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Transcript of No.2 Independent Company War Diary - December 1941 - December 1942

Edward Willis

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8 December 1941 - 16 December 1942

This is a transcription of the text of the No.2 Independent Company’s (2/2) War Diary covering the period from the unit’s embarkation in Darwin to be transported to Koepang in Dutch Timor to its return to the same port at the end of its year-long campaign on Portuguese Timor (8 December 1941 - 16 December 1942).

A digital copy of the original War Diary can be accessed and downloaded from the Australian War Memorial’s (AWM) website. [1] However, the digital version is difficult to read with many sections being handwritten in sometimes not very legible scripts.  The typed sections are often faint and hard to discern.  This transcription overcomes these difficulties.  In addition, the text of the transcription can be searched; for example by personal and place names.

Much of the war diary was written retrospectively some-time after the campaign; this is evident from many of the entries.  The hectic exigencies of soldiering after the Japanese landed precluded the maintenance of normal record keeping procedures at Company headquarters though some sort of informal daily record of events was probably kept.  Nonetheless, the person or persons responsible for compiling the war diary were unit members who had served on Timor and had access to this informal record and the paper reports and signal copies that accumulated over the duration of the campaign. [2]

Note if anyone has specific information about the circumstances under which this War Diary was compiled and who was responsible, can they please reply to this post with the details.

This War Diary provides an invaluable CHRONOLOGY of the No. 2 Independent Company’s campaign on Portuguese Timor and the availability of the transcript should prove of interest and useful to Doublereds members and supporters, researchers and others with a more general interest in the history of East Timor during WWII.

Please download the War Diary transcript using the link below.


The following Sparrow Force Headquarters War Diary entry explains the map references that occur frequently in the No. 2 Independent Company’s War Diary:


The following system of map reference will be used by Force HQ and by Units to this HQ when necessary.

Ref map Dutch or Port Timor 1 : 250000.  Eight figure references will be made.  First four figures latitude in degs and mins and second four longitude.  The one hundred of the true longitude reading is omitted.  Thus map ref ERMERA lat 8 degs 46 mins S long 125 degs 24 mins E will be indicated as 08462523. [3]


[1] https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1367389

[2] These reports and signal copies can also be accessed on the AWM website: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1367375

[3] Sparrow Force war diary March-December 1942: 32 (https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1365575)


Prepared by Ed Willis

Revised 31 August 2020


Unit War Diary December 1941-December 1942.pdf

Edited by Edward Willis
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