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  2. Containers for Timor Project - Update

    At its meeting on 25 October 2016, the Committee decided to grant $4,000 to the Containers for Timor Project in support of their ongoing work. Members of the Project team attended the Commemoration Ceremony last November and issued a Certificate of Appreciation to the Association for the grant. The container (C34) that 2/2 funds were used to purchase was fully loaded by the Containers for Timor Project team with donated school desks and chairs, tables, stationery, office equipment, computing equipment, educational toys and books, household goods, electrical appliances, linen, bicycles and spare parts, sporting goods, hand/electrical tools, gardening equipment and medical supplies and equipment. Unfortunately, the container was delayed being transported for several months while a Customs procedural issue was resolved with the Dili port authorities. Thankfully, that issue was resolved and the container received in Dili. Peter Snell, the Containers for Timor Project representative in Dili has advised that the container is being unloaded and the contents being transported to recipients in Hatolia. The Association thanks Peter and his fellow workers in Dili and the members of the Containers for Timor Project team for their contributions to this endeavour. Peter will provide a fuller report on the transport and distribution of the goods from the container in another week or so.
  3. Latest developments in negotiations: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/10/15/australia-timor-leste-draw-maritime-borders-draft-treaty-bring-end-oil-and-gas
  4. Earlier
  5. Unknown native boy.jpg

    Native boy name, location & date unknown

    © Smith Family Collection

  6. Unknown native group.jpg

    Native group, location & date unknown

    © Smith Family Collection

  7. unknown.jpg

    Names, location & date unknown

    © Smith Family Collection

  8. Unknown group.jpg

    Group, location & date unknown

    © Smith Family Collection

  9. Unknown..jpg

    Name, location & date unknown.

    © Smith Family Collection

  10. James Robert Smith (Bob) on right .jpg

    James Robert Smith (Bob) on right, location, date & names unknown.

