Did any British Forces Serve In Vietnam?

combatintman

War Hero
Apart from the fact that we kind of started it (Op Masterdom)

British and Indian troops would become the first Allied soldiers to cross swords with the Vietnamese communists, an insurgent army that would later go onto to vanquish the French and humble the United States​

Yes but none of the multiple bell ends who roll up to this thread are claiming that they knew somebody on Op Masterdom which is well documented.

It is all about the war that followed in which the Americans played a somewhat prominent role - so the standard variations on the theme are Op Crown, SAS attachments nudge nudge wink wink and other assorted boll0cks. I sometimes wonder if there is a similarly utterly pointless thread on the US equivalent of ARRSE asking 'Did any US forces serve in Malaya/Borneo?' filled with assorted cr@p about SEATO/their ship going through the Singapore Straits in the 50s/60s, or attending the Jungle Warfare School in Kota Tinggi/or being on an exchange posting with the Brits.
 
Yes but none of the multiple bell ends who roll up to this thread are claiming that they knew somebody on Op Masterdom which is well documented.

It is all about the war that followed in which the Americans played a somewhat prominent role - so the standard variations on the theme are Op Crown, SAS attachments nudge nudge wink wink and other assorted boll0cks. I sometimes wonder if there is a similarly utterly pointless thread on the US equivalent of ARRSE asking 'Did any US forces serve in Malaya/Borneo?' filled with assorted cr@p about SEATO/their ship going through the Singapore Straits in the 50s/60s, or attending the Jungle Warfare School in Kota Tinggi/or being on an exchange posting with the Brits.

Point of order Squire. Americans did attend JWS in the 60s.
The following is a cut and paste from the NZSAS magazine 'Free Glance', explaining how it came about and why.
This publication is not generally available to the public, but this excerpt is now online.


NZ SAS Jungle Warfare School for Americans in the late 1960s​

The British Army establishment known as the Jungle Warfare School was situated 17 km north of the Johore Bahru Causeway, in the area of Kota Tingi, Malaya. Originally published in the Hauraki News (2007 February Issue No 46).
This article looking wrong? See archived version here.
6th Hauraki Insignia
The name of the camp describes its role perfectly, in that it is used solely to train troops in the art of fighting in the jungle. A new facet of training was added to the curriculum and was started immediately after Xmas 1967, and this was Combat Visual Tracking. How this came about stems from the problems the American troops were having with the guerilla tactics of the VC in Vietnam in that the Americans were completely frustrated by the fact the VC attacked where and when they chose, then melted back into the jungle and vanished.
General Westmoreland decided something had to be done so he initiated bilateral discussions between the British Army High Command, our New Zealand Government, and Army, and it was duly arranged that a training team of New Zealand SAS were to set up, within the Jungle Warfare School, specifically to train American troops in the art of Combat Visual Tracking.
4 Detachment, 1 Ranger Squadron NZSAS had just come out of operations in Borneo, and were heading back to New Zealand as confrontation with Indonesia had come to an end, and it was from this group seven men were requested to stay behind, at JWS and train American troops in the art of tracking etc. We trained American troops for six months, starting January 1967 returning home to New Zealand mid June 1967.
The NZSAS training team in Jungle Warfare School consisted of the following men:
  • Lt Albie Kiwi OC
  • LCpl Frank Wydur acting Sergeant, number one team instructor, and overall Sergeant of the group, through whom Albie Kiwi passed any instructions.
  • LCpl Jim (Kelly) lllolahia, in charge of his Ghurka section; track laying for the number one team; drawing all pyrotechnics for all three teams. Setting up booby traps, and ambushes, and generally making the Yanks life hell.
  • Cpl Riki Keno acting Sergeant number two team.
  • LCpl Snooks Ririnui in charge of his Ghurka section, track laying for number two team.
  • Cpl Ben Morunga acting Sergeant Number three team
  • LCpl Dave Te Paa - in charge of his Ghurka section, track laying for number three team.
The arrangement was that the SAS team would use the camp facilities, the camp would provide all logistical support and manpower this group may need, but was otherwise not involved in the training or activities of the training team.
The area the teams used was a wildlife reserve some distance north of the JWS camp and this was perfect for the training requirements, it was thick virgin jungle, uninhabited and had a wide range of terrain. The American troops that came from Vietnam were all volunteers for the course, and came from all units and backgrounds and it was our job to train them into efficient Tracker teams.
These men came down to Malaysia dressed in civilian clothes, and bearing a passport showing them to be Government workers, and they were strictly not allowed to wear their US Army uniforms as technically, they weren't supposed to be training within Malaya. Captain Huia Woods was put in overall command of the Tracker training section and he acted as a liaison officer between Albie Kiwi and JWS but was not himself active in the training in any way. His role was the organization of our equipment and day to day needs and he worked very efficiently in the background.
The first thing we did was to produce a training pamphlet fully explaining how a tracker works, and what he is looking for. This booklet fully described all the various types of sign left by people moving over the ground, be that ground sign or other types of sign left in the foliage, often called top sign.
These were run off on the only means the camp had this, being an ancient Gestetner copy machine, but it did the job OK and we were able to hand out a copy to each student who came to us.
We started each new course with a week of lectures and training, tactics and movement, and how the teams would operate on the ground, and how each segment of the Combat Tracker Team would be covering and protecting each others movements, while in the field.
Initially, we thought we could basically start straight off with the jungle training itself, but what no one foresaw was that a lot of these men had not a clue as to living in the jungle at all, let alone tactically. So we started with a basic course first on how to live in the jungle before we even started with the combat tracker training.
Some of the men who came to us had never been outside cities, so were totally out of their depth in the jungle. They all soon became accustomed to it and quickly learnt the jungle was their friend, it concealed them and shielded them all rapidly became very efficient in their work.
They threw themselves into it heart and soul and impressed us no end with their willingness to learn. It is true to say that initially some of these men were the clumsiest men 1 have ever seen. Never before having been in jungle before they would tripped over just about every twig but by the time the course was over, every last man moved like ghosts. This transformation was pretty awesome to watch.
Our three training teams consisted of one Sergeant and one Corporal. The Corporal had a squad of Ghurka's and it was his role to lay the track for the
Tracker Team to follow; set booby traps, and ambush sites along that track so that the Americans got as close to the real thing as we dared go.
We found two pounds of PE worked wonders when initiated by the lead scout tripping over a trip wire while following a track! It really caught their attention and once that first booby trap was initiated they never again got caught by a booby trap. The Sergeant instructor's role was to travel with the tracker team and observe everything that they did, and pass on advice where and when needed, but otherwise kept in the background, and gave the team a run down on the days activities at the end of the days work after they had basha'd up.
Live rounds were used whenever circumstances allowed it, and here again worked wonders in getting the team fully focused on their work. We trained them hard, and I am confident in saying those men went back to Vietnam the best trained troops the Americans had; and this is borne out by the fact that the Bounty on Americans, put up by the North Vietnamese, had American pilots top of the list from day one of the Vietnam war, but it was not long after the Tracker Teams got back into Vietnam and set to work, their success was so good that in no time at all, Combat Tracker Team members became top of the bounty list.
Whenever the VC hit, Combat Tracker teams were dispatched into the area straight away, they followed the VC trails back to where ever the enemy had fled to and took the war to him, be it in the form of ground troops backing up the trackers, or artillery fire, or air strikes, but the enemy rapidly found life was no longer the easy hit and run affair of the past, and casualties began to mount up fast on the VC and NVA side.
We also trained two American Instructors from each team so that when we had trained the required number of teams there were plenty of American Instructors to continue the training after we deployed back to New Zealand. We trained eight American Instructors in all.
Like the Americans, we too had been issued with passports showing us as Government workers and we sent two separate lots of three from the JWS training wing up into Vietnam, to go out into the field, with the American Tracker Teams on the ground under actual combat situations, to see how our teams were working under real conditions, and lastly, to find out from the operational teams if there was anything they had learnt since their deployments that we needed to know, to add to, or improve our training methods.
We went out in the field with the teams serving in Vietnam at the time and regardless of which team we were with, or in which part of Vietnam we were, we got the same result. Everything was working perfectly, and they had nothing to add, so after our fact finding missions we returned to the training wing and resumed our work; very well pleased with the outcome.
Some time after the above training team returned to New Zealand other personnel went to the JWS after us, of these only two names are known to me, they being Lt Hugh Oakley-Brown NZSAS and a Sgt Henry (Hank?)Rau. I am unaware of what they did in JWS and who was in the team. I look forward to the second story
 
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Yes but none of the multiple bell ends who roll up to this thread are claiming that they knew somebody on Op Masterdom which is well documented.

