RAF Jurong and Operation Rimau - Page 2




 
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July 12th, 2012  
BritinBritain
 
 
RAF Tengah (Now Tengah Air Base) was the first airfield to fall to the Japanese, the Station Commander shot himself before he could be captured. I was checking out one of the many inlets on the North west side of the Island and saw an old coastal steamer had been beached in one of the inlets. I got as close as I could to her and saw she had a huge hole in her port side below the water line. Usually I carried a camera everywhere with me, that day I didn't. I never did go back to photograph the ship.

If I remember correctly a new road was built from Jurong to Bukit Timah by Allied POW's. The Japanese couldn't understand why so many of their vehicles crashed when using the new road. What the Japanese never realised, the bends in the road were built with an adverse camber.
July 12th, 2012  
viper2007
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
RAF Tengah (Now Tengah Air Base) was the first airfield to fall to the Japanese, the Station Commander shot himself before he could be captured. I was checking out one of the many inlets on the North west side of the Island and saw an old coastal steamer had been beached in one of the inlets. I got as close as I could to her and saw she had a huge hole in her port side below the water line. Usually I carried a camera everywhere with me, that day I didn't. I never did go back to photograph the ship.

If I remember correctly a new road was built from Jurong to Bukit Timah by Allied POW's. The Japanese couldn't understand why so many of their vehicles crashed when using the new road. What the Japanese never realised, the bends in the road were built with an adverse camber.
Nasty, never give the other guy an even break... I think you would be referring to the old Jalan Jurong Kechil- the road is still present, though somewhat widened now.

It would be a wee bit difficult to recognise some of the old location unless you have proper information, so a bit of research would be helpful, not to mentioned useful. Sad to say, not many of the new geenerations of Singaporeans are even aware of their country's past....
July 12th, 2012  
BritinBritain
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viper2007
Nasty, never give the other guy an even break... I think you would be referring to the old Jalan Jurong Kechil- the road is still present, though somewhat widened now.
You could be right Viper, but something tells me the road was "straightened" after the war, stretches of the old road could be seen. But then again it was a long time ago and memory does fade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viper2007
It would be a wee bit difficult to recognise some of the old location unless you have proper information, so a bit of research would be helpful, not to mentioned useful. Sad to say, not many of the new geenerations of Singaporeans are even aware of their country's past....
That's a shame Viper, one should never forget their countries past. Lee Kuan Yew escaped with his life by the skin of his teeth he almost got caught up in the Sook Ching massacre. The massacre took place from 18 February to 4 March 1942 at various places in the region. After the war Lee Kuan Yew grabbed Singapore by the scruff of the neck and turned it into a modern and vibrant country. I have a lot of admiration for the man.

Old comrades who have visited Singapore recently have told me that I wouldn't recognise the place now, all trace of RAF Jurong is long gone. Its sad in a way for me, because I would have loved to have visited my old station, but nothing stands in the way of progress.
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July 12th, 2012  
Kabor
 
Thanks Viper for your message, and it is very interesting to hear about Singapore, from what I have read and you say, it an amazing place which sadly I have not had the chance yet to visit. Such a diverse country both in its natural habitat and it’s history and culture.

As I was saying to BritinAfrica, the story of Operation Rimau captured my interest quite some years ago and since then I have tried to read as much as I can on the raids, SRD and Singapore at that time. The more I read, the more interested I became and felt a huge amount of respect and admiration for these men. As each book that has been written about Operation Rimau has been published, there has seemed to be some discrepancies or things that didn’t add up. I followed this up with getting hold of some documentation from the NAA (National Australian Archives).

I suppose my question is really is poised at Mick as well as any light yourselves can shine on this.

According to the official records, the Rimau men were executed at Bukit Timah, just off the junction of Dover Road and Clementi Road. I believe a memorial has this year been erected on the University land on the spot where it was thought they had actually been executed.
Again, according to official records, the remains of the 10 Rimau men were exhumed in November 1945, reburied briefly and then interred at Kranji War Cemetery in 1946.

