War Diary 1946  for 3 Parachute Squadron R.E. in Batavia, Semarang and Malaysia

Commanding Officer Major P.N.M. Moore R.E.
2 i/c Captain J.G. Smith R.E.
Troop Commander Captain R.R. Beaumont R.E. [Ex- 591 Para Sqn -joined 3 Para on 07 Jun 1945]
Troop Commander Captain J.R. Fish R.E. [Ex- 591 Para Sqn -joined 3 Para on 26 Oct 1945]
Troop Commander Captain G.A.J. Wade R.E.
Lieut R.M. Merrell R.E. [Ex- 591 Para Sqn -joined 3 Para on 07 Jun 1945]
Lieut L.A.H. Lack R.E.
Lieut R.E. MacWatt R.E. [Ex- 591 Para Sqn -joined 3 Para on 07 Jun 1945]
Lieut J.B. Wood R.E. [Ex- 591 Para Sqn - joined 3 Para on 28 Jun 1945]
Lieut A.N.D. Forster R.E.

There are assorted newspaper clips reporting on the Airborne in Indonesia and then Malaysia on [Click]
Also the memoir of Sapper Mcdonough covers his time in the Far East [Click]

3 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers

January 1946

Commanding Officer: Major P.N.M. Moore D.S.O.  M.C.   R.E.

Batavia [Jakarta, Indonesia]
01 Jan 1946
Squadron day off.
OC reconnoitred route from Dakota for Operation "Pegasus"
02 Jan 1946 All works jobs completed or cancelled.
03 Jan 1946 Loading and preparation for Operation "Pegasus"
04 Jan 1946 Loading and preparation completed.
2200 hrs Operation postponed
05 Jan 1946 Squadron half day off.
Operation "Pegasus" cancelled
06 Jan 1946 Squadron day off
Football match -vs- 12 Parachute Battalion drawn 3-3
07 Jan 1946 Orders received to prepare move to SEMARANG
08 Jan 1946 Re-loading and preparation for move.
09 Jan 1946 Re-loading completed.
Advance party traveled by Air to SEMARANG.
10 Jan 1946 Marching party embarked S.S. Orduna
Advance party recced billets and engineer work in progress by 49 Independent Infantry Brigade
11 Jan 1946 Advance party prepared billets for troops
12 Jan 1946 Main body disembarked and moved to billets in NIEUW TJANDI area
Squadron H.Q. located at map reference 949104 (ref Sheets1/50,000 47 XXXIX-D and 47 XL-B.
13 Jan 1946 Part of G1098 stores unloaded from SS Orduna
Supervision of power station taken over by No.3 Troop
Reconstruction of water point at 13 Parachute Battalion H.Q.
14 Jan 1946 Commander 5 Parachute Brigade addressed all ranks on political situation in SEMARANG.
Improvements to unit accommodation carried out.
15 Jan 1946 Work carried out to improve accommodation of Brigade troops
16 Jan 1946 As for 15th January
17 Jan 1946 Cadre class commenced for promotion of Sappers to Lance Corporals - 7 Students.
Normal works carried out.
18 Jan 1946 Detachments of each troop supported 12 and 13 Parachute Battalions and KIDO (Japanese Battalion) on Kampong searches.
Mine detectors used to search women for arms. No incidents.
Electric light at Nieuw Tjandi area failed due to short circuit in slit trench where digging had damaged cable.
Temporary repairs carried out with the aid of a civilian engineer in 1hr 30 minutes.
19 Jan 1946 Water point at 13 Parachute Battalion H.Q. completed. Capacity 10,000 gallons a day.
Squadron half day off.
First unit vehicles unloaded from Military Transport ship.
20 Jan 1946 Detachment from No. 1 Troop supported 7 Battalion on Kampong search. No incidents.
Mehcanical breakdown in power station, repair completed in 40 minutes.
Squadron day off.
21 Jan 1946 Period 0815 -0915 hrs daily alloted to Education Classes. Classes in Maths, Strength of materials, English, Book Keeping and Accountancy commenced.
Detachment of No. 2 Troop supported 12 Battalion on Kampong Search.
Detachment of No.1 Troops supported KIDO Battalion on sortie to village south of NIEUW TJANDI.
2 road blocks demolished. No Casualties.
SORE ii [[Staff Officer grade 2] and Information Officer R.E. from H.Q. AFNEI [Allied Forces Netherlands East Indies]arrived to investigate R.E. problems.
Normal works.
Progress report to Date - Appendix A
22 Jan 1946 Detachment of No. 1 troop supported 7 Battalion on Kampong search - no incidents.
Extensive engineer stores reconnoitre carried out by Commanding Officer and SORE ii.
Normal works.
23 Jan 1946 Detachment of No.2 troop supported 12 Battalion on Kampong search. No incidents.
Normal works. Majority of works for "Pegasus Club" completed.
24 Jan 1946 Commander 5 Parachute Brigade inspected unit lines.
Commander Royal Engineers, 5 Independent Infantry Division and refridgeration expert from AFNEI visited SEMARANG to see R.E. works in progress and direct future reconnaissance.
Normal works.
Shower bath for 13 Parachute Battalion completed.
Formation of ACES SEMARANG commenced.
25 Jan 1946 Detachment of No.2 Troop supported 12 Battalion on Kampong search. No incidents.
Normal works.
Work commenced on overhaul of saw mill driven by single cylinder full Diesel engine, and with civil engineers on overhaul of stationary steam engine and installation of 150 kw generator.
Fuel for power station very short.
Naval fuel ship awaited.
26 Jan 1946 Reconnoitre of railway, engines in Semarang. Rwo found serviceable.
Squadron half day off.
Unit electrical section formed under control of No.3 Troop.
Last unit vehicles unloaded from military transport ship.
27 Jan 1946 Squadron day off
Supply of fuel to power station re-commenced from Naval fuel ship.
Works carried out during week see Appendix B.
28 Jan 1946 one section of No.1 Troop and cadre course students supported KIDO Battalion on sortie East of SEMARANG
9 minor road blocks destroyed or removed.
House containing Indonesian Head Quarters demolished. No casualties.
Bridge and road reconnaissance carried out.
2 Railway locomotives overhauled and ready for use.
Normal works.
Work commenced on construction of hutted accommodation for troops garrisoning power station and airfield.
29 Jan 1946 Normal works
30 Jan 1946 Detachment of No.1 Troop supported 7 Battalion on Kampong search, No incidents.
Railway track from town to airfield reconnoitred in railway adapted jeep.
Track found to be serviceable.
Normal works.
Unit drivers course commenced - 9 students
31 Jan 1946 Detachment of No.2 Troop supported 12 Battalion on Kampong seach.
Normal work.
2 Corporals sent on senior NCOs cadre class under Brigade arrangements.
. .