It is all about the war that followed in which the Americans played a somewhat prominent role - so the standard variations on the theme are Op Crown, SAS attachments nudge nudge wink wink and other assorted boll0cks. I sometimes wonder if there is a similarly utterly pointless thread on the US equivalent of ARRSE asking 'Did any US forces serve in Malaya/Borneo?' filled with assorted cr@p about SEATO/their ship going through the Singapore Straits in the 50s/60s, or attending the Jungle Warfare School in Kota Tinggi/or being on an exchange posting with the Brits.
Charlie Beckwith, founder of Delta Force, talked about going to Malaya when he was on his exchange with 'THEM'.
 
Charlie Beckwith, founder of Delta Force, talked about going to Malaya when he was on his exchange with 'THEM'.
He did go to Malaya but it was in 1962 after the Emergency had finished. He ended up with some jungle disease which was almost fatal. He got in trouble because the US Embassy hadn't given him permission to go.

Lofty Large stated in his autobiography that when they went on operations in the Radfan they took a USSF M/Sgt with them who was on an attachment at Hereford. Totally without official permission from the US government who would have vetoed it if they had found out.
 

Tongnye

Clanker
as an honory bellend who served just over 30 months on OP crown,who actually had came into contact with girl guides as they passed through on their way east, they had a badged officer who functioned as camp pay officer when there were none of them passing through,the US mastersgt who wwent to the Radfan,was part of the training team in hereford in may 1966 when I was on selection,
 
Point of order Squire. Americans did attend JWS in the 60s.
The following is a cut and paste from the NZSAS magazine 'Free Glance', explaining how it came about and why.
This publication is not generally available to the public, but this excerpt is now online.