Whilst going through the various reports: exhumation reports, Korean witness statements and interrogations there seemed to be a discrepancy and some confusion IMHO. I do understand that it must have been difficult at that point, just after the war, when there was so much movement to clarify that.

The reports differ in what the men were wearing when executed – jungle greens/light khaki, badges of rank/no badges of rank, dates entered into Outram Road Jail such as the Rimau’s most likely entering in January/February 1945 as opposed to the Korean witness statement saying the end of June. There were airmen too and there has been some thought that the confusion was there. However, the airmen are thought to have been executed in August 1945, sunk at sea then brought up again by the Japanese and burnt at Outram Road Jail to avoid a war crimes investigation.

However, most relevant to what BritinAfrica and Mick were saying is that there is a discrepancy in the locations of the executions and burials. Bukit Timah has always been the assumed location and the men exhumed to be the Rimau men. However, one of the reports did state that they were executed in Jurong.

If indeed the remains that were exhumed at RAF Jurong in 1967 were the Rimau men, whose remains were the ones at Bukit Timah. Where were the remains from Jurong then placed at Kranji as the headstones of the 10 Rimau men had long been erected and the said remains buried there? And likewise, if the Rimau men were buried at Bukit Timah, who were the ten at Jurong?

There are still censored documents relating to Rimau in the Archives and other information relating to what may have possibly taken place is emerging onto the internet. There is also some controversy over mistakes made on Rimau – namely, Lt Commander MacKenzie not following orders in keeping the RV dates for every night from 7 November through to 7 December 1944. Mackenzie and Major Chapman (Rimau Technical Officer and responsible for keeping the RV dates) only did this on the night of 21 November 1944, however, landed on the wrong side of the island and therefore did not reach the RV until daylight and left before dusk, therefore completely ignoring the agreed RV conditions and they gave up, said there was a fight and the Rimau men must be dead or captured. They then returned to Australia.

Interestingly enough, in 1964 Major Chapman committed suicide using the Bakelite cyanide capsule given to him on the Rimau operation. It is generally understood, he committed suicide after being interviewed by an historian and finally knowing what had happened to the Rimau men. The first book written by Ronald Mckie was in 1960 called the Heroes.

Also, Hugh ‘Rufus’ Mackenzie had risen rapidly up the ranks and became the Chief Executive of Polaris from 1963-1968.
Do you know if Allied POWs were ever kept at RAF Jurong during the war? I’m aware that many were kept at Changi or Outram.
Were you or anyone you know present to witness the exhumation or see the report? The War Graves Commission definitely thought they were the Rimau men?

Does anyone know the exact location of where the Jurong remains were moved to at Kranji?

The remains at Jurong which as I understand, the men had been manacled with barbed wire, it sounds far more likely that they had been POWs rather than Australians or Indians caught during the Battle of Singapore. I would assume they would have been shot on sight or executed quickly if it had been in 1942.

I’m sorry for the lengthy post and hope it all makes sense. Any insight, thoughts or information would be gratefully received.

Cheers
July 12th, 2012  
Kabor
 
Sorry Viper, had meant to say that I had read about the Dal Force men, they were absolutely amazing men, fought right to the end. They deserved a medal.
July 12th, 2012  
Kabor
 
Hi BritinAfrica,

Apologies I must getting senile, I had also meant to ask about the hauntings and strange goings on at Jurong that you mentioned - sounds curious, would love to hear more.

Cheers
July 13th, 2012  
viper2007
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabor
Sorry Viper, had meant to say that I had read about the Dal Force men, they were absolutely amazing men, fought right to the end. They deserved a medal.
Well, Kabor, the Dalforce were actually volunteers form the Straits Settlement Volunteer Force. They were mainly Chinese volunteers- the Malay regiment (at a least a company strength) were deployed at the Pasir Panjang ridge (locally known as Bukit Chandu [aka Opium Hill, on account there is a Government opium warehouse nearby])

These people may not have been patriotic in carrying out their task, but I suppose it was a do-or-die situation. I also suppose that when you have nothing to lose, that itself can be great motivation...

Based on your description on the rough location of teh place where the Rimau men were executed, it would be what is now known as Dover estate, where Singapore Polytechnic is located. It is way off from Bukit Timah.

