple of pics from my time there.


    Punta Gorda


    A Mansion house. Easily identified as such by the lack of MFO boxes for walls.


    The long, long drive to APC from Punta Gorda. IIRC it was an 8 hour cabbie or 20 mins in a Puma.


    Batties Bus.
  8. I'm afraid Rauls was OOB when I was there so we had to settle for Handysides or the Hotel Continental @ The Big C.

    There was definitely a Sqn of 6 Harriers for the deployment in 77 plus two that were supposedly held in reserve.

    The Guats armour consisted of 10 x M3 Grants, 9 of which were BER and surrounded the Presidential Palace in Guat City, and a Squadron of M-3 Staghound (WW2 vintage) armoured cars. IIRC we had one Troop of Scorpions and one of Scimitars, which although pathetically armed were more than a match for the conscriptos. They also had some T-33 Trainer aircraft which could just about reach the border, but wouldn't be able to get back. Their Special Forces consisted of the indigenous Maya Indians of the Kabaila, I think we had "F" Troop

    My memory is pretty sketchy, I was a young Lance Corporal in a Security Section in Belgium at the time when I was put on 1 hours NTM, flown back to my Depot in Ashford and moved under great secrecy to Lyneham for the flight to Belize, via Gander in Canada, because, in the words of my CO, I was useless and expendable - He still promoted me when I got back, so I must have done something right !

    I remember having to share with the Tarantulas and Shi**ing Parrots, as well as a Donkey ! Also had to laugh at a typical Radio Belize weather report "Tomorrow- there will be weather"! Anyone remember the purple two Dollar Bills that melted in your hand ?
  9. Connaught Hotel.

    Closed in May 78 and then reopened as New Big C a couple of months later, wuz there.
  10. Pumas cruse about 120kts, APC - Punta ******* Gorda is 95 nautical miles, works out about 47 mins

    In a Bell 212 with a screaming, pregnant, belizian woman, it feels like a lifetime, hence PFG!
  11. Ahh - F Tp. Seem to remember them. But the rum causes confusion even now.
  12. Well craphat woz there with 1sqn in 76,77,78 went out in 77 at about 6hrs notice had great time with the Belikin and all that rum, but the army cookhouse was real shite.
  13. 1RRW were the BGN Bn July '77 through Jan '78. I believe 1/10th Gurkhas were BGS. 1KOSB relieved 1RRW in Jan '78. 1/6th Gurkhas (IIRC) relieved 1/10 GR. What was not to like about Belize? A welcome break from Ulster tours year after year (sometimes two per year), operating in the Ulu again, opportunities to dive, fish, sail, water-ski (I even went climbing in Mexico) all on the Army's dime (not to mention LOA and field conditions). Our present day servicemen and women would love six months in Belize as a break and change in tempo from operations I'll wager.
    You'd better Belize it! Happier times.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. A Scottish Battalion where resident prior to the Welsh and I do remember the Gurkha's coming out on their first Belize deployment, the where deployed down south.

    RHF ?
  15. [Army Urban Myth]...........talking of Jock Regts in Belize: it was about that time, maybe 78, that the duty rumour around APC was that a KOSB (who had gone AWOL about 2 years previously) emerged from the jungle one day and demanded to rejoin the Bn as he heard that there might be a war going on! Apparently he got lurve with one the prettier ones from The Chimps Ball and had it away on his toes to live on mango and death by bo-bo[/Army Urban Myth]