British, American troops cooperate on 'Saddle Up'
KOTA BELUD, North Borneo — The British may call it petrol while the Americans describe it as gasoline — but that was the limit of the differences between the two forces during Operation Saddle Up which ended here Thursday night.
Vice Adm. Frederick N. Kivette, Seventh Fleet commander, noted the easy relationship between the U.S. Marines and the British forces when he visited the regimental command post on the afternoon of the landing.
The commander of the British Far East land forces, Lt. Gen. Richard Hull, also commented on it after making an inspection trip through the lines during the sea-to-landing exercise.
IT WENT ON down through the ranks. An Australian newsman covering the landing sat in a commo tent on the beach on the second day of the exercise watching a Marine officer, a British officer and a group of enlisted men directing helicopters which were resupplying the forward units up in the hills beyond the beach.
After watching the men work for 15 minutes he told another newsman:
"Look at them, will you. They think they are bloody blood brothers. I'll bet they think they are all in the same outfit."
At the command post for the operation a combined :staff of United Kingdom officers and U.S. Marine officers under the command of Col. Roy S. Batterton worked together throughout the operation without a hitch.
ONE OFFICER of the Sherwood Foresters seemed to hit the key to the excellent cooperation:
"The Marines and UK troops worked together in Korea. I think there they learned to respect each other," he said.
"This is the first time since then that we have had a chance to operate with the marines. I think we are both enjoying it."
THE MARINES particularly enjoyed the British rations. One item that impressed them was a self-heating can of ox-tail soup. A cap was removed, two holes were punched in the can and then a wick-like affair was ignited.
It burned like a fuse down through the middle of the can and in five minutes the soup was boiling without flames or smoke.
The Marines' Mule made the biggest hit with the British. Sir Richard Hull was so impressed by it that he insisted on driving it down to the beach from the command post. Bouncing along with him was Adm. Kivette.
From the top to the bottom it was a joint operation.