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Edward Willis

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  1. NO. 4 INDEPENDENT COMPANY WAR DIARY TRANSCRIPT TIMOR CAMPAIGN COVERING THE PERIOD 10TH SEPTEMBER 1942 TO 31ST JANUARY 1943 This is a transcription of the text of the No. 4 Independent Company’s (2/4) War Diary covering the period from the unit’s embarkation in Darwin to be transported to Betano in Portuguese Timor to its return to the same port at the end of its five month long campaign (10 September 1942 - 31 January 1943). The 2/4’s war diary complements the 2/2’s Timor campaign war diary that was the topic of the previous post on Doublereds - both provide unique day by day accounts of events. The original transcript of the 2/4 war diary was prepared by the recently deceased James Morey (Jim) Walker, son of Major Edward McDonald (Mac) Walker (VX53941), the Commanding Officer of the unit during the Timor campaign. Jim was a dedicated custodian of the 2/4’s proud wartime history and provided me with copies of a number of useful documents and other records, including this war diary transcript. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends – this post is dedicated to his memory. [1] A digital copy of the original War Diary can be accessed and downloaded from the Australian War Memorial’s (AWM) website. [2] However, the digital version (like that of the 2/2’s) is difficult to read with some sections being handwritten and the typed sections 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. This War Diary provides an invaluable CHRONOLOGY of the No. 4 Independent Company’s campaign on Portuguese Timor and the availability of the transcript should prove of interest and useful to Doublereds members and supporters (there are frequent references to the No. 2 AIC), researchers and others with a more general interest in the history of East Timor during WWII. The drawings with the post were prepared by Francis John (Curly) Papworth who was a Sapper with the Engineers Section of the 2/4 on Timor. [3] NOTE: The following Sparrow Force Headquarters War Diary entry explains the map references that occur frequently in the No. 4 Independent Company’s War Diary: 2. MAP REFERENCE 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. [4] REFERENCES [1] Jim Walker passed away on August 23 2020 aged 84 years – e-mail received from the Australian Commando Association, . [2] https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1363608 [3] G.E. Lambert - Commando, from Tidal River to Tarakan : the story of the No. 4 Australian Independent Company AIF later known as 2/4th Australian Commando Squadron AIF, 1941-45. - Loftus, N.S.W. : Australian Military History Publications, 1997: 86, 93, 151, 189 and 195. [4] Sparrow Force war diary March-December 1942: 32 (https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1365575) Prepared by Ed Willis Revised 8 September 2020 2-4 war diary September 1942-January 1943.pdf
  2. NO. 2 INDEPENDENT COMPANY WAR DIARY TRANSCRIPT 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. NOTE: The following Sparrow Force Headquarters War Diary entry explains the map references that occur frequently in the No. 2 Independent Company’s War Diary: 2. MAP REFERENCE 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] REFERENCES [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
  3. Dear Kevyn: Thank you for contacting us for information about Gordon Chiswell. The only item that of the nature you are looking for I could locate was a moving article written by Archie Campbell, his Section officer, in the April 1991 'Courier' that I have attached - it includes a photo of Gordon. Kind regards Ed Willis, Vice-President
  4. WWII in East Timor – A Site and Travel Guide Commando Campaign Sites VIQUEQUE MUNICIPALITY LACLUTA 8°47'10"S, 126°08'14"E Timorese woven pouch on display Army Museum of WA, Fremantle Lacluta is 21 1/2 miles (34 1/2 km.) at a bearing of 155° from Manatuto. It is a small posto town of 3 stone buildings and numerous native huts. It is situated in the southern foothills and overlooks the Luca Valley. The surrounding district is fairly hilly and fertile and there are many small villages of two or three huts. There is a fair growth of forest and patches of open grassland in the district. [1] Lacluta location map [2] SIGNIFICANCE EXTRACTS FROM NO. 2 INDEPENDENT COMPANY WAR DIARY 15 September 1942 In view of the Japanese activity in the EASTERN end of the island, No VI Sec today arrived at LACLUTA (08482609) having come from TURISCAI (08502543). 