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Re: Green Beret Saves Neighbor’s Life

#1
I've kicked this off in another thread as Military History may be more appropriate.

Trip_Wire said:
Green Beret Saves Neighbor’s Life

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (USASOC News Service, Sept. 16, 2009) – Medics in the U.S. Army prepare for a number of situations while training for combat. Preparing for the unexpected is part of the training, but saving a neighbor suffering from cardiopulmonary failure is not a situation discussed in training manuals.
I once asked, purely out of curiousity, a Royal Highland Fusilier Provost Sgt at Dreghorn why he was wearing his SAS wings
on his chest rather than on his sleeve. I also once mistook a NZ SAS patrol for an Australian one. From both of these encounters
I emerged unscathed- in fact all concerned were pretty decent guys.
That's almost the sum total of my Special Forces exposure and I don't want to give the impression that I have any special
insight-I haven't. Having got that out of the way, here goes;

In the Radfan Campaign of 1964, the ill-fated SAS patrol in which Capt Edwards and Tpr Warburton were killed and Cpl Baker was
awarded a MM, It's my understanding that the patrol medic was a US soldier.

I recall a contemporary non-verbal, official source which said, likely not verbatim but near enough;

"Had it not been for the advanced medical skills of the patrol medic, a US soldier on exchange with 22 SAS, it is highly probable that there would have been more fatalities in the patrol"

The source was as accurate as it gets, if my details are at odds with what really was the case, then it's an extra-ordinary abberation
of my memory, normally excellent but not infallable. The worse case is that I've got it wrong and am doing a Brit SAS man a great dis-service, in
which case someone in the know will no doubt be able to put the record straight.

It's worth pointing out that in those days, there wasn't the mystique about the SAS; that came about some years later. If the
details of a US soldier in the Radfan didn't pass in to the public domain at the time, it would have been more on political, rather than security
grounds.

It's not a bad thing for the medic to have on his CV and I would like to think that he got some recognition among his American peers; and that in some American Legion or VFW outpost somewhere, there's someone with a pretty interesting story to tell.
 
#2
Tawahi-50 said:
I've kicked this off in another thread as Military History may be more appropriate.

Trip_Wire said:
Green Beret Saves Neighbor’s Life

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (USASOC News Service, Sept. 16, 2009) – Medics in the U.S. Army prepare for a number of situations while training for combat. Preparing for the unexpected is part of the training, but saving a neighbor suffering from cardiopulmonary failure is not a situation discussed in training manuals.
I once asked, purely out of curiousity, a Royal Highland Fusilier Provost Sgt at Dreghorn why he was wearing his SAS wings
on his chest rather than on his sleeve. I also once mistook a NZ SAS patrol for an Australian one. From both of these encounters
I emerged unscathed- in fact all concerned were pretty decent guys.
That's almost the sum total of my Special Forces exposure and I don't want to give the impression that I have any special
insight-I haven't. Having got that out of the way, here goes;

In the Radfan Campaign of 1964, the ill-fated SAS patrol in which Capt Edwards and Tpr Warburton were killed and Cpl Baker was
awarded a MM, It's my understanding that the patrol medic was a US soldier.

I recall a contemporary non-verbal, official source which said, likely not verbatim but near enough;

"Had it not been for the advanced medical skills of the patrol medic, a US soldier on exchange with 22 SAS, it is highly probable that there would have been more fatalities in the patrol"

The source was as accurate as it gets, if my details are at odds with what really was the case, then it's an extra-ordinary abberation
of my memory, normally excellent but not infallable. The worse case is that I've got it wrong and am doing a Brit SAS man a great dis-service, in
which case someone in the know will no doubt be able to put the record straight.

It's worth pointing out that in those days, there wasn't the mystique about the SAS; that came about some years later. If the
details of a US soldier in the Radfan didn't pass in to the public domain at the time, it would have been more on political, rather than security
grounds.

It's not a bad thing for the medic to have on his CV and I would like to think that he got some recognition among his American peers; and that in some American Legion or VFW outpost somewhere, there's someone with a pretty interesting story to tell.
I cannot speak on the specific incident to which you refer, but in general over the years there have been numerous "exchanges" of varying types, duration and formality of personnel between various US and UK units. I did one years ago with the RMs that included operational time in NI and Oman, although such things were pretty much off the books and low profile.
 
#5
jumpinjarhead said:
[

I cannot speak on the specific incident to which you refer, but in general over the years there have been numerous "exchanges" of varying types, duration and formality of personnel between various US and UK units. I did one years ago with the RMs that included operational time in NI and Oman, although such things were pretty much off the books and low profile.
The story of the patrol is an interesting one and deserves to be more fully told before memories fade.

(It may well have been, but I stopped reading SAS literature after General de la Billiere hit the publishing scene so am not up-to-date)

It's difficult at this distance in time, to convey the furore in the press and parliament in the aftermath of the patrol. As I recall, the then Defence Secretary, Dennis Healey (I believe), didn't emerge with much credit after the pillorying and subsequent vindication of General Cubbon, the GOC.
 
