You can read Part I here.


Brigadier “Mad Mike” Calvert’s second recommendation was to raise an unconventional force to hunt the Communist Terrorists (CTs) in their jungle hideouts. This became the Ferret Force.

Named after the predator that wolfs down rats (the CTs being the rats in this case), the Ferret Force consisted of both soldiers and civilians. The addition of civilians gave them an organic intelligence capability since most of them were Chinese who’d resisted Communism’s lures.

Lt. Col Walter Walker jumpstarted the unit in July 1948.

He recruited mainly WWII veterans, soldiers who had learned the art of jungle fighting against the Japanese in Burma and Malaya.  Preference was given to former Chindits, a WWII jungle SOF unit, and members of Force 136, the Special Operations Executive’s (SOE) Pacific branch.

The latter were ideal because they’d trained many of the CTs to fight against the Japanese. (Chin Peng, the leader of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), had even been awarded an Order of the British Empire for his WWII service!)

They sharpened their commando and survival teeth at Port Dickson, a training facility run by Australian veterans of the war in the Pacific.  There, they soaked jungle-fighting and surviving methods.  For those who’d forgotten, the jungle was an unforgiving battlefield with a tendency to devour those who made mistakes.