15 November 1942 Force HQ desire "B" Pl to move to the LACLUTA (05472605 ) area and from there maintain OPs on the roads MANATUTO-BAUCAU and BAUCAU-VIQUEQUE also to harass any Jap movement in the EASTERN end of the island. 16 November 1942 Conforming with yesterday's instructions from Force HQ "B" Pl were instructed to commence to move to the LACLUTA area as soon as possible. During the move they will contact Coy HQ by W/T daily and one Signalman will be sent through Coy HQ to pick up extra W/T equipment. Lieut NISBET advises his movement will be as follows: on 17 Nov No IV Sec at present at CRIBAS (08412600) will commence to move to LACLUTA and from there will recce FATUCHILI (08362609) and MUNDO PERDIDO (08432620) as likely section areas. HQ will move to LACLUTA via BARIQUE and will maintain contact with No IV Sec. No V Sec will move one day after HQ and No VI Sec two days after HQ. It is anticipated section areas will have been located in time for these two sections to move there directly. Immediately section areas were fixed Coy H. will be notified. All this information was passed to Force HQ. [3] [4] [5] JAPANESE MASSACRE AT LACLUTA In an interview with the former headman, and a member of the royal lineage, we learned that nineteen members of the royal (liurai) lineage from the Lacluta and Uma Tolu line were massacred by the Japanese on August 4, 1945. This former headman who is also related by family to Luca was a young boy at the time. The story was that when the Japanese were in pursuit of Australian and Portuguese troops hiding in the forest in the Viqueque area, they asked the Luca people whose land they were hiding on. Not wanting to be implicated, the Luca people claimed it was the Lacluta kingdom’s (Uma Tolu’s) land. The Luca people disavowed ownership of the land and their disavowal resulted in the massacre of the royal Lacluta family. So, the former headman argues that Luca cannot be very vocal about wanting Uma Tolu to go back to its ancestral land, because they have the responsibility of the massacre hanging on their heads. The Luca people apparently indicated an area that is far closer than the area that Uma Tolu now occupies. [6] [7] MONUMENT TO THE LACLUTA HEROES The tragic consequences for the Portuguese and Timorese residents of Viqueque of their support for getting their fellow nationals evacuated to safety in Australia is vividly portrayed in the Monument to the Lacluta Heroes. The memorial is located at the old Portuguese posto, situated on high ground on the left bank of the River de Rade Uma some distance from the existing township of Lacluta and is difficult to access by vehicle. The main inscription on the monument (translated from the Portuguese) states: HISTORICAL MONUMENT OF WORLD WAR 2 PERIOD 1942-1945 IN LACLUTA HERE LIE THE REMAINS OF: Nomes Observações 01. LUIS DA FONSECA SOARES CHEFE DE SUCO DE DILOR 02. CASIMIRO FERNANDES DE CARVALHO CHEFE DE SUCO DE UMA-TOLU 03. ESTEVAO DE CARVALHO CHEFE DE SUCO DE LALINE 04. ALEXANDRE DE CARVALHO CHEFE DE SUCO DE DILOR 05. AFONSO FONSECA SOARES CHEFE DE SUCO DE DILOR 06. MATEUS DE CARVALHO CHEF DE SUCO DE UMA – TOLU 07. FRANCISCO SOARES CHEFE DE SUCO DE AHIC 08. TAI-BERE CHEFE DE POVOACAO FATUCADO 09. GILBERTO SOARES CHEFE DE POVOACAO DE FAHI-LAIN 10. MIRANDA XIMENES AJUDANTE DE CHEFE POSTO DILOR 11. MARIANO CARVALHO CATEOUISTA 12. JOSE LINO FERREIRA CATEQUISTA 13. VITAL DE NORONHA PRINCIPAL DE DILOR 14. FELICIANO SOARES AGRICULTOR 15. FRANCISCO SOARES CABO DE MORADORES 16. TOMAS SOARES AGRICULTOR 17. CAI-MODO AGRICULTOR 18. FUNO-UAI AGRICULTOR 19. ESPERANCA FONSECA SOARES PRINCIPAL DE DILOR The secondary inscription on the monument states: KILLED BY THE INVADER 1942 - 1945 IN THEIR MEMORY PORTUGAL RECOGNIZED Narration: 1. They were savagely massacred for having hidden a group of Portuguese on the plains of Aitara and Bua-Daran; 2. They were massacred in three different locations: a) We-Lamilo; b) Cai-Cobi-Lari; c) the last one was in Ossu on August 14, 1945, their remains were collected and buried in the Historical Monument of Lacluta, built under the direction of Pinto Crisostomo, Administrator of the circunscriçõe of Viqueque, Teofilo de Deus Maia, Chefe de Posto de Lacluta and Miguel, Cabo Verdano, in the Economic Year of 1963-1964. [8] Restoration work on the ‘Monument to the Lacluta Heroes’, November 2000 REFERENCES [1] Area study of Portuguese Timor / Allied Geographical Section, South West Pacific Area. - [Brisbane] : The Section, 1943. – (Terrain study (Allied Forces. South West Pacific