Operation Profit (ii)

'Profit' (ii) was one of several British special forces raids by a party of the Special Boat Section against a target on Ramree island, off the Arakan western coastal region of Japanese-occupied Burma (January 1945).

Undertaken by the 'C' Group of No. 2 SBS under the command of Captain R. Livingstone, the raids usually comprised up to nine two-man teams in Folbot canoes that were delivered from Teknaf, on the western side of the Naf river estuary to the north-west of Maungdaw, and later recovered for return to their base.

Typical of the series was that which started on 14 January when Lieutenant Jack Zappert’s ML-440 and Lieutenant Ken Baber’s ML-474, which were Fairmile motor launches of the 55th Motor Launch Flotilla, departed Teknaf to deliver an SBS party ordered to investigate a report that the Japanese were about to withdraw from Ramree island where, according to the report, there were only 50 lightly armed soldiers guarding the airfield. The party landed on Laws island, just off Kyaukpyu, and from there sent parties to reconnoitre Ramree island. Here they found that the island was garrisoned by Colonel Nagazawa Kanichi’s 121st Regiment, complete with artillery, of Lieutenant General Shigesaburo Miyazaki’s 54th Division of Lieutenant General Shozo Sakurai’s 28th Army. The reconnaissance established that the 2/121st Regiment held Kyaukpyu, two companies were in the beach area at Gonschwein, and the rest of the regiment was emplaced on Mt Peter and Black Hill.

The SBS party was safely recovered on 18 January, and its information was very useful in the finalisation of the 'Matador' (iii) plan to take the island a few days later.