    © Smith Family Collection

  11. James Robert Smith (Bob) kneeling in centre, location, date & other names unknown.

    © Smith Family Collection

  12. Timor Leste Vision is holding a Quiz Night, raising money for the installation of a water and sanitation system in the village of Rialeco which is in urgent need. There are 60 families in Rialeco which has 420 community members (310 adults and 110 children) and Timor Leste Vision, together with their volunteer team in Timor, will be installing water and sanitation to public sites selected by the community. The quiz night is on Friday 3 November 2017 and is being held at the South Perth Community Hall, cnr Sandgate Street and South Terrace, South Perth. Tickets are $20.00 each and can be purchased at www.trybooking.com/RLEE. For more information, contact Joanne at [email protected]
  13. 75 YEARS ON 2/40 – THE ‘DOOMED BATTALION’ – MEN FROM THE 2/40 WHO FOUGHT ON WITH THE DOUBLEREDS IN PORTUGUESE TIMOR As recounted in an earlier post ‘SPARROW FORCE DEPARTS FROM DARWIN FOR KOEPANG, DUTCH TIMOR – 10 DECEMBER 1941’, the No. 2 Independent Company accompanied the 2/40 Battalion on this voyage. 2/40 Battalion colour patch The two units parted company in mid-December 1941 when the No. 2 Independent Company was despatched to occupy Dili in Portuguese Timor (see post ‘THE AUSTRALIAN AND DUTCH LANDINGS AT DILI - 17-20 DECEMBER 1941’). Fate of the 2/40 Battalion The men of the No. 2 Independent Company were re-united with some of their 2/40 compatriots and men from other Sparrow Force units a few months later when they made their way from Dutch Timor to Portuguese Timor following the surrender of the rest of the Battalion contingent to the Japanese on 23 February 1942 after a heroic defensive battle against the invaders. With an authorised strength of around 900 personnel, mostly drawn from the state of Tasmania. The men who were taken as prisoners in Dutch Timor spent the rest of the war in captivity in camps throughout Southeast Asia including Java, Burma, Thailand, Japan, Singapore and Sumatra and did not return to Australia until September 1945. The battalion had 271 men killed in action or died while prisoners of war, while a further 79 were wounded. Peter Henning, the historian of the 2/40, coined the term ‘doomed battalion’ to encapsulate the overwhelming difficulties the unit faced in attempting to effectively defend Dutch Timor and the trials and tribulations of those men who became prisoners of war. [1] Escape to Portuguese Timor About 200 Sparrow Force men escaped to Portuguese Timor. Most of these men were trades and specialist staff such as cooks and clerks and unsuited for a combat role and were later evacuated to Australia; a few 2/40 men, however, were taken on as No. 2 Independent Company members, retrained and formed into a new platoon (D Platoon) under the command of Lt Don Turton, and served with distinction throughout the remainder of the Timor campaign before being evacuated back to Australia in December 1942. These personnel were then dispersed to other units, with some being transferred eventually to the 2/12th Battalion; the 2/40th Battalion was never reformed. [2] Battle honours The battalion was awarded two battle honours for its service: "South-West Pacific 1942" and "Koepang". Koepang is unique to the 2/40th, with no other unit in the Australian Army holding this battle honour. In 1961–62, these honours were entrusted to the Royal Tasmania Regiment, and they are maintained by the 12th/40th Battalion, Royal Tasmania Regiment that is based at Derwent Barracks, Kissing Point near Hobart. [3] Reminiscences of 2/40 Battalion Men Who Joined the No.2 Independent Company The Doublereds archives includes the reminiscences of three men from the 2/40 Battalion who escaped from Dutch Timor and became members of No. 2 Independent Company; these are TX4174 Sergeant Berwin Francis (Denny) Dennis (1918-1997), TX2781 Private Herbert William (Bert) Price (1920-2010) and NX41795 Corporal Reginald Clarence (Reg) Griffiths (1907-2000). Reading their stories reveals that they were no ‘shrinking violets’ and were well and truly integrated with the Independent Company men and participated in patrols, the manning of observation posts and ambushes. Denny Dennis Denny was a Payroll Sergeant with the 2/40 Battalion and because of his background assumed a Quarter Mastering role at Beco and Mape once in Portuguese Timor. This anecdote is included in his recollections: ‘On 24 May 42 it was organised for a Catalina to take our wounded back to Australia. I guess you could say they stayed at Denny's Guest House at Beco for a night, quite a party. CAPT Dunkley looking after the wounded Gerry Maley, Alan Hollow, PTE Craghill, old Jack Sansom. I think Alan Luby was part of the party, and of course stretcher bearers. I was part of the organising party, organising rations - rice, pumpkins, coffee. I recall that a river to be crossed was in flood and impassable for some hours. I was on the Betano side of the river, I think Fred Bryant was with me. We had clay pots with rice, pumpkins and coffee ready when Dr Dunkley and party were able to cross. I thought the Doctor was going to kiss me for the provisions supplied. … BRIG Veale and a Dutch officer also took off on this Catalina’. Bert Price Bert was a Private with 11 Platoon of the 2/40 Battalion. Following the Japanese assault on Osepa Bazar, he recalled: ‘Off to East Timor - Portuguese Timor and caught up with some 2/2nd I.C. I think at Tilomar and then went on to Mape or Memo - where we were assessed by 2/2 officers’. Bert also remembered: ‘We were soon sent out to Platoons - think I was awhile at Maliana with Col Doig. But then went to Atsabe under Don Turton and sent to a place think Roti between Atsabe and Lete Foho - under Jerry Green - and at one stage was with a small sub section under Alby Martin at a small village with a name that sounded like Nun Berry Nun - we did extensive patrolling from this area and at night one of our Sigs would report to Atsabe from Roti by Adis lamp don't know his name but he was a great bloke and sig - a good signaler. On one patrol, myself with Roy Hefferman to Lete Foho we arrived soon after the Hudson Bombers had been over and bombed the town and almost sealed the Chefe De Posto in his air raid shelter, he was amazed that the bombers were after him - we were always on the go. Don Turton was not one to sit idle - he wanted action. One vivid memory is being able to write home on 12th June to my parents and small notes to my mates who were prisoners of war to their parents - these notes are still in existence and one was recently printed in our local paper …’. Reg Griffiths Reg enlisted in the Army in 1941 as a baker with the Australian Army Service Corps (AASC) and was assigned to Sparrow Force and went with it to Koepang. He recalled ‘When the Japanese landed, the bakery was closed and I baked no more bread from then on’. He was not captured following the Japanese attack and made his way with other AASC members to Portuguese Timor and joined the No. 2 Independent Company. Though a baker, he was soon recognised as having fighting capabilities: ‘I had grown up in the bush, had used guns and rifles for many years, and knew how to survive in primitive conditions. On one occasion, I was asked when I was with my section in D Platoon where I had learned jungle fighting. My response "Going around my rabbit traps, Mate, I think it was very good training!"’ After his commando training he became a member of Lt Cam Rodd’s Section and served with him for the remainder of the campaign. Memorials Tasmanians are justifiably proud of the achievements of their ‘doomed battalion’ that is commemorated in a number of dedicated memorials around the state, including Hobart, Launceston and Green’s Beach. 2/40 Battalion Memorial, Green's Beach, Tasmania Hobart Safari 2000 The men of No.2 Independent Company’s long-standing camaraderie with the Tasmanian 2/40th men who served with them was demonstrated during the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia Hobart Safari of 2000. Bert Price was an active participant in the organised activities of this Safari. [4] Bert Price (centre) at Commemorative Service, Koepang Wall, Derwent Barracks, Hobart, 10 March 2000 REFERENCES [1] Peter Henning. - Doomed battalion: mateship and leadership in war and captivity: the Australian 2/40 Battalion 1940-45. - Revised and enlarged edition. - [Exeter, Tasmania] Peter Henning, 2014. [2] A list of ‘2/2nd men who joined from Dutch Timor’ can be found in Cyril Ayris. – All the Bull’s men: no. 2 Australian Independent Company (2/2nd Commando Squadron). - [Perth, W.A.] : 2/2nd Commando Association, c2006: 498-500. Copies of this book can be purchased from the Doublereds Store. [3] https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/U56077 [4] ‘Tasmanian Safari March 2000’ 2/2 Commando Courier No. 134, June 2000: 6-10. https://doublereds.org.au/couriers/2000/Courier June 2000.pdf Enlistment photo.tiff
  14. Herbert William PRICE