Area. Allied Geographical Section) ; no. 50.): 31. [2] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 163. [3] War diary No. 2 Independent Company, August to November 1942 (https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1363504) [4] Area study of Portuguese Timor: Drawing 49. [5] Area study of Portuguese Timor: Drawing 50. [6] Claudia D’Andrea ‘The Customary Use of Natural Resources in Timor Leste: a discussion paper prepared for a regional workshop on Land Policy Administration for pro-Poor Rural Growth, Dili, December 2003: 35. [7] Area study of Portuguese Timor: Drawing 51. [8] Rui Brito da Fonseca. - Monumentos portugueses em Timor-Leste. - Dili, Timor Leste : [Crocodilo Azul?], 2005: 22-25. Prepared by Ed Willis Revised 16 August 2020
  5. Members, supporters and those who participated in either the 2018 or 2019 'Timor 1942 Commando Campaign Tours' will be interested to see the following story related to the 20th Anniversary of the death, killed in action, of New Zealand peacekeeper Private Leonard Manning. A few of us on the 2018 tour visited Private Manning's memorial at Tilomar, while most participants in the 2019 tour had the pleasure of meeting Lieutenant-Colonel Martin Dransfield who was the commander of the New Zealand 2nd/1st Battalion at the time of the soldier’s death and is now posted as a strategic advisor to the Timor-Leste Defence Force. Martin was Master of Ceremonies at last year's Anzac Day ceremony in Dili. https://medium.com/@nzdefenceforce/events-new-training-centres-to-mark-20-year-anniversary-of-new-zealand-soldiers-death-in-e110e8400b2
  6. WWII in East Timor – A Site and Travel Guide BAUCAU MUNICIPALITY Situated 129 kilometres East of Dili, the Baucau Municipality covers 1,600 square kilometres and serves as a gateway for the neighbouring municipalities of Lautem, Viqueque and Manatuto. The municipality is divided into six sub-districts: Baucau, Laga, and Vemasse on the northern coastal plain, while Venilale, Quelicai, and Baguia are located inland. Baucau is the second largest municipality in East Timor with a population of 123,203 inhabitants recorded in the 2015 census. [1] During the WWII period under the Portuguese colonial administration, the area now known as the Baucau Municipality is made up several northern districts of the civil circunscriçõe of Sao Domingos that extended from the north to the south coast. Map 1 shows the area and highlights the sites (numbered) where significant events occurred during WWII. SIGNIFICANCE During the WWII period under the Portuguese colonial administration, the area now known as the Baucau Municipality made up several northern districts of the civil circunscriçõe of Sao Domingos that extended from the north to the south coast. As a precaution against Japanese retaliation for their guerrilla activities, Sparrow Force created a small reconnaissance unit, codenamed H Force, to operate in the eastern end of the island. This detachment of ten men was commanded by Lieutenant Col Doig who led H Force to Viqueque. From Viqueque, members of H force explored the villages, roads and paths of the eastern provinces. They also gathered foodstuffs paid for with promissory notes to supplement the dwindling supplies held by Sparrow Force. An urgent call from Darwin led to them recruiting 1,000 locals to gather sisal to make rope, and shortly afterwards 100 pony loads of rope were despatched to headquarters, and thence to Australia. [3] One of H Force’s most famous exploits was the rescue of a downed and badly burned RAAF pilot, Flying Officer George Wadey, who had parachuted from his damaged Hudson bomber into an area between the Australians and Japanese. The Timorese had taken him to Baguia for treatment by the medic at the Portuguese infirmaria located there. In order to collect Wadey, Doig and a couple of his team undertook an epic journey, along near impassable tracks, battling uncooperative Portuguese administrators and disaffected Dutch troops. They survived an equally hazardous return trip; Wadey survived and was later evacuated to Australia. [4] The Japanese utilised tunnel warfare effectively during WWII. In the island battles of the Western Pacific, they maximised their capabilities by establishing strong point defences with this tactic. The same defensive approach was put into effect in New Guinea, New Britain, Bougainville and the islands in the Indonesian archipelago including Timor. In September 1943, Timor was included in what has been informally called the Absolute National Defence Zone ‘as the zone in the