Hermes' Wings

History, Writing and Personal Musings

Category Archives: Articles of War

The Island that Refused to Die


Book in progress (November 2013-present)

Status (May 2018): Manuscript complete. 550 pages. In the market for representation.
Above mast painting by Rowland Hilder, 1942


Occupying a strategic place in the narrows of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta was a British Imperial island during the Second World War. It was a rocky aircraft carrier from where the British could launch attacks on Sicily, and its natural harbor allowed the Royal Navy to exercise dominion over the middle sea.

The Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, was determined to take the island for his own, and in June 1940, he had the men and the machines to do it. But he (and later the Germans) had badly underestimated the fighting spirit of islanders. Although out-manned and outgunned, Royal Air Force aircraft flown by British, Commonwealth and American pilots harried enemy attackers and Allied vessels based there wreaked havoc on German and Italian shipping. The Nazis responded by trying to blast Malta off the map and starving it into submission.

Besieged, the island hung on against the odds, kept alive through a tenuous and erratic supply line (vulnerable convoys sailing from Gibraltar and Alexandria), wielding massive influence on the battles raging in North Africa and sparking fierce naval clashes which gutted the Axis merchant fleets and scarred the Italian Regia Marina, that other Royal Navy. The phrase “naval battles of World War II” may conjure imagery of the Pacific, but more surface engagements were fought in the Mediterranean than in any other place during the war — 50, compared to 36 in the Pacific and 49 in the Atlantic.

Malta’s ordeal lasted for over 900 days (nearly two-and-a-half years) as her defenders fought a lonely, heroic campaign, a private little war against the might of two Axis militaries and paving the way for the Allied liberation of the Mediterranean.

Below follows some of the assorted art and graphics connected with this work. They’ll probably never be published in the way I intend anyway.





Malta Map 1942


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The Road to Tobruk (The North African Campaign, 1940-1942)


The Road to Tobruk | PDF | 98 Pages | 53 Megabytes

Tobruk 1940-42

Note, December 2017 – This study was updated on Friday, December 8, 2017, resulting in an increase from 41 pages to 98, with updated art, cartography and information.

Tobruk Page Mockup

Tobruk Cover (Alternate)

When the German General, Erwin Rommel, landed in Libya in 1940, during the Second World War he found a strange land almost devoid of life. The majority of the population lived in small towns along the coast where the land was green and rich but where just a few miles inland, the burning desert reigned as master and deliverer.

The vast open space meant that civilians were largely out of the crossfire and that a war could be fought “cleanly” (a veritable oxymoron) between professional armies, who to their credit avoided the senseless butchery which marked the other campaigns of the war. Rommel would call this period of his military life, krieg ohne hasse, or “War without Hate,” a period in which he as a soldier conducted a proper war, on purely military terms, on lines of mutual respect.

The "krieg ohne hasse" (war without hate) in effect, mid-1942. A wounded British soldier accepts a light from a wounded German soldier of the Afrika Korps

The “krieg ohne hasse” (war without hate) in effect, mid-1942. A wounded British soldier accepts a light from a wounded German soldier of the Afrika Korps.

The high point of Rommel’s North African career revolved around the seaside town of Tobruk, the second city of Eastern Libya’s Cyrenaica province. After the failure of the Italians in 1940 to reach their dream of a new Roman Empire in the Mediterranean, Hitler was forced to send German troops to salvage Axis pride. Rommel’s orders were simple – recapture Cyrenaica and rout the British. The campaign captured the imagination of the world, as did the dashing Rommel who became a household name in Germany, England and the western world. Tobruk itself became a place of myth in 1941, as stories of its cavalierly heroic Allied garrison gained momentum. The myth eventually succumbed to Rommel’s will, who in the conquest of Tobruk saw a way to seize that most glittering of prizes — Egypt, the Suez Canal, and eventually the mystical Far East which Hitler so coveted as the birthplace of the Aryan race.

The methods which finally overcame the city would go on to inspire Coalition tactics in the invasion of Iraq during Operation “Desert Storm” half a century later.


The attack on Tobruk 1942

Sidi Rezegh (Landscape) MapDivider-9

Addendum: Rommel’s Assessment of Allied troops

Australians: “Rough” men, but unlikely with a “bad heart.” Highly ranked as fighting troops but “inclined to get out of hand.”
Indians: “Well-disciplined and correct” professional soldiers.
New Zealanders: “The finest troops” on the Allied side.
South Africans: “Good material” but simply “too raw,” to be of much use early in the campaign, although their armoured car units were a credit.
British: “Promising amateurs,” although their special forces are “better than Germans.”

(Source: Young, Desmond, Rommel: The Desert Fox, New York: Quill/William Morrow, 1987)

Note – In the interests of historical accuracy it must be noted that Rommel also had vaguely denigrating things to say about eastern troops and especially black soldiers who accompanied the South Africans (apparently for propaganda reasons). Added to this, Desmond Young, the World War II British officer who collected the assessments above, was something of a Rommel admirer, and his book, something of a hagiography, so it possible that some of the judgments were cleaned up.


The Campaign in the Hurtgen Forest

The Green Hell: The Hurtgen Campaign | PDF | 128 Pages | 47 Mb

The Green Hell (4e)

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In the summer of 1944, as the Allied armies swept out of Normandy and Western France, the end of the war seemed within their grasp. But then American troops from the First Army reached a little-charted forest at Hürtgen and a great opportunity arose. Breaching this would gain them the western banks of the Rhine River – the last natural obstacle into Nazi Germany. But almost immediately what started out as a promising advance became a brutal slog.

Ferocious fighting crippled three American divisions and mauled another. The fighting consumed so much that men didn’t even have the energy to bury the dead. Replacements came “bug-eyed, in small, frightened bunches,” many soon to join the casualty lists. One American general called it a dreadful place and “one of the most costly, most unproductive and most ill-advised battles that our army has ever fought.” Another eyewitness, Ernest Hemingway, wrote a novel on the events. But a myopic focus on other campaigns reduced the Hürtgen fighting to a dim memory. Today it is virtually forgotten, especially in America. But Hürtgen remains a landmark of war’s inhumanity, of heroism and the limits of human military endeavor.

Includes: 14 Maps, +80 photographs and illustrations, a detailed order of battle.

This monograph is a result of the surprising number of people who have contacted me over the years asking for more information about this campaign – all because of a study I had once done on a now-defunct website. This work would not have been possible without their interest.

