Mixed Collection relating to John Pegler and Z Special Unit

Accession Number P11933.001
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Maker Unknown
Date made c January 1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Informal group portrait of Operation Python survivors aboard USS Harder. Identified, left to right, back row: Lindsay Cottee; Frederick Gordon (Fred) Olson; Stan Dodds; Stan Neil. Front row: Bill Jinkins; Alexander (Alec) Chew; Lieutenant Colonel Francis George Leach 'Gort' Chester DSO, OBE; Lloyd Woods. Operation Python was carried out by members of the Special Operations Executive the Allied commando unit Z Special Unit, during World War II. The objective of the mission was to set up a wireless station near Labuan Point, North Borneo, and undertake covert operations reporting on the sea lane of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Sibutu Passage and the Balabac Strait of the Sulu Sea. The operation was split into Python I and Python II.
Operation Python I was led by Major F Gort L Chester, the Z Special Unit operatives landed along Labuan Point in early October 1943. They also supported and provided equipment and stores for Filipino guerrillas under the command of an American officer, Captain J A Hamner. In January 1944, Bill Jinkins led Z Special Unit operatives on Operation Python II, with the objective of organising the local population for guerrilla warfare.