Sunday, July 12, 2009

Airborne Operation during Operation Dwikora

Within the framework of the confrontation with Malaysia, the Indonesian Air Force conducted numerous operations. These included Operation Terang Bulan 1 and 2, Saputangan, Waspada, Kawal, Kelelawar, Antasari 1, 2, and 3, Rembes, Nantang, Tanggul Baja, Pindah, Panca and Geser.
Along with mobilizing air craft, the air force also prepared the PGT (Air Force para-commandos) to combine with volunteer forces in an effort to infiltrate into Malaysia. Before that, PGT members had helped distribute leaflets over the north Kalimantan-Sarawak border from C-130 aircraft.
The infiltration of PGT took place by sea, land and air. Different from Trikora campaign or PRRI/Permesta exterminate operations, this time PGT act as airborne solo performer without any support from Indonesian Army Airborne unit.
On 2 September 1964, three PGT platoons – two of them from Lieutenant Soetikno’s company (Bandung) and one from Lieutenant Soeroso’s company (Jakarta) – departed Halim Perdanakusuma airbase aboard three C-130 transports. However, one of three – with tail number T-1303, which was carrying Soeroso’s platoon – never arrived at its destination and did not return to base. Also on this plane was PGT Liutenat Colonel Sukani, Lieutenant Soeroso and flight captain Major Djalaludin Tantu. All died aboard this missing aircraft together with 47 PGT members, 10 Malaysian-Chinese defectors including 2 girls. This tragedy was the first Hercules C-130 B accident in the world.
Lieutenant Colonel Sukani was an important officer in the PGT at that time. He was commander of the PGT’s Regimental Combat Team. He was known for his bravery, showed constant dedication to duty and was popular with his troops.
Before this accident, a single platoon under Sergeant Sadikin infiltrated by sea on 16 August 1964 from Tanjung Pinang to Pasir Panjang, the to Pontian Kecil in Malaysia’s Johor stated. Within this platoon, a member named Soekardi was captured and condemned to hang by Malaysian authorities.
After landing on the beach at Pontian Kecil, the platoon was hit by Malaysian security forces and broke into small groups. Given the difficult situation, they were forced to hide by day and maneuver by night. However, in the end they were captured by the Malaysians and interned, at which time they met other PGT troops that had been caught on different infiltration missions.
Preparations for the first PGT infiltration by sea, in fact, had taken place back in April 1964 when two companies under Lieutenant Soetikno and Lieutenant Soekimin departed for a staging base at Tanjung Balai Karimun by motor-boat. On 17 August 1964, a second seaborne platoon under Sergeant Soeparmin headed for Malaysia. Almost the entire PGT member that infiltrate was captured by Allied forces because mostly of this infiltration mission was being spread out to the British and Malaysian authorities. Four PGT member that was safely return to Indonesia given a “Bintang Sakti” honorary medal from the Indonesian government together with other personnel that was died during the missions.
The Labis air-drop and Pontian landings nearly provoked a British air strike to Jakarta from Singapore. However, these landings were intended as far as possible to established the possibility of further Indonesian parachute and seaborne landings like Pontian and Labis.
In the book “Triwarsa Kopasgat” it states that in Operation Dwikora, PGT lost only 83 personnel and 117 personnel was captured. This is slightly less than the number of PGT para-commandos killed in Operation Trikora in West Irian, which amounted to 94 men.

No comments:

Post a Comment