    Bert left school at 14 going to work at the Lune River sawmill and continued there until enlisting in the AIF on 1st July, 1940 at the age of 20. He was posted to the 2/40th, the Tasmanian Battalion. The 2/40th did their training at Brighton and were in Darwin when Japan entered the War on 7thDecember, 1941. Sent to West Timor the battalion with attached units known as Sparrow Force distinguished itself by putting up a brave fight for four days when the Japanese invaded Timor on 19th February, 1941. Overwhelmed by the sheer weight of numbers the 2/40th had no option but to surrender. Somehow Bert managed to avoid being a POW and with a number of others went on to join the 2/2nd Independent Company who were in Portuguese East Timor. He was a good soldier and served his new company well until they made it back to Australia in mid December 1942. After a brief leave Bert joined the 2/12th Battalion and saw action in New Guinea and Borneo. He received his discharge on 14th December, 1945. An extensive interview with Bert Price about his wartime experiences can be found at Bert Price Timor reminiscences.pdf Bert Price vale - Courier June 2010.pdf PRICE_HERBERT_WILLIAM_:_Service_Number_-_TX2781.pdf
  15. The 2/2 Commando Association of Australia welcomes the announcement issued on 1 September 2017 by the Timor Sea Conciliation Commission giving the first indication that Australia and Timor-Leste are making progress towards resolving their maritime boundary dispute. If this process reaches a successful outcome, a permanent maritime boundary will have been drawn in the Timor Sea between Australia and Timor-Leste for the first time. However, the conciliation still has some steps to complete. A formal treaty will need to be negotiated, signed and ratified before a new legal framework exists. The veterans who formed the 2/2 Commando Association felt they and the Australian nation owed a ‘debt of honour’ to the Timorese people for the support they received from them during their campaign against the Japanese in 1942. Over the years they lobbied successive Australian governments to reach an agreement with the newly independent Timor-Leste that would assist its economic viability by ensuring a fairly apportioned revenue stream from the exploitation of the oil resources of the Timor Gap. The current committee of the association is still supportive of such an outcome from these ongoing negotiations.
  16. Crossing the line