NZ SAS Jungle Warfare School for Americans in the late 1960s​

The British Army establishment known as the Jungle Warfare School was situated 17 km north of the Johore Bahru Causeway, in the area of Kota Tingi, Malaya. Originally published in the Hauraki News (2007 February Issue No 46).
This article looking wrong? See archived version here.
6th Hauraki Insignia
The name of the camp describes its role perfectly, in that it is used solely to train troops in the art of fighting in the jungle. A new facet of training was added to the curriculum and was started immediately after Xmas 1967, and this was Combat Visual Tracking. How this came about stems from the problems the American troops were having with the guerilla tactics of the VC in Vietnam in that the Americans were completely frustrated by the fact the VC attacked where and when they chose, then melted back into the jungle and vanished.
General Westmoreland decided something had to be done so he initiated bilateral discussions between the British Army High Command, our New Zealand Government, and Army, and it was duly arranged that a training team of New Zealand SAS were to set up, within the Jungle Warfare School, specifically to train American troops in the art of Combat Visual Tracking.
4 Detachment, 1 Ranger Squadron NZSAS had just come out of operations in Borneo, and were heading back to New Zealand as confrontation with Indonesia had come to an end, and it was from this group seven men were requested to stay behind, at JWS and train American troops in the art of tracking etc. We trained American troops for six months, starting January 1967 returning home to New Zealand mid June 1967.
The NZSAS training team in Jungle Warfare School consisted of the following men:
  • Lt Albie Kiwi OC
  • LCpl Frank Wydur acting Sergeant, number one team instructor, and overall Sergeant of the group, through whom Albie Kiwi passed any instructions.
  • LCpl Jim (Kelly) lllolahia, in charge of his Ghurka section; track laying for the number one team; drawing all pyrotechnics for all three teams. Setting up booby traps, and ambushes, and generally making the Yanks life hell.
  • Cpl Riki Keno acting Sergeant number two team.
  • LCpl Snooks Ririnui in charge of his Ghurka section, track laying for number two team.
  • Cpl Ben Morunga acting Sergeant Number three team
  • LCpl Dave Te Paa - in charge of his Ghurka section, track laying for number three team.
The arrangement was that the SAS team would use the camp facilities, the camp would provide all logistical support and manpower this group may need, but was otherwise not involved in the training or activities of the training team.
The area the teams used was a wildlife reserve some distance north of the JWS camp and this was perfect for the training requirements, it was thick virgin jungle, uninhabited and had a wide range of terrain. The American troops that came from Vietnam were all volunteers for the course, and came from all units and backgrounds and it was our job to train them into efficient Tracker teams.
These men came down to Malaysia dressed in civilian clothes, and bearing a passport showing them to be Government workers, and they were strictly not allowed to wear their US Army uniforms as technically, they weren't supposed to be training within Malaya. Captain Huia Woods was put in overall command of the Tracker training section and he acted as a liaison officer between Albie Kiwi and JWS but was not himself active in the training in any way. His role was the organization of our equipment and day to day needs and he worked very efficiently in the background.
The first thing we did was to produce a training pamphlet fully explaining how a tracker works, and what he is looking for. This booklet fully described all the various types of sign left by people moving over the ground, be that ground sign or other types of sign left in the foliage, often called top sign.
These were run off on the only means the camp had this, being an ancient Gestetner copy machine, but it did the job OK and we were able to hand out a copy to each student who came to us.
We started each new course with a week of lectures and training, tactics and movement, and how the teams would operate on the ground, and how each segment of the Combat Tracker Team would be covering and protecting each others movements, while in the field.
Initially, we thought we could basically start straight off with the jungle training itself, but what no one foresaw was that a lot of these men had not a clue as to living in the jungle at all, let alone tactically. So we started with a basic course first on how to live in the jungle before we even started with the combat tracker training.
Some of the men who came to us had never been outside cities, so were totally out of their depth in the jungle. They all soon became accustomed to it and quickly learnt the jungle was their friend, it concealed them and shielded them all rapidly became very efficient in their work.
They threw themselves into it heart and soul and impressed us no end with their willingness to learn. It is true to say that initially some of these men were the clumsiest men 1 have ever seen. Never before having been in jungle before they would tripped over just about every twig but by the time the course was over, every last man moved like ghosts. This transformation was pretty awesome to watch.
Our three training teams consisted of one Sergeant and one Corporal. The Corporal had a squad of Ghurka's and it was his role to lay the track for the
Tracker Team to follow; set booby traps, and ambush sites along that track so that the Americans got as close to the real thing as we dared go.
We found two pounds of PE worked wonders when initiated by the lead scout tripping over a trip wire while following a track! It really caught their attention and once that first booby trap was initiated they never again got caught by a booby trap. The Sergeant instructor's role was to travel with the tracker team and observe everything that they did, and pass on advice where and when needed, but otherwise kept in the background, and gave the team a run down on the days activities at the end of the days work after they had basha'd up.
Live rounds were used whenever circumstances allowed it, and here again worked wonders in getting the team fully focused on their work. We trained them hard, and I am confident in saying those men went back to Vietnam the best trained troops the Americans had; and this is borne out by the fact that the Bounty on Americans, put up by the North Vietnamese, had American pilots top of the list from day one of the Vietnam war, but it was not long after the Tracker Teams got back into Vietnam and set to work, their success was so good that in no time at all, Combat Tracker Team members became top of the bounty list.
Whenever the VC hit, Combat Tracker teams were dispatched into the area straight away, they followed the VC trails back to where ever the enemy had fled to and took the war to him, be it in the form of ground troops backing up the trackers, or artillery fire, or air strikes, but the enemy rapidly found life was no longer the easy hit and run affair of the past, and casualties began to mount up fast on the VC and NVA side.
We also trained two American Instructors from each team so that when we had trained the required number of teams there were plenty of American Instructors to continue the training after we deployed back to New Zealand. We trained eight American Instructors in all.
Like the Americans, we too had been issued with passports showing us as Government workers and we sent two separate lots of three from the JWS training wing up into Vietnam, to go out into the field, with the American Tracker Teams on the ground under actual combat situations, to see how our teams were working under real conditions, and lastly, to find out from the operational teams if there was anything they had learnt since their deployments that we needed to know, to add to, or improve our training methods.
We went out in the field with the teams serving in Vietnam at the time and regardless of which team we were with, or in which part of Vietnam we were, we got the same result. Everything was working perfectly, and they had nothing to add, so after our fact finding missions we returned to the training wing and resumed our work; very well pleased with the outcome.
Some time after the above training team returned to New Zealand other personnel went to the JWS after us, of these only two names are known to me, they being Lt Hugh Oakley-Brown NZSAS and a Sgt Henry (Hank?)Rau. I am unaware of what they did in JWS and who was in the team. I look forward to the second story

And indeed was no secret...