Pacific Ocean that absolutely had to be held to ensure Japan's survival’. [5] Consequently, Timor was strongly garrisoned by the Japanese until near the end of the war in anticipation of any allied attempt to retake it and tunnel construction was an aspect of their defensive posture. Their Venilale tunnel complex (locally known as Gua Tuju) is the most accessible in the Baucau Municipality but reputedly they also used Timorese forced labour to build “a vast system of caves and tunnels in the [Matebian Mountains] area for their camps and arsenals and killed many people”. [6] As the Japanese concentrated their defensive preparations at the eastern end of the island between 1943 and 1945, the region was under constant aerial attack particularly by RAAF Mitchell, Hudson, Liberator and Beaufighter squadrons. A focus of these attacks in the Baucau municipality were the Portuguese posto towns: Vemasse, Baucau, Laga, Baguia, Calicai and Venilale – that had been garrisoned by the Japanese. The coastal postos of Baucau and Laga that provided anchorages for transport barges and small ships were frequently bombed. Japanese vehicles on the roads and tracks in the area were subject to strafing and rocket attacks by the ‘whispering death’ Beaufighters of No. 31 Squadron. [7] The Japanese concentration of activity in the area also became of intelligence interest to Australian military planners. To this end, from July 1942 until the end of the war, clandestine operations in the eastern end of the island were conducted by the Inter-Allied Services Department (ISD) and the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) using Australian, Portuguese and Timorese personnel. These operations continued to be mounted despite the limited ‘safe space’ in the area being infiltrated, the hostile local population, and most importantly, their radio communications being compromised. Many of the ISD and SRD operatives were killed in action, taken prisoner by the Japanese and tortured and some were executed. SRD Operations PORTO LIZARD, PIGEON/SUNCOB, LAGARTO and COBRA all proceeded within what is now the Baucau Municipality. [8] SITES 1. VEMASSE 8° 31' 14” S., 126° 13' E Driving eastwards from Dili after transiting through Manatuto: “From Laleia it's 9 km to Vemasse, where the flat countryside is devoted to rice paddies. Another long Indonesian bridge, this one with a plaque noting that it was built in 1992, leads into the town. Vemasse has a quaint-looking church, in reds, blues and greens, close to the road. On the hillside overlooking the village are the imposing walls of a fortress-like Portuguese construction”. [9] Vemasse (see Map No. 26) is 20 miles (32 km.) at a bearing of 256° from Baucau. It is on the coastal plains about 2 miles (3 km.) from the sea and on the east bank of the Vemasse River. This locality is part of the dry region. The north coastal motor road fords the river and runs east through the town. Vemasse is a posto town. The posto is 200 yards (180 m.) east of the river and south of the coastal motor road. The houses of the town are along both sides of the coastal motor road in a row; this row begins north of the posto and runs for about 400 yards (350 m.) east, when it changes to the north side of the road and continues for another 400 yards (350 m.). [10] Eduardo da Costa Gamboa, the Portuguese administrative aspirante in Portuguese Timor from 1935 and Chefe de Posto at Vemasse was a ‘friend of the Australians’ and after evacuation to Australia, returned and was active with SRD Operation PORTO LIZARD that established contact in Vemasse and Laleia areas in May 1943. [11] To counter the influence of Gamboa [da Costa] and to undermine SRD operations in the area, the Japanese, using a typical tactic, attempted to switch the sympathies of the local population: “… on 24 March 1944, SRD was informed by 'Lagarto' that 'many chiefs and natives of [VEMASSE] and neighbouring villages held a fiesta in [VEMASSE]. Two truckloads Jap officers and soldiers attended and distributed sugar, cigarettes, sarongs, etc. They announced that they would soon attack Australia. Utter rot”. [12] Subsequently, Vemasse was targeted by the RAAF in late September 1944: “Australian Mitchell medium bombers bombed and strafed a small vessel off Manatuto and left it listing and smoking. They also scored direct hits on buildings at Vemasse. One aircraft crashed into the sea during a strafing run”. [13] Ruins of the Portuguese posto, Vemasse, 16 June 2010 Vemasse and vicinity [14] Satellite view of Vemasse, February 2020 [15] The