    In the context of the recent welcome announcement by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, this new book by Kim McGrath is an important evidence based contribution to the discussions on Maritime Boundaries between Australia and Timor Leste. Kim McGrath has trawled the national archives to produce the smoking gun on Australia’s callous betrayal of the people who supported our commandos in World War II, and on the immoral and unlawful appropriation of their oil.’ —Paul Cleary A great read see: https://www.blackincbooks.com.au/books/crossing-line
  17. 75 YEARS ON THE ARRIVAL OF THE NO. 4 INDEPENDENT COMPANY AND THE WRECK OF THE VOYAGER 23 September 1942 In early September 1942, it had been decided in Australia to reinforce the 2nd Independent Company with the No. 4 Independent Company, a new unit which had also trained at Wilsons Promontory and in the Northern Territory. The decision would trigger some of the most dramatic episodes in the Timor campaign. This account of what happened is provided by Cyril Ayris in All the Bull’s men with additional photos and images from other sources. [1] CHAOS ON THE BEACH It had been decided in Australia to reinforce the 2nd Independent Company with the No. 4 Independent Company, a new unit which had also trained at Wilsons Promontory and in the Northern Territory. The decision would trigger some of the most dramatic episodes in the Timor campaign. No. 4 Independent Company Advance Party A No. 4 Independent Company advance party had arrived in Timor on HMAS Kalgoorlie on 16 September 1942 under the command of Major Walker and accompanied by the commander, one other officer and some NCOs from each of the company’s platoons. [2] It was planned to merge the companies platoon by platoon according to their letters so that A Platoon of the 2nd would be joined by A Platoon of No. 4 and so on. Major Mac Walker and Captain Geoff Laidlaw (2nd Ind Coy) at Force Headquarters, with Timorese supporters [3] The men of the 2nd Independent Company presented a strange sight to the new arrivals. Cpl Ken Piesse, who was among them, wrote in Commando – From Tidal River to Tarakan: 'As we hit the beach we were soon surrounded by gaunt, bearded Australians from the 2nd Company and literally hundreds of natives who seemed very excited about the new arrivals. The 2nd Company lads were eager for news – and the bread and butter we had brought with us off the Kalgoorlie. It was strange to see how they ate the bread. How they wolfed it!' [4] The newly-arrived officers were guided to their respective platoon areas to familiarise themselves with the terrain and its problems. Extra food supplies were collected in each area with more being brought in by the advance parties. Baldwin Organises the Logistics of the Landing Baldwin was given the vital, near-impossible job of rounding up hundreds of carriers and ponies from the platoon areas, and leading them to the beachhead in time for the main 4th landing at Betano, without being seen by the enemy. [5] He would then be responsible for loading the stores and supplies onto the backs of the carriers and ponies and getting them away from the beach to the respective platoon areas. While all this was happening, the 250 men of the No. 4 Independent Company would disembark and melt away into the Timorese interior. It was, by any stretch of the imagination, an extraordinarily difficult and dangerous operation, particularly as it had been decided to risk using the destroyer HMAS Voyager to bring in the reinforcements. [6] Nautical chart showing Timor Sea between Darwin and Betano [7] The time for the landing was set for late afternoon on 22 September 1942. It was imperative that the troops, supplies and equipment were unloaded in time for Voyager to be well clear of Betano and on her way back to Darwin before the enemy’s first aerial patrol flew over at dawn. Incredibly, in plenty of time, the hundreds of carriers and ponies were safely hidden along the Betano beach to await Voyager’s arrival. Unbelievably, the Voyager was delayed – she would be arriving the following day, the 2nd Independent Company was told. No. 4 Independent Company in transit from Darwin [8] The Voyager Arrives at Betano Bay The destroyer finally left Darwin in the early hours of 22 September 1942 under the command of Lt Commander R. C. Robison. She was carrying fifteen tonnes of stores, eight barges, a five-metre motorboat, £3500 ($7000) in silver coins and two hundred and fifty men. She arrived off Betano late in the afternoon of 23 September. Timor bound – HMAS Voyager, September 1942 [9] Betano Bay is wide, open and shallow and offers little or no protection for ships at anchor. The only possible anchorage is in a channel between two reefs in the middle of the bay. There were no reliable charts of the area – Robison had only a rough sketch and the advice of his pilot Sub- Lt Bennett, who had previously