1st Bn The XX Lancashire Fusiliers
Orde Wingate's Chindits

WW 2 - 1939 - 1945



General Wavell,
Commander-in-Chief India.


The Chindits were the brainchild of British Brigadier Orde Charles Wingate when he was serving under Archibald Wavell, the Supreme Commander of the Far Eastern Theatre in India.


Major General
Orde Wingate


'Lt.Gen.
William Slim,
Cdr XIVth Army,
at Fort Dufferin, Mandalay, March, 1945
Not whilst theres a Lancashire Fusilier left standing,

"The First Chindit Expedition (Op Longcloth) and the lessons learned from it"
Very good background information on the 1st Chindit Expedition, Operation Longcloth, and
how the lessons influenced the second phase of operations.
click on link below
http://www.chindits.info/Longcloth/Main.htm



The Unveiling of the Chindit Memorial
at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas.
Sunday 10th June 2007



 


"Robert( Bob) Hilton"

Top left is BOB HILTON he came from INCE -IN -MAKERFIELD WIGAN



"At dawn on the 18th June 1944, the 1st Bn XX Lancashire Fusiliers attacked a Japanese gun position at Nuanghaiktaw, near Moguang.
A Company attack went in, supported by 2 machine guns in close support,along with a flame thrower detachment to clear any dug out positions..
The Japanese defenders found themselves being overwhelmed and made a run for it, straight into the fire of the "Stop" Company who had been placed there for just such an eventuality.
A follow up with grenades and the flamethrowers resulted in at least 70 of the estimated 100 Japanese defenders being killed.

The LFs lost 16 killed and 38 wounded.

Fusilier Harold Kyte was one of those heroes killed in action here"

Thomas Cunningham
1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers Burma

and
with the Paras at Op Market Garden at Arnhem,


Thomas is on the far right
photo taken appox 1933
when he was in the ACF

Thomas Cunningham was born in Wigan 1919 where he lived at 188 Bell Lane with his WW1 veteran father and his mother.
He joined the 1st Bn Lancashire in September 1939 and served with them in India and Burma just prior to the Bn taking part in the Chindit Operations.
He transferred to the Army Air Corp in October 1942, before becoming a member of the Parachute Regiment and taking part in the Op Market Garden at Arnhem, where he was shot and wounded, resulting in the loss of one lung.
He was captured and made a POW in Stalag X11A as POW number 40500,from where he wrote to his mother (see pic )
The date 30 September is significent, most of our forces had been captured on the 25th, so Thomas held out to the very last.
Here is a link to a site dealing with this POW Camp:-
http://www.pegasusarchive.org/pow/frames.htm

He would have been liberated in April 1945

A rare insight into the story of one of our WW2 heroes.
Thomas's Medals

Thomas Cunningham Minden Day Photo in Quetta 1938
Click Here

Thomas Cunningham other Quetta Photos
Click Here

Thomas's Collection of the Guards at Stalag X11A
Click Here




sent in by Tony Cunningham his son

Major Bill Hayes

was a Cpl when he won the MM


"When aircraft were lost in Burma, particularly if they caught fire, it was decided that the entire crew and passengers would be buried wherever the majority of them originated.

This was often the USA and we have a number of LFs buried in USA graves.
These are some of them."

LOUISVILLE (ZACHARY TAYLOR) NATIONAL CEMETERY
Country: United States of America
Locality: Kentucky
No. of Identified LF Casualties: 2

LANE, GEOFFREY STEPHEN
Initials: G S
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Fusilier
Regiment/Service: Lancashire Fusiliers
Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 24
Date of Death: 20/03/1944
Service No: 3452246
Additional information: Son of Dorothy Lane, of Lower Broughton, Salford, Lancashire, England.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. E. Coll. grave 249/250.
Cemetery: LOUISVILLE (ZACHARY TAYLOR) NATIONAL CEMETERY

MACE, WILLIAM HENRY
Initials: W H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Fusilier
Regiment/Service: Lancashire Fusiliers
Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 25
Date of Death: 20/03/1944
Service No: 3655932
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. E. Coll. grave 249/250.
Cemetery: LOUISVILLE (ZACHARY TAYLOR) NATIONAL CEMETERY


Geoffery Stephen Lane
is on Right

 



3717099 Fus Francis James Wright



3657587 Fusilier Harry Howell
1st Bn LFs.
Served 15 March 1940 until 23 April 1946.
Spent some time in Chakata Hospital,
19 Sep 1944 to 20 Oct 1944."


