Valour and Courage: "Most Disgraceful Episode Of The Malaysian Armed Forces"
Death or Glory
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The Courageous
Who Have Looked At
Death In The Eye
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No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God


Which must always come to pass

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He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?


Have you always turned the other cheek?


To My Church have you been true?"


"No, Lord, I guess I ain't


Because those of us who carry guns


Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around


Except to calm their fears.


If you've a place for me here,


Lord, It needn't be so grand,


I never expected or had too much,


But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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"Most Disgraceful Episode Of The Malaysian Armed Forces"
Wednesday, November 10, 2021


ViaWhatsApp : The two Italian Air Force C119 Flying Boxcar, which had a total crew of 13 was commanded by a Major. On that fateful day they were tasked to ferry two Ferret Scout Cars from Kamina Air Base into Kindu Airport.

The two Ferrets belonged to 2/Lt Sam Low Tung Yeow, No 2 Tp, A Sqn 2 Recce that were left stranded at Kamina since 13 September 1961. Recall the First Katanga Secession War between ONUC and Katanga that erupted on 13 September 1961. When hostilities broke out ONUC ordered A Sqn 2 Recce to reinforce UN Forces in Elisabethville. Only No 3 Tp and a small tac SHQ managed to land. The next reinforcement was No 2 Tp belonging to 2/Lt Sam Low. However, it failed to land due to heavy fighting. Both C119 were diverted to Kamina Air Base in Central Katanga.

A Sqn 2 Recce then had the dubious distinction of the most overstretched subunit ever in the Army. The locations: Tac SHQ with No 3 Tp in Elisabethville, half No 2 Tp in Kamina while the remainder of the Sqn (who had newly arrived from Bukavu) was in Leopoldville separated by over one thousand six hundred kilometres. Towards the end of September, the balance of A Sqn 2 Recce in Leopoldville under the command of the Sqn 2i/c Cap Maurice Lam was ordered to move to Stanleyville (Kisangani), Congo's third city due to a rumoured impending rebellion by the Deputy Prime Minister, Antoine Gizenga. Travelling by river boat up the Congo took the Sqn a few days to cover a distance of over one thousand miles.

To recapt, the Officers situation of A Sqn then was: OC Maj Lekhbir Singh with No 3 Tp, 2 Lt Abd Rahman Dato Hussein in Elisabethville, Sam Low in Kamina, Capt Maurice Lam with No 1 Tp, 2 Lt Neville Siebel, and No 4 Tp, 2 Lt Michael Chong now in Stanleyville. During the later part of October 1961, the remainder of the A Sqn, was again ordered to move, this time to join B Coy 6RMR in Kindu. They arrived in Kindu towards the end of October 1961.

B Coy 6RMR was commanded by Maj David Daud Yassin. Some people confuse him with David Daud Abu Bakar (Lt Gen Dato). Both were Sandhurst graduates, Daud Yassin was the more senior at RMAS. Designated the Kindu Garrison Commander, Maj David Daud had taken over Kindu on arrival in July 1961 from D Coy 4RMR. Dad's fatal error was occupying that Villa located about a mile up the road from the airport to Kindu Town. It was vacant, left abandoned by the Nigerian Coy since March 1961 after one Nigerian Platoon was ambushed by Congolese troops.

The consequence of that ambush was the replacement of the Nigerians by the original Malayan Special Force made up of 4RMR and C Sqn 2 Recce commanded by Lt Col Bruno Ungku Nazaruddin. However, when B Coy 6RMR arrived in Kindu in July 1961, only D Coy 4RMR was left in Kindu. The rest of the MSF were already in Albertville (Kalemie) and Goma on the last lap homeward bound. It is pertinent to recall that the villa was rejected outright as our Offcers' Mess by Col Ungku Bruno who had the whole force deployed under tentage by the airport. If Maj Daud had followed his predecessor, the 13 Italians could have been saved.

The Massacre was indeed the most tragic and saddest episode in the annals of the ONUC Malaysian Force. After safely delivering the two Ferret Scout Cars at Kindu, the Italians were ready to fly back to base. Their last words to A Sqn were whether they had any mail for Leopoldville. Just then Maj Daud arrived and invited them to the Officers' Mess for lunch. The Italians had wanted to go back into the aircraft to collect their side arms but ironically told by Maj Daud, it was not necessary.

So they jumped into Daud's and another Land Rover for the Officers' Mess and to their most tragic deaths. While they were being dragged away from the Mess, some pleaded "Malaya help!", but to no avail. The doctor among the crew tried to escape by jumping out of the window. He was instantly bayonetted and shot to death.

In Rome, there were heated debates in the Italian Parliament on the Massacre. Outside Parliament, noisy demonstrators demanded why the Malaysians did not help their Italian colleagues. After the Kindu debacle, the Malaysians were withdrawn from Kindu and replaced by Ethiopians. There was talk of a General Court Martial but it did not materialise. Maj Daud Yassin was dishonourable discharged and his Kings Commission withdrawn.

Postscript: The are two monuments built in Italy to commemorate the Kindu Massacre. One outside Roma Airport, the other at Pisa, the home base of the Italian Air Force.

It would be interesting to read the epitaph.

TAN SIEW SOO, Lt Col (rtd), ARMOUR

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:15 PM  
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