Instead of publishing it for monetary gain, I have instead released my research on this website in the hopes that it will add to the growing public awareness about this half-forgotten campaign and the men who fought it.


Associated pencil art




Ernest Hemingway, a correspondent for Colliers magazine, and a willing participant in combat.


Peleliu 1944


Peleliu Map 15 September 1944

(LEFT) The Palau Islands chain which contained Peleliu. (RIGHT) The Peleliu Island group on the day of the assault.


The impetus for this Peleliu section came out out of a recent talk with an interesting older fellow who had recently met Joseph Mazzello (of HBO’s The Pacific fame) on 49th Street in NYC. Somehow this fellow and I (the old guy, not Mazzello) went into a conversation, discussing of all things: the best places in NYC, The Pacific, Broadway, Mazzello, Spielberg, some other stuff I can’t even remember anymore.

After we said our goodbyes, I got to thinking of Mazzello. Aside from two or  three episodes, The Pacific was a God-awful disappointment. But I thought Mazzello did a tremendous job portraying  his real-life character, Eugene B. Sledge, a mild-mannered professor of biology at Auburn University in later life, a veteran marine during the Second World War whose androcentric last name was perfectly suited to that of a combat soldier – except that Sledge frowned upon the jingoistic meatheads that seem to comprise a percentage of military forces everywhere. His book on the subject, a searing portrait of combat, becomes anti-war, like every great movie about war. The message, aptly recounted by Private Doll in another great war book, The Thin Red Line, is: “War don’t ennoble men, it turns ’em into dogs.” Sledge repeated as much in Studs Terkel’s Pulitzer-winning non-fiction book, The Good War. The Terkel foundation has offered Sledge’s complete interview on their website. They make for fascinating listening. Find them here:

I thought it would be really interesting to blend Sledge’s experiences and the narrative of another enlightened Marine, Robert Leckie, into a study of the Peleliu battle, but since that has been partly done in none other than the The Pacific, I have decided to put up some of the material that I had collected, especially some photos. For those still interested in learning more on this hell of a campaign, I urge you to visit: which contains the original USMC monograph on Peleliu written by Major Frank O. Hough in 1950. The 205-page document has a great deal of information and some excellent maps and photographs.


Eugene Sledge after the war, in front his microscope. Like many hardened combat veterans he gave up his pre-war hobby of hunting, disgusted by the act of frivolous killing.  His fervor instead turned to preservation. (Auburn University)


I created these two drawings to accompany a planned monograph, which I ultimately decided would be superfluous.

Japanese Machinegunner

(LEFT) Japanese machine-gunner, with his Type 99 LMG slung over his shoulder. (RIGHT) US machine-gun team.


(click images for larger picture)


(LEFT) An aerial view of Peleliu taken some years after the battle. (USAF) (RIGHT) LCI (G) rocket-firing ships pound the beaches on D-Day. (USMC)


(LEFT) Despite the terrific American air and sea bombardment, when the smoke cleared, it was discovered that the Japanese artillery and mortar fire had knocked out dozens of American landing craft and DUKWs. (US Navy) (RIGHT) Even as a rocket-firing LCI (on the far left) pounds the shore, Marine Amtracs of the 3rd Armored Amphibian Tractor Battalion chug forward. The closest vehicle is an LVT-1, indicated by its 37mm main cannon, while the others, equipped with short 75 mm guns are LVT(A)-4s. (Associated Press)


(LEFT) Smoke rises from disabled US amphibious craft seen from above “White” and “Orange” beaches. The white line of water is the reef edge. (US Navy) (RIGHT) On D-Day, Marines take cover around a disabled 3rd Armored Amphibian Battalion LTV(A)-4 near “White beach 2.” (USMC)


(LEFT) Marines H.T. Backous (on left) and C.E. Schneider stand in front of Maj. Parker’s knocked-out command tank. Backous was the driver and Schneider was in the turret with Parker. (USMC)

(RIGHT) Col. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, the commander of the 1st Marine Regiment speaks with one his lieutenants. Before the war, Puller had served in the Caribbean, Haiti and Nicaragua. In 1930’s China, he had commanded a detachment of the famous Horse Marines at Shanghai in 1934, encountering his first Japanese here – who, suffice to say, did not afford a favorable impression. During the campaign on Guadalcanal, he won his 3rd Navy Cross and for his leadership on New Britain, was promoted to lead the 1st Marine in February 1944. (USMC)


(LEFT) This fantastic shot of the deck of an LST (No. 202) shows it to be crammed with jeeps, trucks and supplies of all sorts, including rolls of barbed wire, tanks full of drinking water, food and munitions. An LST had a standard displacement of 1,780 tons and a complement of 8-10 officers and 100-115 men. It was ships like these that made America’s liberation of the Pacific possible. (RIGHT) A flamethrower-armed LVT-4 on Peleliu pummels a Japanese dug-out. (Both photos, USMC)


(LEFT) Two marines take a smoke break. In the background is an LVT. The man on the right is armed with a Browning .30cal M1919 Light machine-gun. (USMC) (RIGHT) Marines pose in front of a captured Japanese flag on Peleliu. Trophies like this were well sought after and frequently found. (National Archives)


(Both Photos) Marine wounded found themselves first extracted from the battlefield by stretcher and then evacuated by plane (first photo, National Archives; second, USMC)


(LEFT) Combat on Peleliu was no mean event, considering the ferocity of the Japanese defense and the strange, deformed corral landscape that looked as though it belonged to another world. Predictably, nerves soon frayed as is displayed by the look on this Marine’s face. (My collection; also National Archives 520616) (RIGHT) The ethnicity of this Marine is curious. He has been described as an African-American, although he may have been Puerto-Rican. (National Archives)


(LEFT) An all-black unit of Marine Stevedores shelters in the sand dunes at Peleliu during a break in combat. Despite their employment in a combat zone, it is uncertain how much combat black Marines experienced in the Pacific, owing to the segregated policies of the US Armed Forces during World War II. In this photo, the fact that these men hug the earth while other white marines stand calmly upright in the background seems to indicate that this unit had little prior exposure to battlefield conditions. (RIGHT) Two Marines wait for instructions during an assault.


(LEFT) A disabled Japanese Type 95 tank of the divisional tank company of the 14th Division sits dwarfed alongside a LVT-1 near the airfield in September 1944. (RIGHT) A photograph taken just after the Japanese tank counterattack was smashed. The photo looks out towards the Southeast.


