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I read a book a while ago and was dumbstruck. I believe it was called raiders by John Laffin.

In the book was a story about an Australlian Commando who lived on a Japanese occupied Pacific Island for 2-3 years, causing utter mayhem. (firing mortars into the parade ground on the Emperors birthday for example) , he also removed his own appendix in a 4 hour operation whilst stuck on the island. When the yanks arrived he cleared an area for their landing craft. His most trusted method of attack was speeding up the river in a patrol boat whilst firing his machine gun into the Japanese ranks on parade. this guy seriously sounded like the stuff of legends, except..... I can't remember his name!!

Does this ring any bells with anybody else? Who was this guy and did he receive any medals/awards for his actions?

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The coastal watcher rings a bell I think he was a trained Commando but was assigned a coastal watching job in the Philipines, then was caught out when the Japs invaded.

further things I remember

1) He had a phillino wife

2) He did have a small army of men (about 20 Philipinos)

3) He survived the war but died soon after in an accident (involving explosives i believe)

I know all this sounds far fetched but I promise you this was how it was detailed in the Raiders book. I loaned the book from the library, part of the problem with library books, you can't then use the book as a reference!!

If no one knows who I'm taliking about I'll try and get back to the library and loan it out again. I'll post more info then about him!!

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Just because it's to hand - a scan of Aussie troops in East Timor (a well known photo, in this case reproduced as part of an Aussie army / East Timorese army calendar a few years ago).

Edited by leigh kitchen

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I've managed to get a copy of the book.

The fella in question is a Captain Jock McLaren, also a Major Rex Blow. I will add more after I have read it but he was awared the Military Cross twice, apartentley the citation for one was the longest ever written!!

His boat was an adapted whaleboat,armed with a 20mm cannon, two 0.3" machine guns and a 0.5" aft gun. Aptly named "The Bastard"

A quote from the book

"Blow and Mclaren were in enemy territory for more than two and a half years. These two Australlians were raiders who never rested"

And yes he did remove his own appendix!

"All men trained as raiders in Australia were taught how to remove their own appendix should no expert help be available. Unfortunately, however, Jock Mclaren was without the benefits of this training, he had gone straight from a PoW camp into his own type of war. The day came when he knew that his appendix had burst. It it were not removed he would die, but Rex Blow was operating eleswhere and McLaren was alone except for a friendly Moro chief, his Filipino wife and a young native. Furthermore, he had no anaesthetic."

It goes on to describe in some detail how he carried out the operation.

This guy is a legend, you should read his story, I'm not sure why a book/film hasn't been written specifically about his exploits.

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I've managed to get a copy of the book.

The fella in question is a Captain Jock McLaren, also a Major Rex Blow. I will add more after I have read it but he was awared the Military Cross twice, apartentley the citation for one was the longest ever written!!

His boat was an adapted whaleboat,armed with a 20mm cannon, two 0.3" machine guns and a 0.5" aft gun. Aptly named "The Bastard"

A quote from the book

"Blow and Mclaren were in enemy territory for more than two and a half years. These two Australlians were raiders who never rested"

And yes he did remove his own appendix!

"All men trained as raiders in Australia were taught how to remove their own appendix should no expert help be available. Unfortunately, however, Jock Mclaren was without the benefits of this training, he had gone straight from a PoW camp into his own type of war. The day came when he knew that his appendix had burst. It it were not removed he would die, but Rex Blow was operating eleswhere and McLaren was alone except for a friendly Moro chief, his Filipino wife and a young native. Furthermore, he had no anaesthetic."

It goes on to describe in some detail how he carried out the operation.

This guy is a legend, you should read his story, I'm not sure why a book/film hasn't been written specifically about his exploits.

I read his story in a small paperback called Australian War Heroes. Before the war McLaren was a vet and so knew how to operate albeit on animals. He removed his appendix using a shaving mirror and a razorblade while hiding from the Japanese in a swamp. He sewed up the wound using banana fibre. While recuperating, he had to escape from an enemy patrol.

After the War he operated a plantation in Papua New Guinea and was killed when a tree fell on him during a rainstorm. He dodged all those bullets in the most trying of circumstances and lost his life almost by chance. An amazing man.

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This sounds a very interesting story - it would be nice to learn a little more about these courageous men. It seems rather reminiscent of the scene in 'South Pacific' where they took over from an Aussie Coast Watcher ?

p.s. - sorry Medaller - should have said welcome to GMIC. Tell us a little about yourself and what you collect ?

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This sounds a very interesting story - it would be nice to learn a little more about these courageous men. It seems rather reminiscent of the scene in 'South Pacific' where they took over from an Aussie Coast Watcher ?

p.s. - sorry Medaller - should have said welcome to GMIC. Tell us a little about yourself and what you collect ?

Thanks Mervyn. I collect a lot of stuff, mainly Australian WW1 though a bit of Australian WW2 as well....I cant help myself.

Australian WW1 medals are eaily researched yourself as the Australian Government has all WW1 service records (and more) online.

I did also collect russian medals/orders though I havent for quite a while due to the fakers making it too hard for me.

Australia has many war heroes similar to the above that most of the rest of the world have never heard of.

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