Confrontation MIA's found.

Discussion in 'Other Conflicts' started by Cobber, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    Dated March 2010
    The two SASR men who drowned while on a operational river crossing during a Claret mission during the confrontation (war) between Malaya and Indonesia in 1966 have been found.
    After the MIA's from the war in Viet Nam were found over past few years, attention of Australian Govt & Army went towards Borneo in Indonesia to try and find these two men.
    However due to the imagined sensitivity by the Australian govt to the Indonesian Confrontation, I have only just heard of it.
    Eventually a combined Australian and Indonesian team started to search for the men's bodies, thankfully the locals who found the bodies in 1966 and who gave them a burial remembered these men. It was these locals who gave the information to the searchers who then found the grave sites in Indonesian Borneo

    Remains of SAS diggers Ken Hudson and Bob Moncrieff found in Borneo
    Mark Dodd The Australian March 16, 2010

    THE remains of two Special Air Service diggers who went missing in action during the 1960s Confrontation with Indonesia have been found in West Kalimantan (Borneo).
    Speaking in Parliament, a short while ago, Mr Rudd said the help of the Indonesian military had been crucial in recovering the remains of Lieutenant Ken Hudson and Private Bob Moncrieff, both of E Troop, 2 Squadron, SASR.
    The pair drowned during a cross-border operation 44 years ago deep inside Indonesian territory.
    “The remains of two Australian servicemen missing in action in 1966 in Indonesia have been found and have now been positively identified,“ the Prime Minister said.
    “During a river crossing, they were separated from other members of their patrol and despite extensive searches at the time, were not found.” .“For 44 years the families and loved ones of these two soldiers have been left with uncertainty,” he said.
    “Now their remains can be brought home to their final resting place in Australia. “Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones today as we honour the service of Lieutenant Kenneth Hudson and Private Robert Moncrieff.”

    The incident occurred in the early hours of March 21, 1966, while the SAS patrol was attempting to cross the Sekayan River.

    In 2008, Army commenced an investigation to try and locate the human remains of the two men. The Army immediately requested the assistance from the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI). Indonesian assistance was offered in early 2009, along with the offer to form a joint investigation and research team. The team discovered that the bodies had been found by local Indonesians of the Sanggau province and had provided them with respectful burials. It was the same Indonesians who helped the team locate the burial sites and recover the remains.

    The key to the discovery was information provided by pro-Indonesian Dayak tribesmen, notably Ketua Adat, the keeper of culture and history for the local tribe.
    There are no roads into the area, which lies in the remote border region and access is only by canoe.

    Between 1962 and 1966 Indonesia and Malaysia fought a small undeclared war involving troops from Australia and Britain.

    It came as a response to opposition by Indonesia to the creation of the Federation of Malaysia, seen by Jakarta as an attempt by Britain to maintain its Malaysian colony under the guise of granting it independence.

    A total of 23 Australians were killed during the Confrontation – seven of them on operations – but because of the sensitivity of the cross-border operations, little publicity was given to the conflict at the time.

    Indonesian and Australian armed forces men dig for the remains of Lieutenant Kenneth Hudson and Private Robert Moncrieff. Facing the camera is the local Indonesian military commander Lieutenant Colonel Wasono and in the centre background is Warrant Officer Class 2 Jeremy Archer, the Australian Assistant Army Attaché from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. They are helped by several local Dayak men including Jang Basri who witnessed the burial of Private Moncrieff in West Kalimantan in 1966. This site was the location of the burial of Private Moncrieff.

    Planning is now well underway to repatriate the remains of Lieutenant Hudson and Private Moncrieff to Australia. Their families have awaited their return for 44 years and will now be able to bring their loved ones home and lay them to rest with proper military honours. The official Army investigation report and findings have been presented to and accepted by the West Australian Coroner.

    Lieutenant Kenneth Ambrose Hudson
    1936 – 1966

    Ken Hudson was born in Brisbane, on January 7, 1936.

    He attended the Industrial High School in Brisbane where he joined the Australian Cadet Corps (1950-55). As a teenager he enjoyed rugby and swimming. He left school early to work as an apprentice watchmaker – then later worked for Hornibrook Constructions as a builder’s labourer.

    Ken was conscripted during the Cold War and undertook basic training in the 11th National Service Training Battalion at Wacol in 1955.

    He enlisted in the regular Army on April 30, 1956 and was allotted to the Royal Australian Infantry. Ken was well versed in the skills of soldiering, having served in the airborne platoon, 1st and 2nd Royal Australian Regiments and progressing through the ranks to sergeant before being commissioned. He was appointed an officer on September 9, 1964. He was posted to Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) on February 24, 1965 and was allotted to 2 SAS Squadron as troop commander of E Troop.

    The personal trait of absolute dependability, described by the President of the Officer Selection Board, earned Ken Hudson the nickname of “Rock”. Ken was dependable, reliable, conscientious and solid as a rock. He was a man who could be relied upon under pressure and under any circumstance.

    Lt Hudson completed the suite of specialist courses required by the Regiment and set a high standard both for himself and his men.

    2 Sqn completed jungle training in PNG in Dec 1965 as its final preparation training prior to being deployed on operations to Borneo during Confrontation.

    Ken continued to display strong leadership skills within E Tp and participated in long range cross border surveillance patrols in Kalimantan.

    A devoted family man, when relaxing, Ken loved talking about his wife Dawn and their baby son, John.

    Ken was swept away in a river crossing on March 21, 1966 during SAS operations in Indonesia, during the Indonesian Confrontation. His remains have been found thanks to the tireless work of many ex-serving and serving members of the Special Forces family and an official Army investigation.


    Private Robert Charles Moncrieff
    1944 – 1966

    Robert (Bob) Moncrieff was born in Hamilton, NSW, December 17, 1944.

    He attended Cooks Hill High School, and after attaining the Intermediate Certificate he worked as a hardware salesman with the firm Fred Ash Ltd in Newcastle.

    He enlisted in the Army April 21, 1964 and was allocated to the Royal Australian Infantry. He underwent Special Air Service (SAS) selection in 1965 and was posted to the SASR April 21, 1965

    Bob came from 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment ranked as private, on posting as a driver/batman He was posted to E Troop 2 SAS Squadron on January 13, 1966.

    Within the SAS he took courses in basic parachuting, small craft handling and signals.

    In October 1965, he deployed to Papua New Guinea to complete preparation training with 2 SAS Squadron before deployment to Borneo in January 1966.

    Bob was a person so full of life that everyone with whom he came in contact immediately liked him. Bob was always there for anyone who needed a laugh or to run an idea past. He was neither the fittest or toughest SAS soldier of his time, but he was extremely dedicated and put in many extra hours of training to be the best soldier he could be. He always said that the proud day of his life was when he was presented his sandy beret (the beret worn only by SAS).

    Bob was a keen surfer from his early life in Newcastle and was an avid “bird watcher” at Cottesloe Beach on Sundays with is mates. Bob also loved parachuting and convinced some of his colleagues to buy a shared, second-hand sports chute. He and his investment partners spent many weekends at Rockingham keeping up their sky-God skills.

    Bob was swept away in a river crossing on March 21, 1966 during SAS operations in Indonesia, during the Indonesian Confrontation. His remains have been found thanks to the tireless work of many ex-serving and serving members of the Special Forces family and an official Army investigation.

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