commanded Kuru and Vigilant. [10] The ship entered the bay on an ebb tide giving the new troops their first sight of Timor. Robison approached cautiously only too well aware of the danger of running aground. The anchor was lowering when the vessel was no more than three hundred metres off the shore, her port side parallel to the beach. Voyager Runs Aground Soldiers jumped into landing craft at the ship’s stern, close to the port propeller. At the same time Voyager began drifting towards the shore. Diagrammatic representation of the grounding of the Voyager [11] The ship was still afloat and could have been saved if the Captain had ordered 'astern' on the port propeller and 'ahead' on the starboard one, with the wheel hard-a-port. The stern would then have swung away from the beach and the ship could have been moved stern-first into deep water. Betano Anchorage, Timor [12] But if he had done that, the landing craft would have been sucked into the propeller and up to fifty soldiers would almost certainly have been killed. Robison’s second, less attractive option, was to go astern on the starboard engine, drawing the stern in towards the beach. Once the bow was clear of the reefs he might be able to steer into deep water. This would save the lives of the men in the landing craft, but there would be much greater risk of running aground. Robison had just seconds to make up his mind. Would he risk losing his ship or would he play safe and suck fifty soldiers into the destroyer’s screws? He barely hesitated. He ordered astern on the starboard engine – and watched helplessly from the bridge as Voyager ran aground. It is difficult to imagine a more chaotic situation. The beachhead was crammed with soldiers, Timorese, packing cases and ponies. More troops and supplies were pouring ashore, ponies were being loaded, it was getting dark, the Voyager was stuck fast – and the first enemy air patrol was due overhead in twelve hours. Voyager to be Scuttled Every effort was made to free the ship. Torpedoes were fired and depth charges and anything heavy was jettisoned. Attempts were made to pull the ship free, using ropes around an anchor. But everything conspired against them. The tide ebbed, the ship’s propellers became embedded in the sand. When a south-east wind sprang up forcing her further towards the beach, Voyager’s fate was sealed. Sept. 24, 1942 HMAS Voyager - dawn reveals a sad scene in Betano Bay, Timor [13] The reinforcement of Sparrow Force now took a new turn. Voyager would certainly be found by the Japanese in the morning which meant that the ship’s gunners had to be ready to greet them with anti-aircraft fire. All other personnel on board had to be taken ashore to wait for another ship to take them back to Darwin. Voyager had to be scuttled and anything of value to the enemy, destroyed. Unloading had to continue and all the soldiers, carriers, ponies, stores and ammunition had to be carried away from the fateful beach before strong Japanese patrols arrived overland. Metal cans brimming with two shilling pieces were loaded onto horses [Timor ponies] which almost collapsed under the weight. Timor ponies – their ancestors provided the transport for the Australians from the Betano beachhead Robison offered Callinan anything on the ship he wanted, including an anti-aircraft gun. The offer was declined – the piece weighed two tonnes. However, he did accept some Vickers heavy machine guns. The Beachhead Work on the beach continued at a frantic pace. Alan Downer, who was one of the new No. 4 Independent Company arrivals and who would later become a journalist, wrote: 'Major Walker was a very concerned man and urged everyone to clear the beach as quickly as possible, return to the scrub and wait the order to move. When we set out at 0200 hours all men were carrying haversacks, weapons, 150 rounds of .303 or 200 of .45 ammunition, two grenades and rations. Others of us carried in addition, binoculars, pistols, and map satchels. We had not progressed far before realising that we were overburdened in such mountainous country'. Those ponies and Timorese who had not got away during the night were hidden under trees where, with luck, they would not be seen from the air. A skeleton force of 2nd Independent Company men was left to guard the beach, while the stranded sailors were allocated positions from where they would be able to give a good account of themselves, should they come under attack from Japanese soldiers. Sept. 24, 1942 - HMAS Voyager aground in Betano Bay, Timor [14] Dawn Attack Seldom has the arrival of dawn been so poorly appreciated as on Betano beach on 24 September 1942. Amazingly most of the men and Baldwin’s caravans of Timorese ponies had reached the interior, the ponies and carriers to distribute the tonnes of stores, the soldiers to meet the enemy who would surely come swarming from the north when they heard about the stranded