A Kampong is an Indonesian  village settlement which has been absorbed in the expansion of a city like Batavia (Jakarta). The searches were to seek out Japanese Soldiers and their arms and equipment, also to counter the threat from domestic threats by Indonesian separatists wanting independence from Dutch Colonial Governance and the Allied liberating forces.

3 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers

February 1946

Commanding Officer: Major P.N.M. Moore D.S.O.  M.C.   R.E.

01 Feb 1946 Normal works.
Junior NCO's Cadre Class ended. 6 out of 7 students passed out.
02 Feb 1946 Squadron half day off.
Detachment of No.1 Troop supported 7 Battalion on Kampong search.No incidents.
Lecture for whole Squadron on the history of Java.
03 Feb 1946 Squadron day off.
Flooding of power station commences 2130 hrs. Situation brought under control by Royal Artillery patrol and civilian engineer from power station.
Native employee had failed to adjust sluice gates after heavy rain.
For works progress during past week see Appendix A.
04 Feb 1946 Normal works.
Daily education classes re-formed to include Electrical Engineering.
2300 hrs large fire broke out Kampong between town and airfield. Detachment of No.1 Troop went out with fire fighting equipment protected by patrol of 12 Parachute Batallion. Fire extinguished by 0200 hrs.
05 Feb 1946 Commander in Chief ALFSEA inspected troops of 5 Parachute Brigade Group.
Visited unit work on maintenance of power station and construction of accommodation.
C in C addressed all officers in PEGASUS CLUB.
Normal works.
Railway from East cleared for incoming food train.
06 Feb 1946 Normal works.
Works commenced on re-construction of water point at Slaughter House.
4 search lights and generators installed at Civilian Gaol.
Fire broke out in N.E. part of SEMARANG. Personnel of this unit working nearby coaxed civilian labour in to putting the fire out.
Fire detachment of No.2 Troop arrived later and finally extinguished the fire.
07 Feb 1946 Commanding Officer flew to BATAVIA for conference with Commander Engineers ALFSEA [Allied Liberating Force South East Asia]
Normal works.
Commenced bedding down of 100 kw generator for subsidiary steam driven power station in Docks area. Work by No.2 Troop.
Fire fighting arrangements laid down for detachment with equipment to be on call all the time.
08 Feb 1946 Normal works.
Railway operating detachment arrived from Batavia - took over operating of Railway's in SEMARANG.
Commanding Officer returned from BATAVIA.
GOC AFNEI visited SEMARANG
During night, a few shots were fired at close range.
No.1 Troop stood to, but no further developments occured.
09 Feb 1946 Squadron half day off
Football match v 13 Parachute Battalion - Won 3-0
10 Feb 1946 1100 hrs fire detachment from HQ Troop despatched to big fire in the Docks area. Additional detachments of No.2 and 3 Troops sent down with more equipment 1200 hrs. Fire under control by 1330 hrs.
Finally extinguished by 1730.
Operations hampered by strong wind and lack of nearby water supply.
Two warehouses and one house destroyed.
Remainder of Squadron - Day off.
11 Feb 1946 Normal works (see Progress report attached Appendix B)
Detachment of No.1 Troop accompanied 7 Parachute Battalion on search of Kampongs near old aerodrome. Large quantity of grenades and shells found also 10 British Mark II mines.
Reconnoitre of route, bridges and the airfield carried out. No casualties.
Fire broke out near oil tanks at 1500 hrs. One oil pipe burst and a large quantity of oil caught light. Three fire gighting detachments sent down and with the help of heavy rain, fire was extinguished by 1800 hrs.
Semarang
12 to 13 Feb 1946
Normal works.
14 Feb 1946 Troops permitted to wear shorts in daylight for all works and duties except for operations, guards and training.
Commanding Officer flew to Sourabaya [Surabaya] for talks with CRE [Commander Royal Engineers] 5 Independent Division on ACES.
