Junglies Go Back to their Roots… Memories of Jungle Campaign Re-lived Through Borneo Veteran
Before leaving for Borneo members of 845 NAS met Roger Bigden, a veteran of the 1960s Borneo campaign, ahead of their heritage exploration to Malaysia which would see a group of Naval personnel departing the UK for a battlefield tour of Borneo as part of the squadron’s commitment to honouring their heritage.
Roger Bigden read about the trip to Borneo and made contact with the Sqn through the ‘Junglie Association’ on their website www.junglies.org.uk. He came to visit 845 NAS at RNAS Yeovilton to share his experiences of the 1960s Borneo campaign, and to present the Sqn with a map and photographs from his time there.
Roger said: ”The map was a replacement for one lost at Nanga Gaat, when I was the Crewman in a Wessex helicopter that crashed into the river near the current memorial site on 9th May 1965. I was passed ‘fit to fly’ again on 28th May and used the map until we were relieved by 848 NAS on 22nd June 1965.”
A montage of images was put together by Roger in 2006 on the 40th Anniversary of the end of the confrontation as a pictorial tribute to the fallen troops, and members of 845 NAS, during his 1964-65 deployment. His visit was the perfect way to put the heritage trip in an historical context for today’s personnel serving on the Frontline.
CO 845 NAS Cdr James Newton DFC said “I am thrilled that we are getting back to the roots of our heritage in Borneo. Our predecessors, such as Roger, earned the ‘Junglies’ reputation for their amazing aviation skills, and it is an ethos we maintain proudly to this day.”