The Bristol Brigand was the last
of the RAF's piston engine aircraft and were superceded by the Canberra jet
45 Squadron converted to
"Hornet" aircraft and 84 Squadron retained it's Brigand until
January 1953 when it left Malaya.
So after 48 years, the wreckage of
one Bristol Brigand together with the remains of it's crew lie in Bintang
Hijau Forest Reserve, a sad reminder of the dedication and sacrifice of Flg.
Officer Basil Cochrane, Sgt. Navigator J.B. Armstrong and J Techn, C. Cox
who died carrying out their duty on that fateful day so long ago.
Updates on Dec 2000 :- In 1958,
the remains of the Brigand RH755 crews have been recovered and have been
buried in Cheras Cemetery, Kuala Lumpur.
Additional research and
investigations carried out by MHG and one of Muzium Officers
En Rizal, who together with his team visited the crashed site and were able
to locate various pieces of wreckage that still had their original
identification markings stencilled on, positively identifying The
"Brigand" as being "RH 755" which when lost was being
flown by Flying Officer Basil Cochrane together with his Navigator, Sgt. J.B.
Armstrong and a Squadron Ground Crew J Techn, C. Cox. who went on the flight
for the experience of taking part on an "airstrike".
Positive proof of RH755 identification
On 3rd May 1952, Bristol Brigand
RH 755 together with other Brigands of 84 Squadron were carrying out attacks
on a "Communist Insurgents" location near to Chenderoh Lake in
Perak. After releasing a salvo of rockets on it's target, crew member in
other aircraft on target saw a flash under the starboard wing and all of the
outer section of that wing fell away. The aircraft, RH 755 rolled over,
crashed into the jungle and immediately burst into flames.
A crashed investigation team,
together with an escort of Gurkhas were sent to the crashed site to
ascertain the cause of the crashed but it was not possible to retrieve the
one wing and the team took 5 days to get to the crash and recover the human
remains. A burial service being conducted near to the wreckage. All three
airmen had died carrying out their duty and Group Captain Ron Wittam, who
was a member of 84 Squadron and with the team that day in May 1952 could
think of no more suitable epitaph than that "There is a corner of a
foreign land that is forever England".
Oxygen tanks littered the wreck
The starboard wing together with
the second engine and undercarriage has still not been located. The
photograph of two "bombs" found in the wreck area were infact
"rocket heads" that must have been beneath the wing of the Brigand
when it crashed and over the years the rocket propellant tubes would have
rotted away leaving the warheads.