coastline between Vemasse and Baucau was described by the Area study of Portuguese Timor as follows: Vemasse to Baucau: Eastwards from Vemasse for about 5 miles (8 km.) the coast is sandy with reefs inshore and coral outcrops on the sand. Landings could be affected through the whole length of this area in calm weather. The main north coastal road lies about 1 1/2 to 2 miles (2 1/2 to 3 km.) inland, and the vegetation is scattered clumps of casuarina along the creek beds, with low scrub and cactus interspersed with grassland. This patch of coast is also in the dry belt and water is scarce. [16] The road between Vemasse and Baucau was described by the Area study of Portuguese Timor as follows: Vemasse to Baucau: For the first 6 miles (9 1/2 km.) this road is flat and then climbs 4 miles (6 1/2 km.). The end of this stretch continues along a flat plateau for about another 10 miles (16 km.); throughout its length it is wide and capable of taking heavy traffic (A1). There is only one river crossing, about 4 miles (6 1/2 km.) east of Vemasse which might present difficulties. There is fair air cover along this road, particularly towards Baucau. Throughout its length the road is only from 1 to 5 miles (1 1/2 to 8 km.) inland from the coast. There is no water over considerable stretches of this section. [17] “Nine kilometres further there's a string of roadside refreshment stands where passing buses often stop to give passengers a break. The road from here to Baucau climbs inland from the coast, running through mostly flat, dry and lightly populated countryside as it gently circles up to the forested Baucau plateau. Here you'll find roadside fruit vendors selling carambola (star fruit)”. [18] 2. UAI CUAC - POINT BIGONO On 18 September 1943, the SRD LAGARTO party was located near the sea between Laleia and the Vemasse River. The party was under constant threat from the Japanese. On 25 September, it was certain that the Japanese knew LAGARTO's approximate whereabouts. Sergeant Jim Ellwood signalled SRD that the 'natives are too afraid [to] feed or hide us' and that they now had no place to go. The Japanese drive was a 'grimly earnest business of torture and killing' and within the previous fortnight chiefs in a number of districts that 'Lagarto' had passed through had been killed. Ellwood considered the only way LAGARTO could be saved from a 'sticky end' was by evacuation the following evening. GHQ, SWPA, however, would not provide aircraft for such a large party. On 29 September, near Uai Cuac, LAGARTO was surrounded by a superior force. LAGARTO surrendered but Patricio da Luz evaded capture. [19] The Japanese searched the Cape Bigono area and found Ellwood's diary, ciphers and signal plan. Ellwood was charged with espionage and his interrogation began on 2 October 1943. [20] Artist’s impression of a Japanese soldier finding Sergeant Ellwood's diary, ciphers and signal plan [21] 3. SALAZAR PLATEAU Salazar Plateau This plateau is located in limestone country with, many limestone outcrops. There is some light scrub and no grass. [Airfield] Sites can be obtained here, but a considerable amount of work would be involved in removing the limestone outcrops. A site which it is considered can be easily and quickly established exists 4 1/2 miles (7 km.) off the main road between Vemasse and Baucau and 10 1/2 miles (17 km.) from Baucau. Some outcrops of limestone would have to be removed. Dispersal can be found in adjacent jungle patches. [22] “On 22 November, while carrying out a recce preparatory to a road blow between Manatuto and Baucau, a sub-section of No.5 Section surprised a party of Japanese officers breezing along towards Manatuto in their utility. ‘Kit’ Carson sets the stage and Rob Whelan provides the details: Kit: ‘The Air Force boys had requested that we have a look at the Manatuto- Baucau road for a suitable spot for them to blow it - a bridge, cutting or whatever - with the idea of steadying traffic to and from Baucau and thus delaying construction of the aerodrome the Nips were building on the Salazar Plateau”. [23] “As you approach Baucau from Dili the big airport is 7 km before the town. Past the airport a statue marks where the road forks: turning left takes you directly to the colonial-era Old Town, while turning right will take you first to the New Town before dropping down to the Old Town. Down at the sea, you'll find the very attractive beach village of Osolata”. [24] Baucau's airport is a curious anomaly. It's much larger than the airport at Dili and capable of taking large jet aircraft. The Portuguese built it to be Portuguese Timor's international gateway, and at that time there were regular flights from Darwin, although never with large aircraft. During the Indonesian era it was used only for military flights, and it was used and fortified by the UN after 1999 during their peacekeeping operations. 