Robert Ashton was under age when he joined 1LF in Salford in 1936.
He took part in the re-enactment of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the 1938 Aldershot Military Tattoo.
He was one of the Lancashire Fusiliers who landed by glider behind Japanese lines in Burma to form the Chindit Column and the Block at White City.
Know for his smart turnout and ever present silk scarf, he was also a highly skilled boxer.
He was demobbed at York following WW2."

Sgt William 'Bill' Smith

William Smith was born on 13 April 1910 at 19 George Henry Street in Salford. He was baptised at St Joseph's RC church in Ordsall, Salford on 29 May 1910.
He married Catherine Leighton at St Joseph's church. They had three children: Brian, Anthony and Catherine. At the time of his marriage Bill Smith was a bottler in a brewery.
The following is a summary of the service of 3460235 Sergeant William Smith with the Lancashire Fusiliers:
26 July 1940 Was deemed to have been enlisted into the Lancashire Fusiliers embodied Territorial Army and posted to 10th Battalion.

13 May 1941 Promoted Lance Corporal

28 March 1942 Appointed Acting corporal

26 June 1942 Granted War Substantive Rank of Corporal

22 January 1943 Appointed Acting Sergeant

17 March 1943 Relinquishes Acting Rank

7 June 1943 Reinstated Acting Sergeant

11 October 1943 Granted War Substantive Rank of Sergeant

11 July 1945 Posted to Holding Battalion Training Depot
10 August 1945 Posted to No. 6 Holding Battalion

13 March 1946 Released to Royal Army Reserve

10 February 1954 Discharged. Cause of discharge: on termination of engagement

Service with the Colours:
26 July 1940 to 13 March 1946
Overseas Service: India, 3 December 1941 to 9 August 1945
Took part in 2nd Chindit Expedition

Military Conduct: Exceptional

Testimonial: "This soldier has shown himself to be of first class quality starting from Fusilier and now Sergeant. Is clean , smart and willing, can shoulder responsibility. Is a good sportsman and organiser. Has aquitted himself in action and shown he has good leadership qualities, and men under his command have faith in his ability."

Medals Issued: 1939-1945 Star
Burma Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-1945

After the war Bill Smith returned to his family in Salford. He worked for many years at the gasworks on Liverpool Street in Salford. He lived mostly in the Ordsall area until it was redeveloped, but he remained close by. He never spoke of his war service. He lived at Denbigh Place when he died of lung cancer on 20 September 1978 at St Ann's Hospice, Heald Green. He was 68.

 

 
A
B
C
D
1.
B C Palfrey
Cyril Corbett
Harry Kay
Harry Kay
2.
Lancashire Fusiliers Chindits
Harry Kay Chindit

 

These Cuttings have been sent in by Arnold Cragg




"Sgt William James Stowell
One of Wingates
LF Chindits
1922-2006"
These are 2 addresses used by the 1st Bn The XXth The Lancashire Fusiliers during their time in Burma as Chindits
14274165 J Stawell
Somerset 1 1
1 Coy 4 Wing BBR 6
India Command
We have also seen another addressed as follows:-
14274165 J Stawell
B Coy 1st Lancashire Fusiliers
India Command


"The 1st Battalion the XXth The Lancashire Fusiliers,
77 Brigade ,
Code name"Emphasis"Columns 20 and 50
of Wingate's Chindits"

Special Force, The 2nd Chindit Expedition 1944


Quadrant Conference 1943 In August 1943 Churchill, Roosevelt and the Combined Chiefs of Staff met in
Quebec at the Quadrant Conference to discuss future Allied strategy. Accompanying Churchill was Wingate.