I am not sure if National Heritage Board, Singapore, would be able to assist you in this, but that is one department that would/ may have such information.

http://www.nhb.gov.sg/WWW/

There is a website for RAF Jurong. Opa Brit may help you on that.


http://www.rafjurong.webs.com/

As for the haunting, man that is like finding true love- many people talk about it, but only a few have really experienced it...

There are locations in Singapore where PoWs were interned in Singapore. One, of course, was the Changi prison. There is a website for you to go to-
http://www.changimuseum.com/

The other location was the Selarang Barracks. It used to be the home of the 42nd Singapore Armored Regiment after the war, later the war era buildings were demolished, and rebuilt to house the 9th Division. When I was a National Cadet Corp member, we were under the patronage of the 42 SAR, so we when to the Selarang Barracks for our training. Staying overnight at that place can produce interesting experiences.

Then it was the old Outram detention Centre, and a few other places...
July 13th, 2012  
BritinBritain
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabor
Hi BritinAfrica,

Apologies I must getting senile, I had also meant to ask about the hauntings and strange goings on at Jurong that you mentioned - sounds curious, would love to hear more.

Cheers
Behind the guardroom at Jurong was a tree which apparently used by the Japanese for executions. The Locally Enlisted RAF Police personnel believed the tree to be haunted.

Our accommodation block was quite unique in the way it was laid out. It was a two story building with (from left to right) snooker room, TV room, station cinema, NAAFI and dining room (The cook house was at the rear) on the lower story, the upper story consisted of 3 men to a room with toilets and showers at each end.

One night I was messing around in the snooker room practising when I felt what can only be described as a presence, I put the snooker cue up in the rack and went into the NAAFI for a beer. I have no idea what it was I felt, but I never went in there on my own again.
July 13th, 2012  
Kabor
 
Thanks Viper for such a great and informative post, much appreciated!!
That’s very interesting and you have a good point about Dalforce, what choice did they have… I thought I heard that due to the chaos at the time, that many had only 2 weeks training (which I realise was more than some of the Allied troops), armed with single shot Martini Henry rifles and ammo that hadn’t been used since the 19th century! I think they only got 5 bullets per person and then it was down to hand to hand combat. All 2000 died.
As for the haunting, man that is like finding true love- many people talk about it, but only a few have really experienced it...
Lol… this did make me laugh! You’re not a cynic are you?

Yes, from having a look again at the map the ‘official’ location of execution and burial is further south than Bukit Timah. I think when people have narrowed it down they have also mentioned Ulu Pandan and Pasir Panjang. There had always been a small enclose marked out the by the MOD on the campus site and through Lynette Silver’s work, I believe they have ascertained that was the exhumation site and the students have put a memorial there:


http://otterman.wordpress.com/2012/0...xecution-site/


Mick or BritinAfrica, I’m still very interested though to know more regarding the exhumation at RAF Jurong in 1967 and that the War Graves Commission believed that the remains belonged to the Rimau men.

Do you know which month it might have been in? Maybe, I could check with the War Graves Commission to see if they have anything or if you know of anyone that might have more information?


Cheers all
July 13th, 2012  
Kabor
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Behind the guardroom at Jurong was a tree which apparently used by the Japanese for executions. The Locally Enlisted RAF Police personnel believed the tree to be haunted.

Our accommodation block was quite unique in the way it was laid out. It was a two story building with (from left to right) snooker room, TV room, station cinema, NAAFI and dining room (The cook house was at the rear) on the lower story, the upper story consisted of 3 men to a room with toilets and showers at each end.

One night I was messing around in the snooker room practising when I felt what can only be described as a presence, I put the snooker cue up in the rack and went into the NAAFI for a beer. I have no idea what it was I felt, but I never went in there on my own again.

That is strange and I know what you mean, I've felt things like that before... hard to put a finger on it, but it does feel like you're not alone. Whatever you felt, sounds sinister.

In such a place, I guess it's not so suprising that it may be haunted or have bad vibes. Can't imagine what Outram Jail must have felt like that. I can only find little bits of info on Outram but as places of hell go, it sounded very bad.