(LEFT) Col. “Bucky” Harris (at center), commander of the 5th Marine Regiment, confers with a gravely-concerned Lt-General Roy S. Geiger (on left) of the III Amphibious Corps, and the egg-bald Maj-General William H. Rupertus, the incompetent, panicky chief of the 1st Marine Division. (RIGHT) Harris’ 5th Regiment gathers on its beach together with Shermans from B Company. (Both photos, USMC)


(LEFT) “Chesty” Puller, photographed on Guadalcanal. Despite popular myth built around Puller that he was a great leader and a true soldier’s soldier (a misconception not fed in the least by The Pacific), in reality few of Puller’s men trusted or respected his leadership. Even men from other regiments on Peleliu could be heard saying: “Thank God, we’re not under Chesty’s command.” (US Government) (RIGHT) When  an LVT(A)-4 nicknamed “Lucky lady,” found itself under siege from a lone Japanese heavy gun, it simply ran it down. Although “Lucky Lady” became stuck in the dug-out, the Japanese obviously came off worst. (USMC)


(LEFT) An Amtrac at rest. Note the improvised flamethrower (behind the blast shield) at the rear of the vehicle, adapted by Marines to tackle entrenched Japanese positions. (USMC)

Naval Amphibian Combat (RIGHT) Occasionally, Amtracs or “Amtanks” as these turreted versions of the LVTs were called, found themselves engaged in naval warfare. Here, the Amtanks have shot up and captured a Japanese landing craft. (USMC)


(LEFT) As the Marines battled north through Peleliu, they came upon one of their last objectives in the campaign: capturing Ngesebus island with its small fighter airfield, just across a narrow strip of coral waterway. Here, survivors of the 3rd Amphibian Battalion wait by the Peleliu shore for the attack order to come. (USMC)

(RIGHT) Marines at Horseshoe Valley deal with a massive 200-lb land mine which was fortuitously discovered before the LVT(A)-4 Flamethrower in the lower part of the photograph could make contact. In the upper background, US Army M4A2 Sherman tanks from the 710th Tank Battalion wait for the advance to resume. This photo was taken in the first or second week of October 1944. (USMC)


(LEFT) A stretcher team under Sgt. T.D. Barnett rushes a wounded man to a forward aid post. (USMC) (RIGHT) In this famous photograph, a Marine, despite the chronic water shortage on the island, gives up his canteen to a fellow wounded Marine. (National Park Service)

Marines under fire on the beach. (My collection/Corbis)

Marines examine their own dead, killed by the Japanese before they could even get off the beach. In all, US forces suffered 9,800 casualties on Peleliu, including 1,794 killed. In contrast, 10,695 out of 11,000 Japanese soldiers died and only some 200 were captured.  (Associated Press/Joe Rosenthal)

Here, two DUKWs perform a new role — as the pontoon propellants for an “aircraft ferry.” Under a system developed by the US Office of Scientific Research and Development, two DUKWs were joined at the center, allowing an aircraft (in this case a P-38 Lightning) to be positioned on the center span. Obviously the system could only work on calm seas. (Military History Institute)


A piece of war art that achieved global fame was this 1944 painting by the famous artist, Tom Lea III (pictured on right). Originally captioned “Down from Bloody Nose Ridge, he’s finished, washed-up, gone,” it has since become known as the “The Two-Thousand-Yard Stare.” Born in El Paso in 1903, Lea was an “embedded” LIFE magazine reporter with the 1st Marine Division in 1944 and witnessed first-hand the carnage on Peleliu. He later wrote that “my work there consisted of trying to keep from getting killed and trying to memorize what I saw and felt.” Lea died on 29 January 2001 at the place of his birth, El Paso. (print image, US Army Center for Military History; Tom Lea photo by the Tom Lea Institute)


Although these two photos are not from Peleliu, I include them here because I think they represent the quintessential American experience in the Pacific theater of operations during the war.


(LEFT) An unknown Marine, the strain of fatigue and combat showing on his face, returns to a transport ship after the battle for Eniwetok. I have always wondered who this guy was and what happened to him. The National Archives tag offers no hint of a name or a unit. (National Archives NA 26-G-3394) (RIGHT) Another photo from the Eniwetok battleground: Three Marines, smudged and weary from two days of continuous fighting recuperate on a troop ship.  PFC Faris M. “Bob” Tuohy, 19, holds the coffee cup.  The other men are sadly unknown. (National Archives NA 26-G-3345)


Peleliu revisted
(all photos © Agence France-Presse)


Cleared Ground Demining blows up about 1,000 lbs of explosives  in Aimeliik State, Palau, from three batches of “Type 2” WWII-era depth charges pulled from the ocean. The team trained a team of 25 Palauans to help dispose of the dangerous items.

The rusting remains of destroyed Japanese war equipment on Peleliu. (RICHARD W. BROOKS/AFP/2014)


Stalingrad Pocket | PDF | 100 Pages | 15 Mb

Stalingrad Pocket

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In the summer of 1941, the might of German military adventurism rolled east into the Soviet Union, catching the Russians completely by surprise. Entire swathes of territory fell to the Nazis. The Russians lost 3,000 planes on the very first day of the invasion alone. By the summer of 1942, the Germans were deep in Russia but none of the important cities had fallen. Moscow and Leningrad, under siege, held on. In the south, Russia’s third city, Stalingrad, came under attack. A spectacular battle began here, epitomizing the most complicated of the human condition: betrayal, courage, sacrifice and stupidity. The fighting became a symbol of the titanic contest between Hitler and Stalin, committing nearly two million men and women in a struggle that would decide the future of the war on the Eastern Front.

Includes: 13 Maps/Aerial Photos, orders of battle for both sides and +50 photographs.



Dresden 1945

Dresden 1945 | PDF | 16 Pages | 3.6 Megabytes

The Bombing of Dresden

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The Allied attack on Dresden in February 1945 is arguable one of the most destructive events of the Second World War barring the atomic strikes. This short study analyzes the allied air raids, discovering the true extent of the damage within the city and the raid’s ultimate significance to the allied war effort.

For the longest time, there was simply no reference to the bombing at all, especially in Western Europe and America, but a gradual trickle of literature emerged. The writer, Kurt Vonnegut, who was an American POW drafted to help with the clean-up, wrote a novel (Slaughterhouse Five) after the war. He was attacked by some as being sympathetic to the bombed Nazis. Vonnegut was actually attempting to convey the folly of war. Later, The soviets tried to use the attack to turn East German sentiments against the Western powers. The West, meantime, conveniently attempted to forget that the attack ever took place. Winston Churchill, who had ultimately authorized the raid, made little mention of it in his biography and often deferred responsibility elsewhere. But propaganda or shame, the bombings now serve as a lesson of restraint.

