Monday, July 4, 2011

GPMG hero

At 04.45 on 27 April 1965, in Plaman Mapu, Sarawak,a position held by 34 men from the British B Company HQ 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment and a platoon of young soldiers fresh from the depot came under three attacks by a Javanese Para-Commando Regiment. Company Sergeant Major (CSM) Williams and other officers were with them, along with cooks, mortar crews and radio operators.

The Javanese gained a lodgement in the position. With the situation deteriorating, Williams grabbed a GPMG and clipped on two more belts to the one already on the gun. He recalls thinking,
"this is it, this is the end of the story anyway, so I'll give them a bit of rapid fire" He stood firing from the hip as a corporal led a counterattack. Several Indonesian commandos charged straight at Williams, the nearest being killed only 2m/2.2yd from him.

When the second assault came in, Williams brought another GPMG up and mortar bombs fired by the Paras fell only 30m/33yd away. This broke up the second assault.

The third attack, just before dawn at about 05.45, was not pressed home with great vigour. When Williams took out a clearing patrol he found one Indonesian, whom he killed.

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