#6
Tawahi-50 said:
jumpinjarhead said:
[

I cannot speak on the specific incident to which you refer, but in general over the years there have been numerous "exchanges" of varying types, duration and formality of personnel between various US and UK units. I did one years ago with the RMs that included operational time in NI and Oman, although such things were pretty much off the books and low profile.
The story of the patrol is an interesting one and deserves to be more fully told before memories fade.

(It may well have been, but I stopped reading SAS literature after General de la Billiere hit the publishing scene so am not up-to-date)

It's difficult at this distance in time, to convey the furore in the press and parliament in the aftermath of the patrol. As I recall, the then Defence Secretary, Dennis Healey (I believe), didn't emerge with much credit after the pillorying and subsequent vindication of General Cubbon, the GOC.
What is the approximate date of that patrol?
 
#7
jumpinjarhead said:
Tawahi-50 said:
jumpinjarhead said:
[

I cannot speak on the specific incident to which you refer, but in general over the years there have been numerous "exchanges" of varying types, duration and formality of personnel between various US and UK units. I did one years ago with the RMs that included operational time in NI and Oman, although such things were pretty much off the books and low profile.
The story of the patrol is an interesting one and deserves to be more fully told before memories fade.

(It may well have been, but I stopped reading SAS literature after General de la Billiere hit the publishing scene so am not up-to-date)

It's difficult at this distance in time, to convey the furore in the press and parliament in the aftermath of the patrol. As I recall, the then Defence Secretary, Dennis Healey (I believe), didn't emerge with much credit after the pillorying and subsequent vindication of General Cubbon, the GOC.
What is the approximate date of that patrol?
The patrol was in 1964, they were going to mark a DZ for 3 Para
 
#8
Tawahi-50 said:
jumpinjarhead said:
[

I cannot speak on the specific incident to which you refer, but in general over the years there have been numerous "exchanges" of varying types, duration and formality of personnel between various US and UK units. I did one years ago with the RMs that included operational time in NI and Oman, although such things were pretty much off the books and low profile.
The story of the patrol is an interesting one and deserves to be more fully told before memories fade.

(It may well have been, but I stopped reading SAS literature after General de la Billiere hit the publishing scene so am not up-to-date)

It's difficult at this distance in time, to convey the furore in the press and parliament in the aftermath of the patrol. As I recall, the then Defence Secretary, Dennis Healey (I believe), didn't emerge with much credit after the pillorying and subsequent vindication of General Cubbon, the GOC.
My bold - Perhaps then you should have included the fact, that the heads were removed from the dead soldiers and displayed on a pole in the Yemen.
 
#10
Alec_Lomas said:
Tawahi-50 said:
jumpinjarhead said:
[

I cannot speak on the specific incident to which you refer, but in general over the years there have been numerous "exchanges" of varying types, duration and formality of personnel between various US and UK units. I did one years ago with the RMs that included operational time in NI and Oman, although such things were pretty much off the books and low profile.
The story of the patrol is an interesting one and deserves to be more fully told before memories fade.

(It may well have been, but I stopped reading SAS literature after General de la Billiere hit the publishing scene so am not up-to-date)

It's difficult at this distance in time, to convey the furore in the press and parliament in the aftermath of the patrol. As I recall, the then Defence Secretary, Dennis Healey (I believe), didn't emerge with much credit after the pillorying and subsequent vindication of General Cubbon, the GOC.
My bold - Perhaps then you should have included the fact, that the heads were removed from the dead soldiers and displayed on a pole in the Yemen.
The were going to mark 3 Para's DZ the bodies were recovered

http://www.paradata.org.uk/events/radfan
 
#12
Alec_Lomas said:
My bold - Perhaps then you should have included the fact, that the heads were removed from the dead soldiers and displayed on a pole in the Yemen.

That's a fair point, A_L but I just wanted to make a swift response to Jarhead.

I could also have mentioned that much of the furore especially in parliament but also in the press was not the fate of Capt Edwards and Tpr Warburton, horrific as it was, but by the denial, led I believe by the US Consul in Taiz that the atrocity had taken place. This denial was widely believed in Govt and and it was only upon the recovery of the bodies, as mentioned above, that Healey was forced to recant his condemnation of Gen Cubbon.
 
#14
Tawahi-50 said:
Alec_Lomas said:
My bold - Perhaps then you should have included the fact, that the heads were removed from the dead soldiers and displayed on a pole in the Yemen.

That's a fair point, A_L but I just wanted to make a swift response to Jarhead.

I could also have mentioned that much of the furore especially in parliament but also in the press was not the fate of Capt Edwards and Tpr Warburton, horrific as it was, but by the denial, led I believe by the US Consul in Taiz that the atrocity had taken place. This denial was widely believed in Govt and and it was only upon the recovery of the bodies, as mentioned above, that Healey was forced to recant his condemnation of Gen Cubbon.

