Robert (Bob) enlisted into the R.A.A.F. with Service No 5789 on 9 Jan 1940 and wanted to serve as Aircrew but was sent to Air Force Head Quarters, Melbourne. He was promoted to Corporal, date unknown as his RAAF papers are not available. After 2 years applying for flying duty unsuccessfully, he was granted a discharge to enlist in the A.I.F. which he did on 15 Jan 1942.
He was transferred to the Guerrilla Warfare Centre at Foster from 27 Jul to 4 Sept 1942 and passed. He then attended No 27 Course, Officer Training Unit , Bonegilla, Vict, from 11 Oct to 31 Dec 1942 and passed. On 5 Jan 1943 he was posted to the Jungle Warfare School, Canungra, Qld and was promoted Acting Sergeant on 20 Jan 1943 and acting O.C. of "H" Company training recruits.
Applications were invited from N.C.O's who had completed the Guerrilla Warfare Course at Foster, to revert to Trooper to reinforce the 2/5th Independent Company in New Guinea and Bob was one of the successful applicants, embarking for New Guinea aboard "KATOOMBA" on 17 Feb 1943. Whilst in Port Moresby Mar / Apr 1943, he was able to fulfil his dream of flying, as he had an unofficial Log of 39 1/2 hours comprising 2 night raids on Rabaul and 3 armed reconnaissance missions around New Britain with 65th Squadron, 43rd Bomb Group, U.S.A.F.
Bob reverted to Trooper on 25 Jun 1943 and joined the 2/2nd in Headquarters, “B” Troop on 26 Jun 1943 and returned to Australia aboard "KATOOMBA" on 12 Apr 1944. He flew back to New Guinea on 24 Jul 1944 and returned to Australia with them aboard “TAROONA” on 3 Sept 1944. He was promoted Acting Corporal on 23 Nov 1944 and reverted to Trooper on 10 Mar 1945.
He was on leave in WA and returned after the unit had embarked for New Britain. He embarked for New Britain aboard “ORMISTON” on 14 Jul 1945 and re-joined the unit on 28 Jul 1945. Bob returned to Australia aboard "SALAMAUA" on 18 Jan 1945 and was discharged on 15 Mar 1946.
Bob was made a Life member of the Association in 1968, awarded a Centenary Medal 2001 and a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2003.
He was entitled to the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal and Australian Service Medal 1939-45, pictured below. He is now also entitled to the Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with a clasp "S.W.Pacific".
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