Voyager. The new day dawned pink over the mountains, throwing the peaks in sharp, purple silhouette. The birds had barely begun to chatter when there was the familiar drone of approaching aircraft. A Zero over-flew the beach; some of the Australians reckoned they could see the pilot’s double-take when he spotted the grounded ship. The aeroplane banked away and headed towards Dili. The cat was out of the bag. In the next few hours the Japanese launched successive bombing attacks on the stricken ship, dropping high explosive, incendiary and anti-personnel bombs. Voyager’s gunners shot down one aircraft with Ack-Ack. Ironically, Robison also set about destroying Voyager – charges were exploded in the engine room, breaking the ship’s back and blowing holes in her hull. Sept. 24, 1942 - Removing stores from the grounded HMAS VOYAGER , Betano Bay, Timor [15] And so, Voyager, a veteran of two years’ service in the Mediterranean and eleven runs into Tobruk, met her Waterloo on a little-known beach in Portuguese Timor. Her hulk is there to this day. [16] Recent photo of the remaining Voyager wreckage Warrnambool and Kalgoorlie to the Rescue When news of the disaster reached Darwin two corvettes, HMAS Warrnambool and Kalgoorlie, were ordered to Betano to take off the officers and crew of Voyager and the 2nd Independent Company sick and wounded, including Wadey, the airman who had been rescued earlier. The two ships arrived about midnight on 25 September 1942, anchoring well out in the bay in seventeen fathoms of water. Their motorboats slipped ashore to meet the Voyager’s barges filled with seamen and soldiers, and towed them back to the ships. In little more than an hour the transfers were complete and the two corvettes were heading back to Darwin. Betano, Portuguese Timor. 1942-09. The wreck of HMAS Voyager [17] The Timorese Retell the Story The Australians on Timor were concerned that the Betano debacle would be interpreted by the many Timorese who were there as a major defeat for the Australians. Scores of carriers from all over Portuguese Timor had been involved, ensuring that news of the disaster would spread throughout the colony in next to no time. But they had underestimated the loyalty of the Timorese who, having seen the soldiers and sailors hold steady, assumed that everything had gone to plan. The way they saw it, Voyager had been deliberately grounded – the ship had done its job and it had been abandoned on the beach. This casual disregard for a vessel of such undoubted value was told and re-told in oomahs everywhere. Captain Rolf Baldwin (left), Lieut. E. Hayward and Major Bernie Callinan Dec. 1942 [18] Inevitably, some of the lines of ponies heading towards the interior were seen from the air and came under strafing and bombing attack. Each time the Timorese carriers and two Australian escorts urged the animals off the tracks into whatever cover was available. A few ponies were killed yet, astonishingly, every line of carriers and animals reached its destination. Baldwin’s Memories of the Beachhead Operation Baldwin’s memories of the beachhead operation he organised are worth recording. He wrote: 'My job of commanding the beach landing operations was extremely complicated. The troops coming ashore would have no transport for their stores and they would have no idea how to find their way to the positions they were to occupy. Recent aerial view of Betano Bay showing the location of the Voyager wreck I therefore arranged for every section of the 2nd Independent Company to provide two guides and a number of ponies which were to be on the beach at a designated time. This was not easy as it involved moving something like four hundred ponies from several directions, without arousing the enemy’s suspicions. When they arrived at the beach, the animals had to be fed and watered. The beach assembly area was a large tract of flat ground about two-thirds of which supported scrub, not unlike tea-tree, which provided good cover from the air. The rest of the area was scattered with kunai grass. Voyager crew members await rescue in the jungle, keeping hidden from the Japanese [19] The all-important factor was that a Japanese reconnaissance plane came along regularly every morning soon after sunrise. The Voyager would arrive in the evening and be away before first light. When the ship was delayed twenty-four hours we had to find feed and water for the ponies, which wasn’t easy but we managed. Voyager arrived punctually the next day and the disembarkation went smoothly from my point of view. As each 4th section came ashore it was met by 2nd Independent Company representatives. The two groups carried their stores to their respective ponies and went on their way. I was well occupied keeping my eye on all this activity but I noticed that the ship was coming pretty close inshore. Then, when the last of the troops were ashore, I went aboard to