Note — This study, written in 2004, for publication in a Texas A&M University annual, deals solely with the effects of the bombing. It does not examine allied operational plans or delve into detail on the raids.

The Chindits in Photographs, Part 2 – Contributed


These photos are courtesy of John Bradburn, West Midlands – of his father, Chindit John Henry Wallis Bradburn of the 1st Battalion, King’s own (Liverpool) Regiment







Thanks to Glenn for contributing these photographs from his father’s collection. They deal with the 6th Fighter Squadron, 1st Air Commando Group. If anyone can identify the other men in these photographs, do let me know.

Norman Goldsher  New version P47

(LEFT) Norman Goldsher in late-1944. An aircraft mechanic, Goldsher was stationed in Asansol and Harpers Ferry, India  (RIGHT) Unidentified member of the 6th Squadron poses in front of “Bar-Fly” with an M1 carbine.

New P51  New P47 engine

(LEFT) Unidentified ground crewmen of the squadron gather in front of the unit’s latest mount, a new P-51D Mustang, circa 1945 (RIGHT) Mechanics refit a P-47 Thunderbolt with a new engine.

Norman with P47 P47 Kodak

(LEFT) Norman Goldsher with “Bar-Fly,” simmering in the heat.  (RIGHT) A P-47 undergoes routine maintenance, either at at Asansol Airfield or at Cox’s Bazar, India.




Captain Tommy C. Roberts of 5 Column as he appeared in 1943, in the incarnation of a Lieutenant (note the two pips on his epaulets). Roberts, a member of the 13th King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, commanded 5 Column’s Support Group. Captured in Burma as the first expedition wound down, Roberts spent the rest of the war at the notorious Changi POW camp in Singapore, having been designated as a “special case” by the Japanese Secret Police. Happily, Roberts survived captivity and returned to Liverpool in October 1945, despite difficult conditions at Changi and despite being emaciated by Beriberi. (Photo courtesy of Robert’s daughter, Patricia Ireland)




Members of 7th Troop, ‘A’ Squadron, 45th Recce Regiment. Trooper Fred S. Pett is the second man from the right, kneeling. Trooper Prett sadly perished at the tender age of 23 under known circumstances. (Photo courtesy of Pett’s daughter, Jane Barlow)

The family of David Pearson (see below photograph) believe their father is the tall figure, standing second from right.



David Pearson

Trooper David Pearson of the 45th Recce. A native of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, Pearson was employed as an office boy before joining the army in 1941. He was posted to the 45th Recce in August 1942 but was transferred to the South Staffordshire Regiment after the conclusion of Operation “Thursday.” He survived the war, was demobbed in 1947 and later set up his own business at the Grimsby Fish Docks.

Although he preferred not to talk about the war, his most persistent recollection was of a night in the jungle when a group of Japanese soldiers walked over him and other members of his troop, oblivious to the fact that they were treading over enemy soldiers.

(Photo courtesy of Pearson’s children, David Pearson II and Jill Finn)



Stephens Sergeant Tom Stephens as he appeared at the end of 1943. A member of Lt-Colonel Walter Scott’s 81 Column (1st King’s (Liverpool) Regiment), Stephens survived the campaign. After the war, he returned to Liverpool where he lived for the rest of his life.

Stephens was in the first wave of gliders which landed at “Broadway” on the night of March 5, 1944. In another glider being towed by a C-47 Dakota was his best friend and fellow soldier, Jack Shaw. They had enlisted on the same day at Formby Barracks, just north of Liverpool and had gone through Chindit training together. On the flight in, however, Shaw’s glider was prematurely cut loose from its tug. Stephens watched helplessly as the glider drifted helplessly across the Burmese jungle, never to be seen again. In all, 12 gliders were lost in this way during the flight in, with nine crashing behind enemy lines. Years after the war, Stephens sought out Shaw’s widow and was able to tell her how her husband had perished.

According to Tom’s son, Robert Stephens, the Liverpool-based the survivors of 81 and 82 column held a reunion in 1974 which Walter Scott was able to attend. “It was a wonderful event, full of reminiscing and the telling stories…by the end of the evening, he felt like they had all ‘re-fought’ all their battles.”

(Photo courtesy of Robert Stephens)



The Chindits – In 1944


The Chindits, the Marauders and the Air Commandos
in 1944
– Orders of Battle and Resources –



The Chindits were officially known as the “Special Force” or the 3rd Indian Infantry Division, but one should note that title “3rd Indian division” was purely a deceptive title to fool the Japanese. The bulk of the division contained Britons, West Africans, Gurkhas, Burmese and a few Indians in the engineering and service companies.

Virtually a double-strength division, the 3rd Indian had an unprecedented six brigades under its control– each referred to by a nickname. Each brigade had its own headquarters situated near an airfield with a headquarters column in the field.

Commanding Officer (CO) Chindits Cloth Badge

(1) Major-Gen. Charles Orde Wingate (KIFA 24 March)
(2) Major-Gen. Walter D.A. Lentaigne (From 30 March)

Deputy CO
(1) Maj-Gen. G.W. Symes (Resigned, early April)
(2) Brigadier Derek Tulloch (Replaced Symes but being unpopular with both Symes and Lentaigne, was bypassed in the chain of command. Lentaigne instead preferred Col. Alexander)

Brigadier, General Staff CO (Rear HQ)
(1) Brigadier Derek Tulloch
(2) Col. Henry T. Alexander

GSO 1 (Ground), Chief Operations Officer
(1) Lt-Col. Francis Piggott (Sacked)
(2) Lt-Col. Henry T. Alexander
GSO 2 (Ground), Assistant Operations Officer Major David Tyacke

GSO 1 (Air), Chief Operations Officer ?
GSO 2 (Air), Assistant Operations Officer —
Major Frank Barns
GSO 3 (
Air), Liaison Officer to Air Commandos
Capt. Paul Griffin (Jan 1944 to Mar 1945)

Chief Supply OfficerBrigadier Neville Marks
Signals ChiefColonel Claude Fairweather


Rear HQ — Gwalior, India
Main HQ — First at Imphal, then at Sylhet, Assam
Launching HQ — Lalaghat
Tactical-Forward HQ — Shaduzup, Burma

14th Army Cloth Badge

The 70th British Division: Of the four primary reasons for the regular army’s hatred of the Chindits, the 70th Division constituted possibly the third. A veteran of the 1942 fighting for Tobruk in North Africa, the division had begun the war as the 7th Division under (Source: IWM INS 6662)Maj-Gen. Richard O’ Conner. Initially held in British Palestine, the division was renumbered as the 6th Division on 3 November 1939 while in Egypt, and although its members expected to see action, none came and the division returned to Palestine. This nonchalant state of affairs continued until June 1940 when the unit returned to Egypt only to be disbanded and its men sent to other units as replacements.