Brigade commander gave farewell address to all ranks.
Normal works.
Re-construction of water point at Slaughter House completed.
Capacity 600 gallons per hour.
15 Feb 1946 Normal works.
Commanding Officer returns from Sourabaya [Surabaya].
16 Feb 1946 Fire broke out at railway marshelling yards. Undoubtedly arson.
HQ Troop detachment and Squadron fire engine saved one ware house, the other being brought under control but gutted.
Squadron football Team beat Brigade Signals 4-2 
17 Feb 1946 Sports for Dutch children organised by 3 Squadron Officer and Sergeants were held at SEMARANG Stadium. Great success even though it poured with rain..
18 Feb 1946 Lt. Forster left unit to take up appointment with Commander Engineers AFNEI [Allied Forces Netherlands East Indies]
Reconstruction of culvert Map ref 977155 completed and opened.
Squadron "A" Team defeated 22nd Independent Parachute Company in first round of Brigade knockout competition. Score 5-2.
19 Feb 1946 Detachment 600 Independent E&M Company returned to Batavia.
Fireproof housing for cinema at Pegasus Club complete and erected.
Great Football and Childrens Sports write up in Newspaper "Pegasus".
20 Feb 1946 Normal works.
21 Feb 1946 New Brigade Commander Brigadier Darling D.S.O. visited unit. Very pleased with accommodation and with standard of works in unit.
"B" Company 13th Parachute Battalion beat Squadrons "B" Team in the Brigade Cup Match 2-0.
Good Luck to !A! Team who play them in the next round.
22 Feb 1946 CE AFNEI Brigadier Pritchard visited unit and SEMARANG today.
Expressed pleasure with what he saw and approval of all R.E. works.
Army Press Correspondent came with him.
23 Feb 1946 .Normal works.
Anti-Vice Patrols come in to force in Troop area.
24 Feb 1946 Day off being Sunday.
Squadron Team played SEMARANG Chinese Team and lost 2-0.
This is the first defeat in Semarang but it was a first class match.
25 Feb 1946 General F.A.M. Browning D.S.O. visited Brigade in SEMARANG.
Started building up Concentration Camp in Dock area.
Priority I = Task work !
Sawmill broke down at 1100 hrs. Failure of Diesel Engine.
Great Drive against V.D. started. Anti-vice patrols.
26 Feb 1946 .Sawmill working again at 0800 hrs.
Camp work at high pressure. Sapper trucks everywhere.
7 prostitutes arrested by Anti-vice Patrol.
First Rugger Practice - Team very unfit.
27 Feb 1946 Continued camp work - Progressing favourably. Many other unit jobs suspended in order to finish in time. 38 Feb 1946.
Squadron "A" Team played 6th Air-Landing Anti Tank. Won 6-1.
28 Feb 1946 Camp finished as far as Priority I works.
Report that Indonesian cut power cable on road to airfield.
Drive on V.D. continues.
Half SEMARANG out of Bounds - New punishments for offenders.


3 Airborne Squadron Royal Engineers

March 1946

Commanding Officer: Major J.G. Smith  R.E.

18 Mar 1946 Work decreasing except for work on accommodation for Dutch Brigade which is now complete.
19 May 1946 Personnel ship not arriving as originally planned.
1st personnel party will probably depart "City of Canterbury" on March 26th or 27th.
Work started on piping reservoir South West SEMARANG to an existing water point in order to give adequate water in the dry season.
20 May 1946 Certain native employees in civil engineering workshops have been leaving the town in the last week. Extremists suspected of intimidation.
Several have now returned to work and state that they were stripped of their possessions by the Indonesian Republican Army outside the town.
Work on accommodation for Dutch Brigade continues.
Major Bryant ALFSEA Topo Section visited Unit to collect the Engineer generator on SEMARANG.
. Normal works very much reduced. Only 2 Troops working. Main jobs are electricity repairs and accommodation for Dutch Forces. Football match with 225 Field Ambulance postponed due to heavy rain.
March maintenance lift of stores
etc ....


