James enlisted on 29 Apr 1941 with previous service with 13th Field Company Royal Australian Engineers (RAE). He was promoted Acting Corporal on 12 May 1941, then Lance Sergeant 11 Nov 1941and he was confirmed Corporal on 8 Dec 1941.
He was an original member of the unit, embarking aboard “S.S. ZEALANDIA” on 8 Dec 1941 for Timor as a Lance Sergeant in the Engineer Platoon. After the campaign on Timor, he embarked with the unit, for Australia aboard the Royal Dutch destroyer “Tjerk Hiddes” on 11 Dec 1942.
After the unit arrived back in Australia, he was transferred to 1st Australian Commando Training Battalion to be an Instructor, on 12 Apr 1943. Then transferred to 29th Australian Infantry Training Battalion as an Instructor on 27 Apr 1943 and then back to 1st Australian Commando Training Battalion on 24 Aug 1943.
James embarked for New Guinea aboard "KATOOMBA" on 13 Feb 1944 and re-joined the 2/2nd as a Sergeant in the Engineers Platoon on 23 Mar 1944, then transferred to 12th Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers on 13 Jun 1944. He flew to Australia on 21 Jun 1944 to 1st RAE Training Battalion, transferred to 2nd RAE Training Battalion on 8 Oct 1944, then 4th RAE Training Battalion on 2 May 1945. Promoted Acting Sergeant on 29 Jun 1945 and transferred to 3rd RAE Training Battalion same date. Revert to Corporal on 12 Jul 1945.
He was discharged on 25 Oct 1945.
He was entitled to the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal and Australian Service Medal 1939-45, pictured below.
Edited by Peter Epps