Reconstituted the next year, on 17 February 1941, the division seemed set to repeat the old pattern of rear-line deployment, but then on October 10, found itself re-designated the 70th Division and transferred to the legendary sea fortress of Tobruk between 13 and 20 October — primarily to relieve the heroic 9th Australian Division which had defended the seaport all that year. In November, the division fought its way out of the fortress and linked up with the rest of the British army, an act that officially broke the Axis siege of Tobruk. But by this act, the unit also passed from being a front-line unit and into a reserve division. In March 1942, it was transferred to far-off India to meet the Japanese threat.

Initially bivouacked at Bangalore in the south for a sustained period of rest, the division became the pride of the armies in India. It was the only fully-trained, completely-equipped British division in the theatre, and when orders came that it was to be broken up to augment the Chindit Force, it generated considerable resentment at General HQ India. It did not help that few of the senior army types trusted Wingate or his eccentric nature.

The other reasons for army anger included what was perceived as a Chindit “poaching” of good men and material for their unconventional, “highly-dubious” endeavor; a general suspicion of all special operations by the straight-laced Indian-British Army leadership (the list of detractors even included the popular General William “Uncle Bill” Slim), and resentment over Wingate’s favor with Churchill, Field Marshal Wavell and other leaders in England — all of which amounted to a fear that the Chindits would overshadow regular army operations against the Japanese in Burma.

It must be mentioned that Wingate also held a bias against the conservative Indian-British Army and Indian troops, whom he termed “second rate” — an unfair estimation considering the outstanding campaign conducted by these men in the recapture of Burma and elsewhere. Arguably, this was another source of friction for William Slim, the commander of the British 14th Indian Army, who took grave exception to Wingate’s opinions about the army.

Meantime, the 70th Division began to reorganize for the role of “long range penetration” on 6 September 1943, relinquishing its units to the 3rd Indian Division or “Special Force” (the Chindits) on October 25th. The divisional HQ ceased to function on that day and the division itself ceased to exist on November 24th.


Events leading to Operation “Thursday”

The first Chindit expedition, Operation “Longcloth” was considered an important breakthrough in strategic thinking. It proved that a war in the densely forested jungles of Burma could be fought and won – contrary to previous notions. In fact “Longcloth” proved so impressive that the Japanese who had long given up the idea of invading India, believing that the jungles beyond the Chindwin River were impassible, began to review to plan their own invasion of India. through those same jungles.

By the end of 1943, armies on both sides of the Chindwin (a defacto border separating the Allies from the Japanese) were content to hold what they had. In contrast, American strategy had taken the offensive – and they wanted to divert as much enemy troops as possible from the Pacific and at the same time, keep China (and her airbases) free to strike at the Japanese homeland. US commanders, notably General Joseph “Vinegar Joe”  attempted to achieve this by training and attempting to organize the notoriously corrupt Chinese army for offensive operations. Meantime, they hoped for a campaign from the British who they believed held a large, untapped reserve of mainly Indian manpower.

At the “Quadrant”summit conference held in Quebec in August 1943, future allied military policy was the agenda. The British were under pressure to take offensive action in the Burma theatre. Churchill, with Wingate by his side, persuaded the allied chiefs to embark on a second, larger Chindit offensive. Wingate’s plans were ambitious. His proposal was to airlift several divisions behind Japanese lines. It was a bold plan but curtailed by political squabbles, reduced to include just a single division (albeit a highly-reinforced division) to take part in what would eventually become named as Operation “Thursday.”

At the core of Wingate’s plan was “to insert himself in the guts of the enemy” with the hopeful bonus that the Japanese would not know where they he had landed. This idea had two objectives:

A)      Punch deep into enemy lines.
B)      Stay there until relieved.

Wingate decided to retain the heart of the British system – using morale and motivation to the fullest – the espirit de corps of the regiment as the building block of his new force. To this end, he used men mainly from General Symes’ British 70th Infantry division, known for its high levels of training and morale, with a core of units staffed by veterans from the original 77th Brigade. But this time, instead of marching into Burma and harassing the Japanese with guerrilla-type raids, the Chindits were to land by glider in jungle clearings and build fortress, complete with artillery support and forward airstrips to bring in supplies and take out the wounded. It was a dramatic new tactic that would have deep consequences.

For a detailed history of the second campaign, click here


As I go through more of my sources, the order of battle below with its list of commanders may one day be complete. In the meantime, if you have any information that could be of importance, kindly send me a message. Updated – 6 July 2016. (All dates indicated below are by day/month)


(Source: IWM INS 6409)3rd West African “THUNDER” Brigade (Brig. A.H. Gillmore (sacked 18/4), Brig. Abdy H.G. Ricketts)
6th Bn, Nigeria Regiment (Lt-Col P.G. Day (sacked 17/3 after battalion suffered an ambush), replaced by Lt-Col. Gordon Upjohn)
—- 66 Column (Battalion CO)
—- 39 Column
7th Bn, Nigeria Regiment (Lt-Col. Charles Vaughn)
—- 29 Column (Maj. Charles Carfrae)
—- 35 Column (Battalion CO)
12th Bn, Nigeria Regiment (Lt-Col. Pat Hughes)
—- 12 Column
—- 43 Column
HQ, 7th West African Field Coy – 10 Column
3rd West African Field Ambulance

14th “JAVELIN” Brigade (Brigadier Thomas ‘Ian’ Brodie)
HQ Column – 59 Column
2nd Bn, Black Watch (Lt-Col George Green)
—- 42 Column (Maj. D.M.C. Rose)
—- 73 Column (Battalion CO)
1st Bn, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regt (Lt-Col Pat Eason (ill in May of scrub typhus, died in hospital), repl by Lt-Col. T.J. Barrow)
—- 16 Column (Battalion CO)
—- 61 Column
2nd Bn, Yorkshire & Lancaster Regt (Lt-Col P. Graves-Morris, MC)
—- 65 Column (Maj. B.S. Downward)
—- 84 Column (Battalion CO)
7th Bn, Leicester Regiment (Lt-Col. F.R. Wilford)
—- 47 Column (Battalion CO)
—- 74 Column (Maj. J. Geoffrey Lockett)
54th Field Coy, RE
Medical Detachment