At the conference Wingate presented his plans on how Long Range Penetration brigades would march into
Burma to disrupt enemy communications behind their front lines and prepare the way for the main forces to recapture north Burma.

Wingate's proposals won American support and the conference agreed to a second Chindit operation.

To show their support the Americans offered to form an American Long Range Penetration Group to be trained
and commanded by Wingate (this group later became known as Merrill's Marauders).
When the British requested a supply of American light aircrafts for evacuating the wounded, the Americans
instead offered to provide an air task force consisting of light bombers, fighters, transport Dakotas, light aircrafts and gliders.


Brigades and Regiments The second Chindit force was given the name Special Force but was also known as 3rd Indian Division,
Long Range Penetration Groups, and still better known as Wingate's Chindits.

The force was composed of six brigades -

16th Brigade (Brigadier Fergusson)
51st/69th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
2nd Queen's Royal
2nd Leicestershire
45th Reconnaissance Regiment

77th Brigade (Brigadier Calvert)
1st King's (Liverpool) Regiment
1st Lancashire Fusiliers
1st South Staffordshire
3/6th Gurkha Rifles
3/9th Gurkha Rifles
111st Brigade (Brigadier Lentaigne)
2nd King's Own Royal
1st Cameronians
3/4th Gurkha Rifles
4/9th Gurkha Rifles

14th Brigade (Brigadier Brodie)
1st Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire
7th Leicestershire
2nd Black Watch
2nd York and Lancaster

3rd Brigade (Brigadier Gillmore)
6th Nigeria Regiment
7th Nigeria Regiment
12th Nigeria Regiment

23rd Brigade (Brigadier Perowne)
60th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
2nd Duke of Wellington's
4th Border Regiment
1st Essex Regiment

At Gawilor, India, Special Force received training to prepare them for operating deep behind enemy lines.
This training covered jungle marching, blowing up bridges, bivouacking, crossing rivers, receiving air supply drops,
laying ambushes, attacking enemy held village, taking evasive action by dispersing into small parties and gathering at a safe rendezvous.

Column Organisation Each brigade was divided into columns and a Headquarter.

A column had about 400 men and typically consisted of,

- Infantry company of four platoons armed with rifles and light machine guns.

- Heavy weapons platoon armed with two Vickers machine guns, two 3-inch mortars and anti-tank weapons.

- Commando platoon for demolitions and setting booby traps.

- Reconnaissance platoon with a section of Burma Rifles.

- The column also included RAF, sapper, signaller and medical detachments.
The RAF detachment included an active pilot and was responsible for directing air support and the air evacuation of the wounded

Each column had about 56 mules, much less than the first expedition, as there would be more reliance on air supplies.
The mules provided the transport for the column. Ten mules were required to carry the radio equipment, including the batteries,
generators and petrol. The remaining mules carried other heavy equipment, weapon and supplies.

Once in Burma the Chindits would attack and cut supply lines and generally harass the rear of the Japanese forces
on the frontline facing British, American and Chinese forces. Like the 1st Chindit expedition, the column formations
were designed for movement through the jungle. This mobility would be the strength of a Chindit column.
A column would emerge from the jungle to blow up a dump or ambush an enemy convoy and then slip away again into the
jungle where the enemy would be unable or afraid to follow. When necessary though the columns would reform
into battalions and brigades to attack and seize larger targets or to repel attacks from a large enemy force.


Plans and Objectives The Americans wanted to open a supply route to China from India and this required the
capturing of Japanese held north Burma. To achieve this an American led Chinese force commanded
by General Stilwell US Army advanced from the north into Burma.

The Chindits objective was to cut the supply lines of the Japanese forces facing British, American and Chinese forces
in north Burma but the priority was to cut the communication lines to the forces facing Stilwell's advance.