speak to the commander. That was when I received the devastating news that the ship was aground and unable to be moved. On our feet, we concocted the plan to leave enough men on board to man the Ack-Ack guns against the certain air attack in the morning. The rest of the sailors, who were unarmed, would occupy the hiding places that had been used by the horses. We hoped against hope that there would be no land attack. I think it was daylight by the time the sailors were hidden. Not long afterwards the 'chaffcutter' as we used to call the plane, flew over and headed straight back to Dili. The stranded ship was an easy target for the bombers which arrived later, yet they scored only a couple of direct hits. In the afternoon, the ship’s commander had the vessel’s engines destroyed and the poor old ship was fired. The red-hot rivets flying from her plates were a sight to remember. When the sailors left on the corvettes a couple of days later I had the eerie task of returning to the ship to look for a signals book which it was thought might have been left behind'. Conclusion And so, the transfer was completed. It must rate as one of the most remarkable of the war. An entire company of men had been landed on an enemy-occupied island, under the very noses of the Japanese, and spirited away with tonnes of ammunition and supplies without losing a man. Voyager insignia, Scrap Iron Flotilla Memorial, H.M.A.S. Shropshire Memorial Park, Ulverstone, Tasmania REFERENCES [1] Cyril Ayris. – All the Bull’s men: no. 2 Australian Independent Company (2/2nd Commando Squadron). - [Perth, W.A.] : 2/2nd Commando Association, c2006: 336-341. Copies of this book can be purchased from the Doublereds Store - see link at the bottom of the post. [2] Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) Edward McDonald ‘Mac’ Walker VX53941; see Commando – from Tidal River to Tarakan: the story of No. 4 Independent Company, AIF … / compiled by G.E. Lambert. - Melbourne: 2nd/4th Commando Association, 1994, p. xxiv. [3] Commando – from Tidal River to Tarakan: the story of No. 4 Independent Company, AIF … , p.93. [4] Commando – from Tidal River to Tarakan: the story of No. 4 Independent Company, AIF … , p.90-91. [5] Captain (later Major) Rolf Redmond Baldwin VX50054; see Lana Capon ‘Rolf’s war service’ Investigator (Geelong Historical Society) No. 201, December 2015: 163-165. [6] See ‘HMAS Voyager (I)’ http://www.navy.gov.au/HMAS_Voyager_(I). [7] Henry Burrell ‘The loss of the first Voyager’ Journal of the Australian Naval Institute Vol. 7, No. 2 May 1981, p.10. [8] Ralph Dymond. - The History of H.M.A.S. Voyager 1. - Lucaston, Tas.: Southern Holdings, 1992, p.181. [9] Commando – from Tidal River to Tarakan: the story of No. 4 Independent Company, AIF … , p.94. [10] See previous post ‘The Timor ferry service’ https://doublereds.org.au/forums/topic/109-75-years-on-the-timor-ferry-service/ [11] Henry Burrell ‘The loss of the first Voyager’ … , p.11. [12] Commando – from Tidal River to Tarakan: the story of No. 4 Independent Company, AIF … , p.86. [13] Ralph Dymond. - The History of H.M.A.S. Voyager 1 … , p.185. [14] Ralph Dymond. - The History of H.M.A.S. Voyager 1 …, p.187. [15] Ralph Dymond. - The History of H.M.A.S. Voyager 1 … p.187. [16] J. W. Ellis ‘Betano Bay today’ United Service Vol. 65 No. 1 March 2014: 26-27. A team of Australian Navy divers cleared the last live ammunition from the wreck in 2000; see ‘The deep end – Navy divers in Dili’. Sydney: XYZ Networks, 2000. Video, 50 mins. [17] Australian War Memorial collection, ID number 157242. [18] Commando – from Tidal River to Tarakan: the story of No. 4 Independent Company, AIF … , p.172. [19] Ralph Dymond. - The History of H.M.A.S. Voyager 1 … , p.187.
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    © Smith Family Collection

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    © Smith Family Collection

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    © Smith Family Collection

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    © Smith Family Collection

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    © Smith Family Collection

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    Jack Grant

    © Smith Family Collection

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    Remember When - 1971, Roy Watson, Bill Coker, Mick Morgan & Scotty Wares

    © Smith Family Collection

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    Timor Monument Plans

    © Smith Family Collection

  26. Opening of the Dare Memorial Pool and Resting Place - 13 April 1969

    Thanks for the feedback Helen; I've added a link to the May 1969 Courier that includes the text of the speeches to the story.
  27. White Sand Beach near Dili.jpg

    Taken April 1969 during visit for the opening of the Dare Memorial Pool and Resting Place
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