16th “ENTERPRISE” Brigade (Brigadier Bernard E. Fergusson, DSO)
HQ Column – 99 Column (Brigade Major: Maj. J.H. Marriot, MC)
Rear HQ (Lalaghat, India) –  2IC: Lt-Col. F.O. ‘Katie’ Cave
1st Bn, The Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment (Lt-Col J.F. Metcalf (evac in April), repl by T.V. Close)
—- 21 Column (Metcalf, Maj. Clowes)
—- 22 Column (Maj. T.V. Close → repl by Maj. G.F. Ottaway)
2nd Bn, Leicester Regiment (Lt-Col. Claude ‘Jack’ Wilkinson, DSO (WIA 26/3), Lt-Col H.N. Daniels)
—- 17 Column (Battalion CO, Maj. Dalgliesh, MC)
—- 71 Column (Maj. H.N. ‘Dafty’ Daniels)
51st/69th Royal Artillery (Lt-Col. R.C. Sutcliffe) (Composed of RA personnel)
—- 51 Column (Maj. A.C.S. Dickie)
—- 69 Columns (Battalion CO)
45th Recce Regt (Made from Recce units) (Lt-Col Cumberledge (evac 30/3), Lt-Col. G.H. Astell)
—- 45 Column (Maj. Ron Adams KIA 26/3, Battalion CO)
—- 54 Column (Maj. Varcoe (evac sick), Maj. E. Hennings (KIA))
2d Company, RE
Medical Detachment

23rd Long-Range Penetration Brigade Brigadier (Brigadier Lance ECM Perowne)
(Never joined the Chindits in the field. Was instead used to quell Japanese attackers in the Kohima area.)
HQ Column – 32 Column
1st Bn, Essex Regiment
—- 44 Column
—- 56 Column
2nd Bn, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (Lt-Col. E.W. Stevens, MBE) → Bn fought in the Naga Hills
—- 33 Column (Maj. S.R. Hoyle, MC)
—- 76 Column (Battalion CO, Maj. A.D. ‘Tony’ Firth, DSO) → Known as “The Smugger’s Column”
4th Bn, Border Regiment
—- 34 Column
—- 55 Column
12th Field Company, RE
Medical Detachment

77th “EMPHASIS” Brigade (Brigadier J Michael Calvert)
HQ Column – 25 Column (Brigade Major: Maj. Francis Stuart)
Rear HQ (LZ Broadway) –  Bde 2IC: Col. Claude Rome, DSO)
Mixed Field Coy, RE/Royal Indian Engineers

3rd Bn, 6th Gurkha Rifles (Lt-Col. H.A. ‘Boom’ Skone (evac), Lt-Col. Freddie Shaw)
—- 36 Column (Initially both columns commanded by Skone)
—- 63 Column (Maj. Freddie Shaw)
1st Bn, The King’s (Liverpool) Regt (Lt-Col W.P. ‘Scottie’ Scott) (To 111 Bde in May)
—- 81 Column (Battalion CO) → Floater Column at ‘Broadway’
—- 82 Column (Maj. Gaitley)
1st Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers (Lt-Col. Hugh N.F. Christie)
—- 20 Column (Maj. Shuttleworth, Maj. David Monteith, KIA 8/6)
—- 50 Column (Battalion CO)
1st Bn, South Staffords Regiment (Lt-Col. G.P. Richards, MC (WIA 22/3, died in May), Lt-Col. Ron Degg)
—- 38 Column (Battalion CO, Maj. W.A. Cole, MC)
—- 80 Column (Maj. Degg) → Both columns combined in mid-May and evac in July
3rd Bn, 9th Gurkha Rifles (Lt-Col. George Noel → repl. by Lt-Col. Alec Harper) (To 111 Bde in May)
—- 57 Column (Battalion CO)
—- 93 Column (Maj. R.E.G. ‘Reggie’ Twelvetrees)
142nd Commando Coy, Hong Kong Volunteers
Medical and Veterinary Detachments

111th “PROFOUND” Brigade (Brigadier William DA ‘Joe’ Lentaigne – after he was promoted up in March, the brigade was given to Brigadier J.R. ‘Jumbo’ Morris, who was unable to relinquish command of Morrisforce. Therefore, the brigade was commanded in the field by Major John Masters, appointed temporary brigadier, while Morris was its commander on paper)
HQ Column – 48 Column (Brigade Major: Maj. John Masters → repl by Maj. ‘Baron’ Henfry)
Rear HQ:
1st Bn, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) (Lt-Col. William M. ‘Bill’ Henning)
—- 26 Column (Temp Maj. B.J. ‘Tim/Breezy’ Brennan)
—- 90 Column (Battalion Commander)
2nd Bn, The King’s own Royal Regiment (Lt-Col. A.W. ‘Tommy’ Thompson)
—- 41 Column (Battalion Commander)
—- 46 Column (Maj. Heap)
3rd Bn, 4th Gurkha Rifles (Lt-Col. Ian Monteith)
(Adjutant – Major Bill Towill)
—- 30 Column (Maj. Maurice Deane)
—- 40 Column → Moved to Morris Force (See below)
Mixed Field Coy, RE/Royal Indian Engineers
Medical and Veterinary Detachments

Morris Force (Morrisforce) (Brigadier J.R. ‘Jumbo’ Morris)
4th Bn, 9th Gurkha Rifles (Maj. Morris (transferred), Maj. Russell)
—- 49 Column (Battalion CO)
—- 94 Column (Maj. Peter G. Cane) → Garrison at ‘Broadway’
3rd Bn, 4th Gurkha Rifles
—- 40 Column (Lt-Col. Ian Monteith, KIA)
This force harassed Japanese forces in the mountain ridges skirting the Bhamo-Myitkyina Road.

DAH Force (Lt-Col. D.C. ‘Fish’ Herring)
This force consisted on 74 men, including Herring, his second-in-command, Captain Lazum Tang and ten Kachins of the 2nd Burma Rifles, Major Kennedy of the Poona Horse, Captain Nimmo of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, a 19-strong detachment from the Royal Corps of Signals under Captain Treckman, nine Chinese of the Hong Kong volunteers, a 27-strong defense platoon from the South Stafford Regiment under Captain Railton, a demolitions expert, Sgt Cockling, an American liaison officer, Captain Sherman P. Joost and lastly, Private Williams, a medic who looked after the sick and the wounded.

BLADETL (Blain’s Detachment) Major ‘Bob’ Blain
Volunteer force of six officers and 60 men (primarily British and West Africans) used for diversion, sabotage and reconnaissance. The group landed in special gliders which were capable of being hoisted back into the air by C-47 Dakotas equipped with snatching gear.
With its West Africans dressed in American uniforms (ostensibly to fool the Japanese), the unit conducted reconnaissance in the Indaw area, before and after Fergusson’s 16th Brigade arrived.

Gliderborne Commando Engineers

Other Units

Royal Artillery
Supporting non-mobile units employed in defending the Chindit Jungle fortresses:
R, S and U Troops, 160th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (All with 25-Pdr cannons)
W,X,Y, and Z Troops, 69th Light Anti Aircraft Regiment(40mm & 12.5mm Hispano cannons)

Divisional Troops

2d Bn, Burma Rifles – Lt-Col. P.C. Buchanan (One section assigned per column except for the 3rd West African Brigade)
219th Field Park Company, Royal Engineers
Detachment 2nd Burma Rifles
145th Brigade Company, RASC
61st Air Supply Company, RASC
2nd Indian Air Supply Company, RIASC




Source: Almost all of these badges were adapted from vintage Gallagher’s Cigarette cards, printed in the early part of the 20th Century. Digital versions can be found at the New York Public Library’s Online Collection.


Supporting Units

5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), US Army (“Merrill’s Marauders”

CO — (1) Brigadier-General Frank D. Merrill – 1 Jan to 19 May 1944 (heart attack)
(2) Col.  John E. McCammon – 19-22 May (sacked)
———(3) Brig-Gen. Haydon L. Boatner – 22 May to June 1944 (relieved)
———(4) Col. Charles “Chuck” Hunter – June to 3 Aug 1944 (sent home)
Deputy CO
(1) Col. Charles N. Hunter
—————–(2) Col. John E. McCammon

To offset its unglamorous army designation, the unit was unofficially known as Merrill’s Marauders, and joined General Stilwell’s Northern Command after training with Wingate as Chindits from late 1943 to early 1944. It was called “Galahad” by Wingate and the British. The unit possessed a rich diversity of Americans, with men from cities and the country, ranging from Anglo-Saxons to Latins, from Hispanics to Native Americans. Japanese Nisei staffed the intelligence and reconnaissance platoons in good numbers, and the unit’s best sniper was a Sioux Indian.

Wiped out once in combat, 2,600 fresh, non-Chindit trained replacements were flown in from the United States on May 25 to form a new “Galahad.” Soon, these men too were fighting for their lives at the Burmese town of Myitkyina  under General Stilwell’s unbending orders. The survivors were so irate that Stilwell was once lucky to return from the frontline alive. The historian C. Ogburn records one of the Marauders telling an officer: “I had him in my rifle sights. I coulda squeezed one off and no one woulda known it wasn’t a Jap that got the son of a bitch.”

The unit was disbanded on 10 August 1944, a week after the fall of Myitkyina. Only 130 men had avoided becoming casualties out of the original 2,997.

H Force (Col. Charles N. Hunter)
1st Battalion – Red & White Combat Teams (Lt-Col. William Osborne)
150th Chinese Regiment

M Force (Lt-Col. George McGee Jr.)
2nd Battalion – Blue & Green Combat Teams (Lt-Col. George McGee Jr)

K Force (Col. Henry L. Kinnison Jr. (Died))
3rd Battalion – Khaki & Orange Combat Teams (Lt-Col. Charles Beach)
88th Chinese Regiment


1st Air Commando Group, United States Army Air Force

CO — (1) Col. Philip C. Cochran – Nov 1943 (officially from 29 Mar) to 20 May 1944
———(2) Col. Clinton B. “Clint” Gaty – 20 May 1944 to  26 Feb 1945 (MIA)
Deputy CO Lt-Col. John R. Allison –  November 1943 to 20 May 1944

Formed under orders from U.S. Army Air Force chief, General “Hap” Marshall, this unit first came into existence as the top-secret Project 9 in 1943, specifically formed to support British long-range sorties into Burma. Later it became known as the 5318th Provisional Group in December 1943 and under this title, took part in Operation “Thursday”  airlifting and supporting Wingate’s troops in Burma from March 1944. Yet, before the month was out, another change of title had occurred and the unit officially became known as the 1st Air Commando. Its motto, “Anyplace, Anytime, Anywhere” was lifted from a message sent by Wingate endorsing his support for the group and its men. Carried over in the decades after the war, this is currently the motto of U.S. Special Operations Command.

The 1st Air Commandos largely left the Chindits on 20 May 1944 and were disbanded on 3 November 1945. It was later reformed in the US on 18 April 1962 as the 1st Special Operations Wing.

13 x C-47 Dakota,  12 x C-46 Commando Transports (CO – Maj. William T. Cherry)
12 x B-25H Mitchell medium bombers (CO – Lt-Col. Robert T. Smith)
30 x P-51A Mustang Fighter-bombers (CO – Lt-Col. Gratten “Grant” Mahony)
100 x L-1 and L-5 “Grasshopper” Light planes (CO – Maj. A. Paul Rebori (Sacked), Lt-Col Clinton B. Gaty)
10th Jungle Air Rescue Detachment: 6 x Sikorsky YR-4 Helicopters (top-secret, early machines, also under Gaty’s command)

Glider Group (Capt. William H. Taylor Jr.) – Originally with 225 Waco CG-4A Gliders

The First Air Commando's Glider Group Badge First Air Commando Fighter Group First Air Commando's 319th Troop Carrier Squadron Badge

After the September 1944 Reorganization, the Air Commando had this form:

5th & 6th Fighter Squadrons: P-47 Thunderbolts & P-51 Mustangs
164th Liaison Squadron: C-46 Commando
165th Liaison Squadron: C-46 Commando
166th Liaison Squadron: C-46 Commando
319th Troop Carrier Squadron: C-47 Dakotas
72nd, 309th & 326th Aerodrome Squadrons
284th & 285th Medical Dispensaries


Eastern Air Command
Supply Aircraft


900th Airborne Engineers Aviation Company, US Army

CO — (1) Captain Patrick Casey (KIA 5 March 1944)
Deputy CO Lt. Robert Brackett

The 900th Airborne Engineers, with a strength of only 4 officers and 124 enlisted men, would carry out five, separate glider landing missions during the course of Operation “Thursday,” apparently earning them the privilege of having made the most glider-borne landings of any glider-borne unit of World War II. The 900th participated in the landings at all the Chindit strongholds: Broadway, White City, Aberdeen, Chowinghee and Blackpool.