 

Bluenose2

Old-Salt
And indeed was no secret...


Does anyone know if other, somewhat larger units of US Forces also went through JWS around the time?

My Dad span dits of acting as OPFOR for both USMC and Rangers whilst part of 42cdo out of Singers. I know he went through JWS but wonder whether the exercises he referred to might have happened elsewhere.

I know Singers was a popular R&R destination for US and Aus troops rotating out of Vietnam so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that some went 'up country' for a bit of cross-training.
 
Does anyone know if other, somewhat larger units of US Forces also went through JWS around the time?

My Dad span dits of acting as OPFOR for both USMC and Rangers whilst part of 42cdo out of Singers. I know he went through JWS but wonder whether the exercises he referred to might have happened elsewhere.

I know Singers was a popular R&R destination for US and Aus troops rotating out of Vietnam so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that some went 'up country' for a bit of cross-training.
Or cross dressing if they were Marines... :)
 
Does anyone know if other, somewhat larger units of US Forces also went through JWS around the time?

My Dad span dits of acting as OPFOR for both USMC and Rangers whilst part of 42cdo out of Singers. I know he went through JWS but wonder whether the exercises he referred to might have happened elsewhere.

I know Singers was a popular R&R destination for US and Aus troops rotating out of Vietnam so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that some went 'up country' for a bit of cross-training.
An Amercan infantry company spent a month or so with 1 RGJ at Tidworth in late 68, early 69. 1 RGJ had spent two years in Penang and I recall quite a large number of men including SNCOs who were accomplished in jungle warfare as well as a few of ex-'them' who were similarly experienced. However, at 18months in, I was a relative nig and have absolutely no recollection of what they did while they were there.......other than that you could get as many sausages as you wanted at breakfast......for a while.
 

Bluenose2

Old-Salt
An Amercan infantry company spent a month or so with 1 RGJ at Tidworth in late 68, early 69. 1 RGJ had spent two years in Penang and I recall quite a large number of men including SNCOs who were accomplished in jungle warfare as well as a few of ex-'them' who were similarly experienced. However, at 18months in, I was a relative nig and have absolutely no recollection of what they did while they were there.......other than that you could get as many sausages as you wanted at breakfast......for a while.
Thank you - if anything warranted the derailing of a thread about clandestine UK involvement in one of the most controversial and brutal jungle wars in history, it is most definitely the availability of Sausages in Tidworth.

That may sound sarcastic but genuinely isn't meant to.

I can prove this by the fact my wife has decided to defrost 36 of the buggers for my birthday brunch tomorrow. There are only 4 of us attending and two of them are under 9 years old.
 
Thank you - if anything warranted the derailing of a thread about clandestine UK involvement in one of the most controversial and brutal jungle wars in history, it is most definitely the availability of Sausages in Tidworth.

That may sound sarcastic but genuinely isn't meant to.

I can prove this by the fact my wife has decided to defrost 36 of the buggers for my birthday brunch tomorrow. There are only 4 of us attending and two of them are under 9 years old.
Let us know how you get on.

And Happy Birthday!
 
as an honory bellend who served just over 30 months on OP crown,who actually had came into contact with girl guides as they passed through on their way east, they had a badged officer who functioned as camp pay officer when there were none of them passing through,the US mastersgt who wwent to the Radfan,was part of the training team in hereford in may 1966 when I was on selection,
Will you stop the constant ******* lies?

You're an extremely obese ex Army Catering Corps bellend.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
as an honory bellend who served just over 30 months on OP crown,who actually had came into contact with girl guides as they passed through on their way east, they had a badged officer who functioned as camp pay officer when there were none of them passing through,the US mastersgt who wwent to the Radfan,was part of the training team in hereford in may 1966 when I was on selection,
You used to call yourself Nignoy when in the guise of an porkie-telling, wobble-arsed, ex-ACC fantasist.

What happened ?
 
Does anyone know if other, somewhat larger units of US Forces also went through JWS around the time?

My Dad span dits of acting as OPFOR for both USMC and Rangers whilst part of 42cdo out of Singers. I know he went through JWS but wonder whether the exercises he referred to might have happened elsewhere.

I know Singers was a popular R&R destination for US and Aus troops rotating out of Vietnam so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that some went 'up country' for a bit of cross-training.
Par Avion senior was an ex ww2 RM on landing craft before joining the crabs after the war. While on leave in RAF Akrotiri in 1971 while in boy service when he was stationed there, I read an old copy of the Globe and Laurel that he had obtained.

3 Commando Brigade were still in Singapore at that time with 40 Cdo and 42 Cdo with the helicopter carriers Bulwark and Albion and other amphibious ships like Fearless and Intrepid. I remember reading one article in the magazine about an amphibious exercise by one of those Commandos with USMC in the Philipines probably at Subic bay. 3 Cdo and the Assault carriers regulary visited other countries in the area such as HK and Australia for Exercises. This didn't include any of the countries in Indo China.

Ranger battalions weren't formed until 1974. LLRP countries were formed in country from divisional sources in Vietnam from 1966 based on the success of the Australian SAS. These were designated Ranger companies from 1969 and the last one was deactivated in 1972 I think.
 
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Bluenose2

Old-Salt
Par Avion senior was an ex ww2 RM on landing craft before joining the crabs after the war. While on leave in RAF Akrotiri in 1971 while in boy service when he was stationed there, I read an old copy of the Globe and Laurel that he had obtained.

3 Commando Brigade were still in Singapore at that time with 40 Cdo and 42 Cdo with the helicopter carriers Bulwark and Albion and other amphibious ships like Fearless and Intrepid. I remember reading one article in the magazine about an amphibious exercise by one of those Commandos with USMC in the Philipines probably at Subic bay. 3 Cdo and the Assault carriers regulary visited other countries in the area such as HK and Australia for Exercises. This didn't include any of the countries in Indo China.

Ranger battalions weren't formed until 1974. LLRP countries were formed in country from divisional sources in Vietnam from 1966 based on the success of the Australian SAS. These were designated Ranger companies from 1969 and the last one was deactivated in 1972 I think.
Excellent info, thanks @par avion
 

combatintman

War Hero
Point of order Squire. Americans did attend JWS in the 60s.
I know and the ARVN trained there too - just like I know that US ships went through the Singapore Straits and there were Yanks 'just across the border' in Thailand. The point I'm making is the same one I made a few months back ... why are people so desperate to prove UK involvement in a war that went somewhat badly and why do they keep recycling the same old cr@p as 'proof' that has been refuted year-in, year-out on this thread.
 
I know and the ARVN trained there too - just like I know that US ships went through the Singapore Straits and there were Yanks 'just across the border' in Thailand. The point I'm making is the same one I made a few months back ... why are people so desperate to prove UK involvement in a war that went somewhat badly and why do they keep recycling the same old cr@p as 'proof' that has been refuted year-in, year-out on this thread.

I totally agree with your statement that I have put in bold type.
 
I know and the ARVN trained there too - just like I know that US ships went through the Singapore Straits and there were Yanks 'just across the border' in Thailand. The point I'm making is the same one I made a few months back ... why are people so desperate to prove UK involvement in a war that went somewhat badly and why do they keep recycling the same old cr@p as 'proof' that has been refuted year-in, year-out on this thread.
I blame 'Platoon' and John Wayne and that 'Green Beret'. There is of course the question mark about the Yanks disregarding the advice given by Robert Thompson..............but they were correct to do so. Thompson didn't/couldn't see that the circumstances of our great victory in Malaya was largely down to the fact that there was a huge cultural gap between the population and the Chinese backed commies. There was no such gap between the North Vietnamese and their Southern counterparts.
 

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