The orders given to Wingate were

1. To help the advance of combat troops (Ledo Sector) to the Myitkyina area by drawing off and disorganising the
enemy force opposing them and to prevent the reinforcement of these forces.

2. To create a favourable situation for the Chinese advance westwards across the Salween.

3. To inflict the maximum confusion, damage, and loss on the enemy forces in Burma.

The initial Chindit move centred on 16th, 77th and 111th Brigades. The other three brigades were held in reserve.

16th Brigade was to march from Ledo to Indaw and then capture Indaw. 77th Brigade was to fly in to Burma, establish a base,
and from there attack road, rail and river traffic in the area, while 111th Brigade was also to fly in and then block road
and rail links south of Indaw to prevent Japanese reinforcements coming up from Mandalay.

 

ORDER OF BATTLE - 2nd Chindit Expedition 1944

Special Force, 3rd Indian Infantry Division


Command and Staff

Commander Major-General O.C.Wingate DSO
succeeded by Major General W.D.A. Lentaigne
Deputy Commander Major-General G.W. Symes, succeeded by Brigadier D. Tulloch
Brigadier General Staff Brigadier D. Tulloch, succeeded by Brigadier H.T. Alexander
Headquarters Rear HQ at Gwalior, Central India
Main HQ first at Imphal and then at Sylhet, Assam
Launching HQ at Lalaghat
Tactical/Forward HQ, Shaduzup, Burma

Support Units

Air Force United States Army Air Force
Colonel P. Cochran USAAF, Colonel J.R. Alison USAAF
Royal Artillery 160th Field Regiment, R,S,and U troops
69th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, W, X, Y and Z troops

3rd West African Brigade

Commander Brigadier A.H. Gillmore, succeeded by Brigadier A.H.G. Ricketts DSO
Column 10 HQ column, 7th West African Field Company
Columns 39, 66 6th Battalion Nigeria Regiment
Columns 29, 35 7th Battalion Nigeria Regiment
Columns 12, 43 12th Battalion Nigeria Regiment
3rd West African Field Ambulance

14th British Infantry Brigade

Commander Brigadier T. Brodie
Column 59 HQ column
Columns 42, 73 2nd Battalion The Black Watch
Columns 16, 61 1st Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
Columns 65, 84 2nd Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment
Columns 47, 74 7th Battalion Royal Leicestershire Regiment
Support 54th Field Company Royal Engineers
Medical Detachment

16th British Infantry Brigade

Commander Brigadier B.E. Fergusson DSO
Column 99 HQ column
Columns 21, 22 2nd Battalion Queens Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
Columns 17, 71 2nd Battalion Royal Leicestershire Regiment
Columns 51, 69 51/69 Field Regiments, Royal Artillery (fighting as infantry)
Columns 45, 54 45th Reconnaissance Regiment (fighting as infantry)
Support 2nd Field Company Royal Engineers
Medical Detachment

23rd Indian Infantry Brigade

Commander Brigadier Lance E.C.M. Perowne CBE
Column 32 HQ column
Columns 44, 56 1st Battalion Essex Regiment
Columns 33, 76 2nd Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment
Columns 34, 55 4th Battalion Border Regiment
Columns 60, 68 60th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (fighting as infantry)
Support 12th Field Company Royal Engineers
Medical Detachment

77th Indian Infantry Brigade

Commander Brigadier J.M. Calvert DSO
Column 25 HQ column
Mixed Field Company Royal Engineers/Royal Indian Engineers
Columns 36, 63 3rd Battalion 6th Gurkha Rifles
Columns 81, 82 1st Battalion King's (Liverpool) Regiment, to 111 Brigade in May 1944
Columns 20, 50 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
Columns 38, 80 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment
Columns 57, 93 3rd Battalion 9th Gurkha Rifles, to 111 Brigade in May 1944
Support 142 Company Hong Kong Volunteers
Medical and veterinary detachments

