CHQ AMBUSH (PART 1) By Kevin Freshwater, 4 RAR/NZ
During Operation Overlord a few members of each platoon of Delta Company were sent to CHQ (Company Headquarters) to man ambush positions within our area of operations. They were to act as a blocking force for the American 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, who were going to push any enemy in the area towards the set ambush sites. This meant that the company could set four ambushes: CHQ, 10, 11 and 12 Platoons. Private Kevin Freshwater was one of 12 Plt’s members sent to CHQ.
As I lay on the ground next to Pte “Paddy” Leahy in the ambush position, we heard a noise to our front. It seemed like something crawling towards us. It sounded big and loud. Our vision was obscured by a large log off to our left. CSM (Company Sergeant Major) WO2 Noel Huish indicated that he was going forward to investigate what was making the noise. He silently moved forward and on reaching the fallen timber, as he looked around the end of it, he came eye to eye with an enormous Komodo dragon-like lizard. They both just stared at each other for a few seconds until Noel decided he had seen enough and jumped to his feet to make a hasty withdrawal. The lizard wasn’t through with looking at Noel and decided to follow him. Next thing, Paddy and I were watching something out of the Key Stone Cops – Noel running around and around a tree with the lizard in pursuit. All Paddy and I could do was sit up and laugh at these two. The lizard got tired of running after this “fast food” and headed off on his merry way, while our fearless CSM came back to the ambush position, a few shades lighter than when he’d gone forward. He looked at the tears in our eyes from laughing so much and said, “Those things have been known to bring down cows, you know.” Another uneventful day in the jungle.
Interchangeable parts aren’t.