"Parut kenapa tu?"
"Kena besi kapal terbang..."
"Hah...jangan nak menipu!"
"Ishh tak pecaya...begini kisahnya..."
Sekitar 2003, Taman Negara Endau-Rompin.
Pak Usof jadi ketua rombongan. Dia bekas komando, berasal dari Kedah. Kurus tinggi, hidung mancung, iras Osama Laden. Dia dah lama menetap di perkampungan orang asli Kampung Peta, dalam kawasan Taman Negara Endau-Rompin. Berkahwin dengan wanita Jakun dan membuka sebuah warung kecil depan rumah.
Kami memulakan perjalanan dari bahagian Rompin, Pahang. Nak kata perjalanan pun tidak lah juga pasal kami bukan berjalan, kami naik bot dan kayak. 2 buah bot fiber berinjin sangkut dan 3 buah kayak jenis angin. Dalam 15 orang semuanya. 7-8 orang adalah pemuda orang asli dari suku kaum Jakun. Rafi, nama ketua pemuda Jakun, badannya sasa.
Xplorasi di Endau-Rompin kali ini aku rasa antara yang paling gila babi punya penat. Kami meredah sungai sepanjang hari. Dari Sungai Rompin ok lagi. Tapi bila dah sampai di pertemuan Sungai Rompin dan Sungai Endau, kami mudik ke hulu Sungai Endau. Perjalanan melawan arus memang penat. Dan, ia mengambil masa 4 hari!! Kami bermalam di beberapa lokasi. Jang aku ingat hanya Pasir Putih dan Jeram Ungka.
Sepanjang perjalanan berhari-hari melawan arus, terpaksa mengharung beberapa buah jeram. Paling steady Jeram Panjang. Jeram tu panjangnya dalam 500 meter. Kami terpaksa angkat bot, kayak dan segala macam peralatan berkhemah.
Jeram Ungka pulak ada air terjun setinggi 15 kaki, bot nak bagi lepas guna teknik 'galang'. Pemuda Jakun cari kayu panjang 2 batang. Tarik bot melurut atas kayu tu...dia punya penat tak tahu nak cerita macam mana.
Tapi aku rasa pemuda Jakun bukan manusia biasa. Walaupun sepanjang hari meredah sungai, malam-malam bila aku dah terbaring dalam khemah nak tido, dorang pegi pulak mencari ikan kelisa...tak tahu bila dorang balik. Bila bangun pagi dorang dah sediakan sarapan. Entah bila dorang tido. Power betul.
Setelah 4 hari meredah sungai, sampai satu kawasan nama Salur Keris. Bergegas kami naik ke tebing dan masuk pulak dalam hutan. Tak sampai 10 minit kami jumpa sebuah bangkai kapal terbang lama. Tertera jelas WG871 pada serpihan badan kapal terbang tu. Juga ada machine gun besar. Dalam pada excited tengok bangkai kapal terbang, di celah-celah semak tu, lutut kiri aku tercucuk besi dia. Dia punya pedih tak tahu nak kata. Macam nak pitam.
5 hari kemudian baru aku start moto pergi klinik di Bangsar dan kena marah dengan doktor.
"Dah 5 hari baru awak pegi klinik!! Luka besar macam ni...kalau kena gangren bahaya!!" kata doktor.
"Saya dalam hutan, nak buat macam mana..." aku balas sambil muka berkeriut menahan pedih doktor cuci luka.
Hampir setahun kemudian, 14/6/2004 The Star keluar artikel ni.
Monday June 14, 2004
Tracking down WG871By LOGEETHA S. NAIDU
Deep in the jungles of Endau Rompin lies the wreckage of an RAF plane that crashed 50 years ago. Who the pilot was remained a mystery for half a century, writes LOGEETHA S. NAIDU. ABOUT 50 years ago, a British war plane crashed into the jungles of Endau Rompin in Johor, but until recently, there have been no details on who the pilot was and the story behind the crash has remained a mystery. In August last year, the story reached the ears of Tunku Mahmood Shah Tunku Mohammad, chairman of Rawa Safaris which manages the Pulau Rawa island resort off Mersing. At that time, he was visiting his orang asli friends at Kampung Peta, 56km from Kahang town. Kampung Peta is the most remote orang asli settlement in Johor and a base camp for treks into the Endau Rompin National Park.
He assigned his daughter Tunku Zahara to search the Net for information on the wreckage while he turned to his network of local and international contacts to track down more details. After many dead ends, a breakthrough finally came when Tunku Zahara spotted WG871 on a missing persons website (www.missing-you.net). Together with his friend and aircraft enthusiast Laurence Bean, an Englishman who had chosen to retire in Penang, Tunku Mahmood pieced together the story of the wreckage. They found out that the aircraft was lost over Endau Rompin on a night training exercise from its base in RAF Tengah, Singapore, on March 17, 1952. Flight Sergeant Tadeusz Wojciechowski was piloting the newly arrived De Havilland Vampire FB MK9. “He radioed in that he was having trouble controlling the aircraft and asked for a homing beacon. Nothing more was heard from him after that,” Tunku Mahmood said. “In September last year, we received an e-mail from Sue Raftree based at RAF Innsworth who told us that in 1957, a group of British ground troops discovered the wreckage but no human remains,” he said. Raftree is a member of the RAF Personnel and Management Agency Casework Team based at Personnel and Training Command, RAF Innsworth, Gloucester, in southern England. Her team is responsible for tracing relatives of World War II aircrew and, where human remains are found, making arrangements for the funeral in accordance with the family’s wishes. So, who was Tadeusz Wojciechowski?
After the war, he joined the British Royal Air Force, was assigned to the Far East and was involved in the colonial authorities’ fight against communist terrorists in the jungles of Malaya. He had a British foster family, the Baughans, who lived in the village of Burnham Overy Staith, near RAF Bircham Newton in Norfolk. “His brother was located. Bean and I spoke with Michael Baughan. He’s a 66-year-old pensioner. He was surprised at all the information that we could give him,” said Tunku Mahmood.“All the family was told was that Tadeusz’s aircraft exploded. He sent us photos of his dead brother and even a photo of a picture that his mother had painted. “Boughan died on Jan 29 this year. His wife told us that he was very happy to finally know the details about how his beloved adopted brother had died,” Tunku Mahmood said. On Aug 5, Tunku Mahmood plans to mount a two-week, 15-man expedition into Endau Rompin to mark the site of the wreckage; he will seek to have the place declared a war grave. Laurence Bean and Endau Rompin National Park Director Mohamed Basir Mohamed Sali will accompany him on his quest.
Asked why he wants to do this, Tunku Mahmood replied: “The man died defending this land. We should honour him.”