No worries. Cpl Baker went on to be RSM and eventually retired as a Colonel. An outstanding Paddy. :D
 
#15
From an extensive career in reading most of what has been written about "them", which includes what has been written about that unfortunate mission, I cannot recall anything about there been a US soldier. However, that is not to say there wasn't one.

IIRC correctly, the original head of Delta Force, Beckworth (?), got his ideas for Delta after serving as an exchange officer with 22 SAS in, I think, 1964 so there would certainly have been the possibility of a US soldier on the mission.
 
#16
BaronBoy said:
From an extensive career in reading most of what has been written about "them", which includes what has been written about that unfortunate mission, I cannot recall anything about there been a US soldier. However, that is not to say there wasn't one.

IIRC correctly, the original head of Delta Force, Beckworth (?), got his ideas for Delta after serving as an exchange officer with 22 SAS in, I think, 1964 so there would certainly have been the possibility of a US soldier on the mission.
Col. Charlie Beckwith. There has been an ongoing exchange and cross training program with US and UK SF units.
 
#17
Alec_Lomas said:
No worries. Cpl Baker went on to be RSM and eventually retired as a Colonel. An outstanding Paddy. :D
Thanks for that, it's actually good to hear that he did well, I only heard of him though the citation when his MM was gazetted and was obviously impressed enough by it for his name to stick in my memory.

I came across a copy of 'Who Dares Wins' this morning and scanned throough the pages relating to the patrol. It refers to the patrol medic
as one Tpr 'Darkie' 'B' so I will have to accept I was wrong on that one and that it wasn't as US exchange soldier.

Given the age of the book, I'm surprised that Cpl Baker was referred to by name- as I imagine he must have been still serving when the book came out.

Interesting to think that had the patrol succeeded, it would have changed the history of the Para Regt as regards it being the first operational drop at company strength since Suez
 

Andy_S

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Jarhead:

As you may be aware, in the UK, it is accepted as a given by the general public that the SAS are the ultimate military unit: Their reputation has gone beyond the formidable to the (almost) ridiculous, as witness the staggeringly inaccurate reports on their activities in the British media. Yet very few people in the UK are familiar with the US cross-border effort in Vietnam, which is, AFAIK, both the most extensive and most perilous (the casualties the SOG teams suffered were horrendous: entire recce teams disappeared, fate unknown) special forces campaign undertaken by any western army since WWII. Neither the British or Israeli armed forces have participated in a campaign as extensive or as dangerous, AFAIK.

Reading between the lines of some of your posts, I understand that you were with USMC Recon in Vietnam? Were you familiar with these units? Come next year, I may be writing on one of the most formidable of the SOG men, Jerry Shriver. (I have contacts with MIKE Force veterans, but not the SOG units.)

I also wonder if the experience gained by SOG in
(1) Successfully co-opting tribal peoples to work with them; and
(2) Cross-border operations
was lost after Vietnam and the downgrading of Special Forces, or was kept online and has been resurrected for the Afghan/Pakistan theatre, where - bar the terrain - the situation very closely approximates the situation along the RVN borders....?
 
#19
BaronBoy said:
From an extensive career in reading most of what has been written about "them", which includes what has been written about that unfortunate mission, I cannot recall anything about there been a US soldier. However, that is not to say there wasn't one.

IIRC correctly, the original head of Delta Force, Beckworth (?), got his ideas for Delta after serving as an exchange officer with 22 SAS in, I think, 1964 so there would certainly have been the possibility of a US soldier on the mission.
Beckworth came later. It was Dick Meadows who was attached at the time. Dick went on to receive a battlefield commission and featured prominently in the Son Te Raid.

I never met him personally but was held in high regard by 'D' squadron at the time. There's a photo of Dick on the jebel with the troop in Ken Connor's book - 'Ghost Force'.
 
#20
Tawahi-50 said:
Alec_Lomas said:
My bold - Perhaps then you should have included the fact, that the heads were removed from the dead soldiers and displayed on a pole in the Yemen.

That's a fair point, A_L but I just wanted to make a swift response to Jarhead.

I could also have mentioned that much of the furore especially in parliament but also in the press was not the fate of Capt Edwards and Tpr Warburton, horrific as it was, but by the denial, led I believe by the US Consul in Taiz that the atrocity had taken place. This denial was widely believed in Govt and and it was only upon the recovery of the bodies, as mentioned above, that Healey was forced to recant his condemnation of Gen Cubbon.

The heads were removed as proof that they had killed British soldiers. The denial by the US Consul caused a good measure of grief to the relatives at the time, especially as triumphalist broadcasts were being made on Yemeni radio. The sparring match between Cubbon and Healey was the real heart ache, as the story was confirmed it led to the relatives being informed of their loved ones death via the press.
 

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