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  • Timor 1942 Commando Campaign Tour - Successfully Completed


    Edward Willis

    Tour map.jpgThe tour of sites connected with the No.2 Independent Company’s (2/2) campaign against the Japanese on Portuguese Timor during 1942 began on Sunday 22 April and was successfully concluded on Wednesday 2 May.  The tour was led by 2/2 Commando Association Committee member Ed Willis and guided by Julio dos Santos of Timor Adventures.  12 people participated in the tour including 11 family members of 2/2 soldiers, notably Genevieve Isbell and Tricia Parr, daughters of Major Alexander (Allan) Spence the C.O. for most of the campaign.  Mick Stone, Program Director of Timor Awakening, was also a valuable tour member.  A map of the tour route and the itinerary are attached to this post as well as a slideshow of highlight photos from the tour.

    A full report on the tour is linked to this post and can be downloaded.

    Given the success of the tour and previous enquiries, Timor Adventures, the tour operator is calling for expressions of interest from others who may like to tour either later this year or in 2019.

    If you are interested in a future tour, please contact:
    Shirley Carlos
    Timor Adventures
    Send an SMS and Shirley will call you back: +670 78625995 +670 77261059  +670 77616371
    www.timoradventures.com.au

     

     

    Final Tour Itinerary 1942 tour.jpgFinal Tour Itinerary 1942 tour 2.jpg

    Final Tour Itinerary 1942 tour 3.jpgFinal Tour Itinerary 1942 tour 4.jpg

    Click images to enlarge.

     

    Timor_1942_Commando_Campaign_Tour_report.pdf

    Edited by Edward Willis



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    Thanks for posting the shots on YouTube.  Would love to be on this trip, so perhaps I can manage the next.  Look forward to hearing stories and thoughts of those who went on this trip.  Regards to all, Ben

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    Thanks for your response Ben.  I'm hopeful that there will be another tour so keep any eye on Doublereds and Facebook for developments.  I'll be reporting more fully on the tour shortly - all the feedback I've had from members of the tour party has been very positive and hopefully some of their stories and thoughts will emerge soon - this will help promote interest in future tours like ours – as well as a great experience for those involved, I think our group did have a positive impact economically and socially on the people we encountered and the places we visited during the tour and it would be great to keep that going.

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    Cheers, Edward.  Had I not been in the middle of moving from Queensland to Tassie during this time, and caught up in work, I'd have loved to have returned to Timor with your group.  Well done to everyone involved for helping pay back a little bit of that debt all Aussies owe the Timorese. 

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    Hello Ed.  I have just read with great interest, admiration and jealousy the report of your trip.  Just wonderful thank you so much.   I have passed onto to the Cunningham family of the Balibo Five - I am very confident the flag was drawn by the Australians but has been reproduced in some way.  Also, a wonderful idea to have David Waller and Arthur Yeate linked to the small memorial to Stuart “Monsta” Jones at Nunutana.

    I am thrilled that Michael Stone could join you all.  Ed like you, Mick has a deep sense of history and of course his Tetum and his excellent sense of the narrative would have been a wonderful addition to the tour.

    I note the recommendations in the report.  They are great, and in my view, provide some strategic direction for use of Association funds moving forward.  It would be good to circulate them in a special edition of the Courier and get input from the broader membership about how they could be progressed. I also recommended asking Ambassador Guterres to meet with the committee and advise Ines Almedia Liaison Officer for Veterans Affairs Office of Prime Minister.  

    Working together many things can get done.  I am happy to discuss options with you.

     

    Again Ed many thanks – fantastic work.  Best regards Helen

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    Thanks for your supportive reply Helen.

    I think you're right about the Australian flag at Balibo - I think there is some fine print on the display that says it is a reproduction.

    All the recommendations I made in the tour report were discussed and supported at the last 2/2 Committee meeting.  Priority was given to trying to get something done about the Dare memorial.  I've contacted the Australian Ambassador in T-L to see if he can advise who has current ownership or responsibility for the site so the Association can work with whoever that is to remedy the situation.  No response as yet.

    I continued contact with Mick Stone who is working with Ines on inaugurating a new memorial at Viqueque honouring the Timorese and Australians involved with Z Special operations and H-Force and local Timorese resistance members that will take place mid August.  We're hoping that if this works well it will be a precursor of similar monuments and memorials elsewhere in T-L, such as at Nunutana.

    It would be great if Ambassador Guterres could meet with the 2/2 Committee whenever he is Perth - I'll suggest inviting him to the Committee.

    Actions to progress all the report recommendations are happening and I was hoping to get better informed and even get some 'runs on the board' before reporting more fully on them through Facebook, Doublereds and the Courier.  Members of the tour group who are not on the Committee are helping with this.

    Any insights or information you have would be welcome.

    Timor Adventures are keen to run the tour again next year around the same time; I'm hoping to be involved again as well.

    Regards

    Ed

     

     

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