111th Indian Infantry Brigade

Commander Brigadier W.D.A. Lentaigne, succeeded first by Major J. Masters
and then by Brigadier Morris CBE DSO
Column 48 HQ column
Columns 26, 90 1st Battalion Cameronians
Columns 41, 46 2nd Battalion Kings Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)
Column 30 3rd Battalion 4th Gurkha Rifles
Support Mixed Field Company Royal Engineers/Royal Indian Engineers
Medical and veterinary detachments

Morris Force

Commander Brigadier J.R. Morris
Columns 49, 94 4th Battalion 9th Gurkha Rifles
Column 40 3rd/4th Gurkha Rifles

Dah Force Lieut-Colonel D.C. Herring
Kachin Levies

Bladet (Blain's Detachment)

Major Blain
Gliderborne commando engineers.

Other Units
2nd Battalion Burma Rifles
Four troops 160th Field Regiment Royal Artillery (in artillery role)
Four troops 69th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery (in artillery role)

Divisional Troops

219th Field Park Company, Royal Engineers
Detachment 2nd Burma Rifles
145th Brigade Company, R.A.S.C.
61st Air Supply Company, R.A.S.C.
2nd Indian Air Supply Company, R.I.A.S.C.

CHINDIT ORDER OF BATTLE JANUARY 1944
The Chindits were officially known as 'Special Force' or the '3rd Indian Infantry Division.
' THE CHINDITS WERE OFFICIALLY KNOWN AS ;

N.B. The title 3rd Indian division was only given in order to deceive the Japanese.

There were six brigades -- each referred to by a nickname. Each brigade had its own HQ situated near an
airfield and an HQ column in the field (numbered separately from below).

GALAHAD 5307TH COMPOSITE UNIT (PROVISIONAL) US ARMY

Also known as Merrill's Marauders and after being trained were handed over to Gen. Stilwell's Northern Command.

1ST BATTALION; RED AND WHITE COMBAT TEAMS
2ND BATTALION; BLUE AND GREEN COMBAT TEAMS
3RD BATTALION; KHAKI AND ORANGE COMBAT TEAM
THUNDER 3RD WEST AFRICAN BRIGADE

6TH BATTALION NIGERIA REGT; 66 and 39 COLUMNS
7TH BN NIGERIA REGT; 29 and 35 COLUMNS
12TH BN NIGERIA REGT; 12 and 43 COLUMNS
JAVELIN 14TH BRIGADE

2ND BN THE BLACK WATCH: 42 and 73 COLUMNS
1ST BN BEDS AND HERTS REGT: 16 and 61 COLUMNS
2ND BN YORK AND LANCASTER REGT: 65 and 84 COLUMNS
7TH BN LEICESTER REGT: 47 and 74 COLUMNS
ENTERPRISE 16TH BRIGADE

1ST BN THE QUEEN'S REGIMENT ; 21 AND 22 COLUMNS
2ND BN LEICESTER REGT ; 17 and 71 COLUMNS
51/69 ROYAL ARTILLERY 51 and 69 COLUMNS (INFANTRY COLUMNS MADE UP OF R. A PERSONNEL)
45TH RECCE REGT ; 45 AND 54 COLUMNS ( INFANTRY COLUMN MADE UP FROM RECCE UNITS)
EMPHASIS 77TH BRIGADE

3RD BN 6TH GURKHA RIFLES: 36 and 63 COLUMNS
1ST BN THE KINGS REGT: 81 and 82 COLUMNS
1ST BN THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS: 20 and 50 COLUMNS
1ST BN SOUTH STAFFS REGT: 38 and 80 COLUMNS
3RD BN 9TH GURKHA RIFLES: 57 and 93 COLUMNS
PROFOUND 111TH BRIGADE

1ST BN THE CAMERONIANS: 26 and 90 COLUMNS
2ND BN THE KINGS OWN ROYAL REGT: 41 and 46 COLUMNS
3RD BN 4TH GURKHA RIFLES: 30 COLUMN
MORRIS FORCE

4TH BN 9TH GURKHA RIFLES: 49 and 94 COLUMNS
3RD/4TH GURKHA RIFLES: 40 COLUMN
DAH FORCE

KACHIN LEVIES
BLADETL (BLAINS DETACHMENT)

GLIDERBORNE COMMANDO ENGINEERS
ROYAL ARTILLERY Supporting non-mobile units designed to defend Chindit Jungle Fortresses.

