Thursday 14 May 2009

Chronology of Lt. Col Saw Godwiller MC (Retd)

Name: Saw Godwiller

Date of Birth: 29 July 1916 (Saturday)

Place of Birth: Sinbingyi Village, Thandaung Township, Kayin State

Father's Name: Thara Mya Mai

Mother's Name Thabwarmu Eh Hser

1916 - 1924
- Stay in the hills

1925 - 1935
- Came down to Taungngu and attended Bunker Memorial Middle School and transferred to St. Luk's High School" and matriculated there.

1935 - 1937
- Went down to Yangon to find work.  Appointed as clerk at " E.M. de Souzat Company" with a salary of 40 Kyats per month.  Did not get equal treatment and left on 26 April 1937.

1937 - 
- 28 April 1937 went to Maymyo with brother-in-law Dr. S M Dwe and enlisted in the Burma Army (2nd Burma Rifles, Mandalay) on 30 April 1937.

1940 - 1941
- Selected to attend "Kitchener College" at Nowgong, Central India.  Obtained position (55) out of 600 students but as Burma was separated from India in 1937, was no more eligible to attend Military Academy at Dehra Dun.

1942 - 1943
- Came back to Burma, Maymyo and was sent with 2 Burma Rifles to Mawlamein.  Then to Mergui as the Japanese bombed Mergui had to evacuate back to Yangon.  From Yangon the unit was sent to Papun and own company was sent to Dagwin on the Salween river border with Thailand.

After bombing the otherside with bombs had to rereat back to Papun.  Then started to retreat to Taungngu then to Pyu.  As Japaneses rushed from Pago we had to evacuate back to Taungngu and then to Kyaukpadaung down to Prome and Kama.  From thense on we retreated to India via Gangaw, Tamu to India (Dimapur).

- We regroup at Hoshiarpur (India) and then had a few months training to go into Burma along with "Wingate's Long Range Penetration" (1st expedition).

We reached Inywa on the Irrawaddy adn had to go back to India again via Myitkyina, Siprapur, Laaungga adn Putao.  From Putao we flew back to India.  After two days in Calcutta we entrained for Karachi where we had a month's rest.  After rest we reorganised and had to go into Burma again with "Wingate's Long Range Penetration" (2nd Expedition)

We had our training at Saugor and three other towns then went to Dimapur.

- Wingate's forces comprises of (3) Brigades 77, 111 and xxx.  In each column (Battalion Strength) one platoon of Burma Rifles was attached to it and had to act (on arriving in Burma) as ears and eyes and mouth of the Column.  There were two imaginary air fields (paddy fields) nickname "Broadway" and "Piccadilly".  On the 5th March morning Reconnaissance plane gave report that "Piccadilly" was blocked and Glider or plane could not land there. So all the Gliders and planes had to land at "Broadway".

At 6 pm march 5th we got into our Glider No. 5.B with 23 personnel Ammunition and Signal Sets to flew into Burma.  When we were only (10) minutes from "Broadway" our Glider entangled with the towrope and the pilot had to release the glider .  Down under 8000 feet we saw white patches and the pilot told us that that was water.  On the otherhand it turns out to be Irrawaddy's sand banks.  Our Glider came down near the mout of Kaukkwe Chaung near Shwegu town.  It was then 8 p.m and from then on I was given to command the 23 personnel including six of my Burma Rifles.  They comprises of one Major , 2 Captains, one Doctor (Capt), 2 Surgeants 11 other ranks.

After crossing the irrawaddy we had two clashes with Japenese  patrols, but with God's help fortunately we suffer no casuality at all.  On the 4th night as a plan flew over us, we signal our Glider No and the planed acknowledged our message so Headquarters knew where our position was.

On the 9th day we were on the bank of Kaukwe river and we rested there with a Kachin village of 3  Long barrcks.  On washing my messtin on the river I saw plenty of fish in the river.  So I told the Kachins to get ready to fetch fish also my troop.  First, I drop some rice and after a few seconds, I dropped a hand grenade.  We had one fish each for our troop for the fish weighed nearly one viss [1.8 Kg].  All the others we gave to the Kachins and I think we got nearly four gunny full bags of fish that day.

The next day we arrived at Broadway and we were welcome by our comrades.  For leading this troop back to safety, I was awarded the "Military Cross".

- We rested at Dehra Dun and in July we were airlifted back to Burma.  Lt. Saw Donny Lt. Min Maung and Lt Godwiller posted to 5 Holding and Enquiry at Taungngu.  Later we were posted to 1st Karen Rifles, Thayagone.  Donny become Lt Col and was called to War office as Q.M.Q.  Min Maung became Lt Col and Comdg 1st Karen Rifles whereas I was promoted to Major and acted as 2nd in Comdg.

- Sent to Dehra Dun for Platoon Comdrs' Course.  In May - Communist insurection started and had to patrol Taungngu West.  Got malaria and hospitalised for two weeks at No. 2 S.H.S (Military Hospital).

24 July 1946 - Married to Sister Kelly [Yone].

26 September 1946
- Met car accident at Oktwin and got head injury, 2 ribs broken, Femur broken and was in coma for 48 hours.  Later sent to Yangon at Thiri hall ( improvised as hospital) and after one month evacuated to Maymyo Army hospital.  Through negligence of the Medical Officer, one Indian Lt. Col. my Femur was not correctly in place and my right leg is now one inch short.

- I left hospital in July 1947 and down graded Col. "CEE" to do sedentary duties only.  But I was put in every duty available and in 1949 I was sent to Maymyo to attend "Staff College".  Before our course ended in March 1949, the insurrection started and we were evacuated to Yangon by plan at Monywa.  All Karens in the Ary were put in Kandawgyi (Armed Forces Rest Camp).

Our Comdg Officer was Lt Col. Calvin Ogh and 2.1.c was Major Timothy Po Gyaw.  Adjutant was Capt. Talmadge.  Our strength was then (300) married and (700) Bachelors.  Major Si Saw Skree was in-charge of the married people and I was in-charge of the Bachelors.  In 1953 the AFRC was disbanded and most personnel were sent to various units wehreas some took pension and some discharges.  I have been with the following units.  2 BurF, Karen AFRC, 19 Buregt, Banco, 9 Buregt, 23 Buregt, 34 Buregt O.S.D. Prime Minister's Office and S.A.C until I took full pension on 29 July 1978.

I was elected as People's Representative for Phu II and in 1972 Dec 22 Col Thaungkyi assembled (16) of us to form the War Veteran Organisation.  Tehy were -

Brigadier Maung Maung Kyaw Win - President
Colonel Khun Naung - Vice President
Colonel Maung Kyaw - Vice President
Lt Col. Kyaw Nyunt - Secretary
U Thein Aung (Trading) - Assistant Secretary
Colonel Sein Lwin - Member
Lt Col. Saw Ohn - Member
Lt Col. Saw Godwiller - Member
Major Kaplo - Member and 7 tohers.

In 1973 September 24 and 25, thje first meeting of W.V.O was held and the organisations Law and Rule were discussed.

I was staying at Pyidaungsu Yeiktha 4D for 10 years and moved to East Yahkin.  When I totally retired I came back to Taunggnu where I had built a bungalow in 1956 - 58 and settled there since with my family.

With my fist wife Sister Kelly, I adopted a son, Saw Jonathan Ba Chit and with my wife Naw Htoo Htoo Paw, I had 2 daughters (Mary and Cynthia) and one son (David).

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