The column was the main unit and all operations were column based (the term column was used literally because all personnel moved through the jungle in a single file). Each battalion had two columns, one commanded usually by the battalion commander and the other by his second in command. Each column had between 400-500 men.

Each column was composed of:

One company with four or five Rifle Platoons
One or two Heavy Weapons Platoons (each with two Vickers MMGs, two 3-Inch Mortars, one Flamethrower and two anti-tank Piats)
One Commando Platoon (with demolition and booby-trap experts)
One Recce Platoon (with a British officer commanding Burma Rifles-Karen and Kachin tribesman)

Plus assorted Royal Air Force controllers, sappers, signalmen and medical detachments.


Acronyms & Abbreviations:

2IC – Second-in-Command
Bn – Battalion (In the British Army, basic combat unit capable of independent action)
CO – Commanding Officer
Coy – Company
DSO – Distinguished Service Order (Decoration)
Evac – Evacuated from Burma. Relieved of command.
KIA – Killed in action
KIFA – Killed in Flying Accident
MC – Military Cross (Decoration)
RA – Royal Artillery
RE – Royal Engineers
Regt – Regiment (In British Army, purely an administrative formation)
Repl – Replaced
RIASC – Royal Indian Army Service Corps
WIA – Wounded in Action


Medals of the British Army v4

Sources for all Chindit writing on this site:

ALLEN, Louis, Burma — The Longest War, London: Phoenix Press, 1984.
ANGLIM, Simon, Orde Wingate and the British Army, 1922-1944, London: Chatto & Pickering, 2010.
ASTOR, Gerald, The Jungle War, Wiley, 2004.
BAINES, Frank, Chindit Affair, Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2011.
BIDWELL, Shelford, The Chindit War: Stilwell, Wingate and the Campaign in Burma: 1944, NY: Macmillan, 1979.
BIERMAN, John & Colin Smith, Fire in the Night: Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia and Zion, NY: Random House, 1999.
CALLAHAN, Raymond, Burma 1942-1945, London: Davis-Poynter, 1978.
CALVERT, Michael, Prisoners of Hope, London: Leo Cooper, 1971.
‘——————–‘ Fighting Mad, Norfolk: Jarrolds, 1964.
‘——————–‘ The Chindits, NY: Ballantine, 1971.
CHINNERY, Philip, Wingate’s Lost Brigade, Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2010.
CLARKE, Peter, The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire,
London: Penguin, 2007.
DIAMOND, Jon, Stilwell and the Chindits, Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2014.
‘————‘ Chindit vs Japanese Infantryman, London: Osprey, 2015.
FERGUSSON, Bernard, Beyond the Chindwin,
Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2009.
‘—————‘ The Wild Green Earth,
Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2015.
KIRBY, S. Woodburn et al. , History of the Second World War: War Against Japan, London: HMSO, 1957
MARSTEN, Daniel P., Phoenix from the Ashes – The Indian Army in the Burma Campaign, NY: Praeger, 2003.
MASTERS, John, The Road Past Mandalay, London: Cassell, 2012.
McLYNN, Frank, The Burma Campaign: Disaster into Triumph, 1942-45, Yale University Press, 2011.
MOREMAN, Tim, Chindit 1942-45, Oxford: Osprey, 2009.
MORTIMER, Gavin, Three Daring Dozen: 12 Special Forces Legends of World War II, London: Osprey, 2012.
NESBIT, Roy Conyers, The Battle for Burma, London: Pen & Sword, 2009.
OGBURN, Charlton, The Marauders, 1960
OWEN, Frank, The Campaign in Burma, London: HMSO.
ROMANUS, Charles and Riley Sunderland, Stilwell’s Command Problems, 1953.
REDDING, Tony, The War in the Wilderness, The History Press, 2015.
ROONEY, David, Mad Mike — A Life of Brigadier Michael Calvert, London: Pen & Sword, 2007.
STIBBE, Philip, Return from Rangoon, London: Pen & Sword, 1997.
SYKES, Christopher, Orde Wingate, NY: World Publishing Company, 1959.

THOMAS, Andrew, Spitfire Aces of Burma and the Pacific, Oxford: Osprey, 2009.
THOMPSON, Julian, Forgotten Voices of Burma, London; Erbury Press, 2009.
THORBURN, Gordon, Jocks in the Jungle, Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2012..
TOWILL, Bill, A Chindit’s Chronicle, iUniverse, 2000.
TUCHMAN, Barbara, Stilwell and the American Experience in China, NY: Grove Press, 2001.
WAGNER, R.D. Van, Any Place, Any Time, Any Where, Altgen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 1998.
WEBSTER, Thomas, The Burma Road: The Epic Story of the China-Burma-India Theatre in World War II, NY: Harper Collins, 2004.
YOUNG, Edward, Air Commando Fighters of World War II, North Branch, MN: Specialty Press, 2000.

7th Leicestershire Regimental War Diary, The National Archives, WO 172/4900 (Unearthed by Hugh Vaugh)
Captain P. Griffin, IWM Museum of Records, PP/MCR/221  PG/1  ND (ca. 1970’s)


1. Chindit Chasing, Operation Longcloth 1943 Website:

Interesting original research and a good collection of photographs collected by Steve Fogden pertaining to the 1943 expedition. Well worth a visit if you wish to know more of some of the men who participated in the 1943 campaign. Web address at: (Accessed 22 December 2011)

2. The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment Good information on the Queen’s Regiment during the 1944 expedition. Look for Chapter 5. (Accessed 25 December 2011)

3. 2nd Yorks & Lancs War Diary, 1944 (Accessed 26 December 2011)

4. The British Military History Website: A good collection of information, orders of battle and other war research compiled by Robert Palmer, with an emphasis on the Burma campaign. (Accessed 4 January 2012)

5. The Chindits Society

The society was established in 2015 to connect the families of Chindits, researchers and historians with an interest in the Burma campaign. The aim of the society is to champion and project the history of the Chindits through “presentations and educational initiatives, assist families and other interested parties in seeking out the history of their Chindit relative or loved one, gather together and keep safe Chindit writings, memories and other materials for the benefit of future generations, ensure the continued well-being” of Chindit veterans and “promote fellowship between members.”

Web address at: (Accessed 2 April 2017)