R, S AND U TROOPS 160TH FIELD REGT (ALL 25 PDRS)
W,X,Y, AND Z TROOPS 69TH LIGHT ANTI AIRCRAFT REGT. (40MM BOFORS / 12.5 MM HISPANO GUNS)
SUPPORT UNITS

NO 1 AIR COMMANDO USAF -strike and casualty evacuation (until 1/5/1944 only)
EASTERN AIR COMMAND - supply
U. S ARMY 900TH FIELD UNIT (engineers)
ORGANISATION
The column was the main unit and all operations were column biased - the column was referred to literally,
because all personnel moved through the jungle in single file - a tactic to be copied 20 years later.
Each column was essentially of company strength. The unit as a whole was supported by about 1,000 mules.

Each column had 4 rifle platoons, 1 heavy weapons platoon ( 2 Vickers mmg, 2 - 3 inch mortar, 1 flame thrower, 2 piats ),
1 commando platoon ( demolition and booby trap skills ) and 1 recce platoon with a British officer and Burma rifles
( Karen and Kachin tribesmen).


NOTE:-
It is of special interest to note that in Enterprise (16) Brigade,Columns 51 and 69 were Infantry Columns
formed from men of the Royal artillery,using their original Artllery Unit number.
This may explain why there were so many Gunner casualties,they were in the line as Infantry
.


Click on photo to go to Minnie story

"News from Khine........Our Intrepid Far East Reporter"
(Khine meet Bill Dalton on his recent visit to Burma)

BROADWAY REVISITED

We did it!!! We managed to locate "Broadway".

The participants arrived on Feb 28 and we left Rangoon on Mar 02. We
returned on Mar 10 late afternoon, after two nights break in Mandalay.

We tried to reach "Broadway" on Mar 05, to coincide with D-day of
"Operation Thursday" which also happens to be Peter's birthday but
were delayed by a day and therefore we got to the old airfield on Mar
06.

CHINDIT Veteran, Peter Heppell and his family members were present
with him as he placed a CHINDIT plaque on one of the trees at the edge
of the forest. He then gave his final respects towards all fallen
comrades and spent about one hour and a half at the site.

It was a fantastic journey as well as an exhausting one. My admiration
goes to Peter who turned 86 on Mar 05 where we celebrated his birthday
at a small quaint little village called Myo Hla. We camped out at the
water's edge near Kaukkwe Chaung the next day after our visit to
"Broadway". I am certain many Chindit veterans will remember the name
of this river: Kaukkwe Chaung.

Kudos to Peter who managed to keep up with us until the very end of
this journey.

There were all together 9 people to take part in this journey. Peter
and his family, David Bradly, a Chindit enthusiast who joined last
minute, myself, my assistant Steven and Dr. Cecilia Tang Gyi and her
husband, Lewis.
Cecilia's father was a Kachin Ranger who worked for OSS-101 during
WWII, a very well-known figure, and Lewis's father was also a Kachin
Levie.

Peter, his family and David were the first western group who has
traveled up the Kaukkwe Chaung to visit "Broadway" since 1944. Their
names deserved to be mentioned in the history books from now.

We also met an 88 year old Kachin WWII Levie, Maj. Khun Jar Naw, one
of the last Kachin Levies still living in Myitkyina. Peter and he made
a certain connection when they shook each other's hands.

It was the most amazing trip I have ever organized. Truly one of a kind.

For more information, I am only an email away at: khaingt@gmail.com

Sincerely,
Khine

http://www.cbiexpeditions.com/
Remembering is a time-honored pastime.
Boardway map coordinates Latitude 24.43 North.
Longtitude 96.422 East.
see below

Broadway today on
Google Earth

"The Irrawaddy"