johnny cooper 1sas
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Johnny Cooper 1SAS

Eighteen-year-old Johnny Cooper volunteered for the SAS in 1941. Johnny Cooper was one of the first two non commissioned soldiers to join L detachment of the SAS the regiment, and helped build the service up to the effective force it is today.

Johnny Coopers second mission was led by Stirling and with his friend Reg Seekings. It resulted in the destruction of nearly a score of petrol lorries and four food dumps. The next raid on Benina airfield was a classic SAS small-scale raiding operation carried out by three men, Stirling, Corporal Seekings and Corporal Cooper. After a difficult descent through a wadi they climbed through the wire and sat in the middle of the airfield some way from the buildings they were going to attack and waited until the RAFs diversionary raid finished.

Liberation of Bergen Belsen
Cooper L – Reg Seekings R

Lieutenant-Colonel John Cooper served with the SAS in North Africa and France throughout World War II, returning to work alongside his old comrades in Malaya after a brief interlude. In 1962 he left the army to work for the Sultan of Omans armed forces where he served until his retirement. He is thought by many to be ‘Mr SAS’. Johnny Cooper, the youngest of the Originals, whose service in the Regiment spanned almost 20 years, and who started as a Parachutist and left the army a lieutenant-colonel. He died on 12th July 2002.

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This archive has been established after my own relative, Reg Price, took part in the liberation and subsequent humanitarian effort of Bergen Belsen in April 1945. Reg produced this famous sign at Belsen. As part of the 113th DLI, Reg and his comrades were at Belsen for 5 weeks and left when the last hut was empty and ceremonially burnt down. This archive compiles all available resources to build a lasting tribute to all the men and women who helped - any unit, any nationality. If you have a relative, or any info, on the relief effort at Belsen, we’d love you to please get in touch. Email us: liberator@belsen.co.ukThank you Nick Price CreativesFacebookTwitter

Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp