Sea Reconnaissance Unit

The Special Air Service
By Philip Warner
Seven Troop
By Andy McNab

JonnoB

New Member
I recently discover a book "The Frogmen of Burma" by Bruce S Wright., published in 1970. It has a forward by Mountbatten.

Wright formed the first Allied frogman unit in WW2. It was a small group of less than 50 men, who trained in the US and Bermuda as a warm water force. They operated for a short period in Burma where they were used to scout the crossing of the Irrawaddy River. Three members of the unit were given awards, two Military Crosses and a Military Medal.

I've not been able to find any mention of the unit here.
 

JonnoB

New Member
Hi, sorry about the delay in replying. The three men who received awards for service in the Sea Reconnaissance Unit were,

Sergeant Patrick Colgan MM, Royal Air Force.

Lieutenant James Edward Turpin MC, Royal West Kent Regiment.

Flight-Lieutenant G Harry Avery MC, Royal Canadian Air Force.

Not mentioned but I believe he also received a MC for his service in the SRU was

Major Edward Henry Muldoon MC, Gold Coast Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force.

I've found information on the interweb for all of the above, except Lieutenant J E Turpin.

Major E H Muldoon's medals were sold at Christies
Details of his award are given by Christies.

The founder of the unit, Lt Comdr Bruce S Wright, Royal Canadian Navy, received a long service award - the CD, any other awards he may have received are unknown to me.
 

Craig Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
Below is all i have come across. Do you have more information than below such as service numbers?

Sergeant Patrick Colgan MM, Royal Air Force.
I cannot find any record of medal at at National Archives

Lieutenant James Edward Turpin MC, Royal West Kent Regiment.
Found his award listing at National Archives, name as James Edmond Michael Turpin - WO-373-40-23
Service Number : 265889

Flight-Lieutenant George Harry Avery MC, Royal Canadian Air Force.
Cannot see record at National Archives, but found:
http://www.canadaveteranshallofvalour.com/AveryGH.htm

Major Edward Henry Muldoon MC, Gold Coast Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force.
Found his award listing at National Archives, WO-373-28-52

Lt Comdr Bruce S Wright, Royal Canadian Navy
 

JonnoB

New Member
Both awards for Flight-Lieutenant George Harry Avery and Sergeant Patrick Colgan are in the London Gazette of 24th August 1945. See the attached PDF.
I've a problem finding details of a relations MBE, not in the Gazette, but in the National Archives. It's a good job they're duplicated.
I've also attached the Lieutenant Turpin award from the National Archives.

If other users are interested, the National Archives are not charging for digital document downloads, although you do have to sign up for an account.
 

Attachments

  • dGazette-1945ta.pdf
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  • WO-373-40-23.pdf
    918.4 KB · Views: 2

Craig Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
Have added SRU section https://www.specialforcesroh.com/index.php?pages/SRU/
Added the awards for Colgan, Turpin and Avery.
Muldoon looks like he got his medal earlier before SRU formed.
Wright i have added his details to the photos i could find.

If anyone has photo of Muldoon, i can edit it to show his information attached. Also if there are any more photos of members then i can add to the SRU section of the gallery too.
 

Attachments

  • E.Muldoon-Details.pdf
    272.6 KB · Views: 1

IvanP

New Member
My Father and God Father were both part of the SRU.
They are both long dead, but I can Vouch first hand for their swimming ability.
I have fathers copy of the book which has his hand written comments in the margins throughout. Very interesting but probably not fit for publication. Several of the members of the unit are identified on the group photograph by him.
I would be happy to scan that for you if you would like.
W.R Pennell (Walter), and A.V. Cave. (Alan)
Regards
Ivan Pennell.
 

Craig Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
My Father and God Father were both part of the SRU.
They are both long dead, but I can Vouch first hand for their swimming ability.
I have fathers copy of the book which has his hand written comments in the margins throughout. Very interesting but probably not fit for publication. Several of the members of the unit are identified on the group photograph by him.
I would be happy to scan that for you if you would like.
W.R Pennell (Walter), and A.V. Cave. (Alan)
Regards
Ivan Pennell.
Hi Ivan,
Yes that would be great. You can upload it to this thread, or add to the SRU section in the gallery.
Best regards, Craig
 

valiantlad

New Member
My father in law was also a member of the SRU, unfortunately he is no longer with us but I have made sure all of his grand children have a copy of the frogmen of Burma book where he appears in a number of the photos.......RIP John 'Sandy' Docherty
 
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