22 SAS Copeman, Reginald Hubert

Service: A Navy Seal at War
By Marcus Luttrell, James D. Hornfischer

John Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
  • SURNAME
Copeman
  • FORENAME
Reginald Hubert
  • UNIT
  • RANK
Corporal
  • NUMBER
1157902
  • AWARD
Military Medal
  • PLACE
Malaya 1958
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
parent unit Royal Artillery
 

CITATION:

Military Medal : During the course of operation "GINGER" in the SUNGEI SIPUT area of PERAK Corporal COPEMAN, by his conspicuous energy, dash, skill and brilliant standard of patrol leadership has made a very significant personal contribution to the constant, intense and very successful pressure maintained against the hard-core Communist Terrorist organisation in that area.

Corporal COPEMAN has personally secured two communist terrorist eliminations. His superbly led patrols have produced much information, and have, by constant pressure, kept the Terrorist leaders on the move and out of contact with their leaders, subordinated and supply organisation to such an extent that they are now incapable of organised action.

ON 14 May 58 Acting Corporal COPEMAN was leading a patrol of himself and two troopers. While moving cautiously down the bank of a jungle stream he saw what as first appeared to be a shadow but was in fact a terrorist fishing. Immediately suspecting the presence of a camp, Corporal COPEMAN after several hours crawling located an occupied camp for an unknown number of terrorists.

Corporal COPEMAN immediately led his patrol in a charge into the camp. At that moment two terrorists dashed into the jungle and a third made to seize his weapon which was lying on the ground. Corporal COPEMAN, appreciating the value of a live terrorist as a source of information, personally forced the terrorist to surrender instead of immediately killing him as he could easily have done. This terrorist produced information which led to the killing of his two comrades by another patrol of A Squadron.

This most experienced NCO, in charging a camp containing an unknown number of terrorists displayed the highest standards of personal courage and a complete disregard for his own life.

On 22 April 1958 Acting Corporal COPEMAN was again acting as leading scout of his own patrol of three men. While searching the headwaters of a small jungle stream he observed a fleeting movement in the jungle. He immediately realised it was a terrorist courier, held his fire and then at point blank range fired and killed him.

Corporal COPEMAN's alertness, personal courage, patience and exceptionally fine standard of leadership has been an example to all ranks in the protracted Special Air Service operations, which make exceptionally severe demands on health, stamina and mental resilience over long periods.

Place : MALAYA
Date of Action : 22 Apr - 14 May 1958
How Employed : Patrol and Troop Commander

WEB LINKS:

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7622926
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7623139
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