3 Airborne Squadron Royal Engineers

April 1946

Commanding Officer: Major J.G.Smith R.E.

. .


3 Airborne Squadron Royal Engineers

May 1946

Commanding Officer: Major J.G.Smith R.E.

SEMARANG
(Java, Indonesia)
01 May 1946
Vehicle loading and Kit check and inspection.
02 May 1946 Vehicle loading. Billets handed over to SSO. will be occupied by officers and families of Battery of Dutch Gunners. 2nd Personnel party
approx 4 Officers and 80 other ranks embarked SS Empire Pride for Singapore.
2nd Vehicle party concentrated in Hotel du Pavilion - 1 officer and 18 other ranks.
AT SEA
03 to 05 May 1946
Empire Pride enroute to Singapore.
MALAYA (Malaysia)
06 May 1946
2nd Personnel party disembarked Singapore and were transported to rejoin 1st personnel and vehicle party at MUAR. 30 miles south of Malacca.
07 May 1946 Locations. No.2 Troop to KANGHAR KAHANG 27 EAST KLUANG.
No.1 Troop , No.3 Troop and Squadron HQ MUAR
detachment of No.1 Troop with 7 Parachute Battalion- Border of Siam (Thailand) and Malay (Malaysia).
7 Parachute Battalion searching for brigands.
08 to 10 May 1946 Troops getting settled in new location.
11 May 1946 Ordered to move to SAGIL
12 May 1946 Prepare to move to SAGIL
SAGIL, Malaysia
13 May 1946
Squadron HQ and detachment of No.1 Troop moved to SAGIL.
No.3 Troop remains MUAR for works
14 May 1946 2nd vehicle party embarked SS SAMFLORA at SEMARANG

[The day that soldiers of the 13th Parachute Battalion got more than a little upset at MUAR camp conditions and refused to obey their commanding officer.
263 men were charged with mutiny and court marshalled. This was later quashed after public and governmental outcry back in the U.K. Conditions were certainly dire, but had been at several previous locations too.
The last article on the news page describes conditions [Click] 
15 May 1946 Works project MUAR approved by Malaya Command
16 to 17 May 1946 Normal routine.
18 May 1946 2nd vehicle party docked Singapore.
Squadron Team played 2nd Battalion BUFFS of 2 Division in 1st round of Malaya Command knockout. Won 1-0
19 May 1946 2nd vehicle party disembarked and arrived SAGIL.
Squadron day off.
20 May 1946 Work commenced Priority job for 225 Parachute FIeld Ambulance and 13 Parachute Battalion at MUAR.
No.3 Troop responsible.
21 May 1946 Swimming pool on SAGIL estate repaired and reopened.
22 to 23 May 1946 Normal routine. Troops settling in new location and preparing accommodation for the return of No.2 Troop and detachment of No.1 Troop.
24 to 25 May 1946 Normal routine. Troops settling in new location and preparing accommodation for the return of No.2 Troop and detachment of No.1 Troop.
26 May 1946 Squadron day off.
27 May 1946 Normal routine. Squadron driving course commenced. see Appendix A
28 May 1946 Normal routine. Squadron XI played TANGKAK XI and drew 2-2
29 May 1946 1st Anniversary of the formation of 3 Airborne Squadron R.E. Half day holiday.
30 May 1946 Normal Routine. Visit from DADAWS [Deputy Assistant Director of Army Welfare] who promised Mobile Cinema once weekly.
31 May 1946 No.2 Troop moved from KANGAR KAHANG to SAGIL.
Work started on accommodation at SAGIL camp.
.

Signed: J.G. Smith Maj. R.E.



3 Airborne Squadron Royal Engineers

June 1946

Commanding Officer: Major J.G.Smith R.E.

Malaya (Malaysia)
01 Jun 1946
Normal routine.
Squadron Football team played Tangkak XI and won 6-2
02 Jun 1946 Squadron day off.
03 Jun 1946 Normal routine.
04 Jun 1946 Instructional Team returned from Batavia after 2 months training course for Dutch Engineers - see report April-May Diary.
05 Jun 1946 Commander Engineers, Malaya Command visited No.3 Troop at MUAR and met Commanding Officer.
Squadron Team beat 2 Divisional Troops 4-2 in the 2nd round of the Malaya Command knockout.
06 Jun 1946 Anniversary of D-day - Squadron half day off.
07 Jun 1946 First cricket trial played at Tangkak.
Normal works.
No.3 Troop completed project for 225 Parachute Field Ambulance at MUAR
08  to 09 Jun 1946 Holiday "V" Day and Whit Monday
etc .

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