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7th Rangers: Din Belanda Of The Tipper Platoon In Lubuk Antu - A Stuff Of Legends

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Din Belanda Of The Tipper Platoon In Lubuk Antu - A Stuff Of Legends
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Representative Image Of A Bailey Bridge In Lubuk Antu, Sarawak

An Indonesian Platoon was stationed in Lubuk Antu there, these guys were Veterans of East Timor, headed by a Lieutenant Augustus, they were on a rotation from the Kapuas Battalion, Indonesian Army.

They were good with daggers and throwing knives. We spent time with them learning those skills. We were escorted with Ferret Scout cars to these locations as the activities of the Communists were at the peak during this period. The most memorable incident was one involving a member of the Tipper Platoon (trucks with tipping capability).

This particular guy’s name was Din “Belanda” (Dutch), he was called that because he was fair and his hair was not exactly black, a teeny weensy brownish. There were some local Malays whose young daughters had fallen prey to this guy, he was a regular womanizer, and he was quite good looking.

He used this to his advantage to the maximum. We envied him, for his unending successes with the women folk of Lubok Antu. The men folk of the women were of course not envious but feeling very murderous towards Noordin. One can’t blame them though when he was going around deflowering the young ones. We knew, we used to gather around him holding cans of beer listening to his erotic exploits, he was very colorful with the details.

Some people listen to music, some people go to the movies for entertainment. Well, in a black area, infested with Communist Terrorists, we young sick in the mind type of guys listened to erotic stories. We actually looked forward to the evenings with “Din Belanda”.

“Din Belanda”, was not one of the most intelligent of guys, the area is a black area, he sneaks out of the camp over the concertina wire strung out, near a guard post. The guard knowingly closes one eye. After all being of the same rank, helps. This time the men folk of the small riverside town were waiting, they beat him up. He survived that beating.

Now to go the town you have to use a Bailey bridge, which was about 200 meters long. It had piers, to support it. Apparently “Din Belanda”, before escaping death by beating, had thrown a challenge to the upset men folk to a fight on the bridge, on the morrow at 2000hrs.

None of us knew about it, except for the fact that he looked a bit bruised, not one of us suspected a thing. When the time came, he sneaked out of the camp the same usual way. This time he was carrying a Sterling sub-machine gun complete with a few magazines in his magazine carrying pouch.  

Sterling Sub-Machine Gun With A 9mm 30 Round  Magazine

Each of the magazines was carrying 28 rounds, normally it’s a practice to do so for a 30 round magazine to give it a longer lifespan and maintain its efficiency. It was “high Noon” on the Bailey bridge that day at 2000 hours. I could actually visualize the theme music in the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, a sixties Clint Eastwood movie.

There were around twenty civilians, waiting to beat the shit out of him. Some of them were carrying sticks and iron bars, the more ambitious ones were carrying machetes. Correction here not beat the shit out of him, but making him into little teensy weensy pieces. Boy! Were they disappointed?

He whipped out his sterling sub machine gun from underneath his jacket, cocked his weapon, held at level to the floor boards of the bridge, switched the safety catch to auto and opened up. Those civilians who had the intention of making him into mince meat, got a shock of their lives, apparently they expected an easy victim.

They were disappointed. They ran for their lives, some threw themselves off the bridge, free falling into the swirling waters of the river Lubok Antu. Din emptied one magazine and reloaded. There was no one left to shoot at. Miraculously no one got killed or hurt. He was a lousy shot!!

Meantime we guys in the camp, who heard the shots, quickly reached for our rifles, ran into the fire trenches to go into “Stand to”, expecting an attack by the forces of the North Kalimantan Communist Party. A patrol comprising of the Rangers went out.

After about an hour they came back with Nordin “Belanda”. He was placed under arrest and sent back to Kuching to be tried and charged.He was sentenced to 90 days detention, after which he as dishonorably discharged from the Army.

Too bad, there went the stuff of legends.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:00 PM  
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