3. BAUCAU 8° 56' S., 125° 22' 48" E. Baucau was the second town in East Timor to be settled by the Portuguese and gradually developed as an administrative centre and trade port. Like most Portuguese settlements, it was sited with defence in mind, sitting above the sea to repel a water attack, and backed by steep cliffs as a natural barrier to incursions from the interior. The Portuguese constructed many of the buildings in old town Baucau, of which the distinctive Mercado [market place] (1938) is the most notable. Baucau, Portuguese Timor. 1946-01-05. The Municipal Market Built In 1938. (Photographer Sgt K. B. Davis) Restored Baucau Mercado municipal (municipal market), 20 February 2014 “Baucau is a charming colonial town located 123km east of Dili. The Old Town boasts a Portuguese-era mercado municipal (municipal market) and a roadside town market where pyramid-shaped piles of potatoes, neat bunches of greens and mounds of maize form a colourful patchwork on the pavement. Head down through the market and take a left to spot the pink pousada. A clear natural spring runs from Old Town to the swimming pool … and down through the lush ravine to the delightful palm-fringed Osolata beach. The bland, Indonesian-built New Town (Kota Baru) is 2km from Old Town”. [25] Though written in 1977, the following summation of the reasons for Baucau’s importance are still relevant: “Baucau is undoubtedly the most important market place east of Dili. Its strategic position at the cross-roads of the entire transport system east of Dili is responsible for this. Included in this area are Lautem, Los Palos (centre of livestock keeping) , Tutuala, Baguia, Quelicai, Laga, Iliomar , Lore; as well as the important market centres of the south­east coast: Uato Carbau, Uato Lari, Viqueque , and the central upland, Ossu and Venilale. Because of this position it has become the second largest centre of settlement in Portuguese Timor after Dili, with roughly 5000 inhabitants”. [26] Baucau [Anchorage] (Vila Salazar) (8° 28' S., 126° 28' E.) - See Map No. 23: A place of some importance carrying on a brisk trade with the adjacent islands, is situated a short distance from the coast at a height of about 1,047 feet (320 m.). It is the residence of a Government official. The anchorage is in 22 fathoms (40 m.), coral. K.P.M. ships lie off about 500 yards (450 m.). Anchorage for boats of approximately 600 tons, about 200 yards (175 m.) offshore. Vessels lie well here in the west monsoon. In the east monsoon, with rough weather in the months of May and June, landings should be done in the morning. Anchorage is with the light structure on the coast bearing 212°. Easy to approach. Exports were principally rice, maize, horns and sandalwood. The shore, very steep, has no beach and a small coast reef; is suitable for landings. [27] Baucau (see Maps Nos. 22 and 23) is 60 miles (96 km.) at a bearing of 85° E from Dilli. It is the capital of Sao Domingos Province and about 1 mile (1 1/2 km.) inland from the north coast. It is an important area on the north coast because it is situated at the junction of the north coastal motor road and the motor road which crosses the island and leads to Beasso on the south coast. The town is in a narrow belt of low hills which border the northeast corner of Salazar Plain. It is a posto town of about 13 stone houses and many native huts. There are patches of good air cover in the vicinity of the town. As the town is in a limestone area there are many caves which can be used as air raid shelters. [28] RAAF Bombing of Baucau “The RAAF made several more attacks on Maubisse that month, but it also hit targets in the eastern centres of the island, where the Japanese had been extending their reach since early October. Baucau, the second largest centre on the island, came in for special treatment, as did Manatuto, the coastal centre between Dili and Baucau. …… Historic Baucau, which featured many impressive stone buildings dating back to the earliest settlement by the Portuguese, came in for special treatment in the November bombing. In one raid, the RAAF strafed the residence of the Portuguese governor, prompting an official complaint that made it all the way back to Australia. Major-General Stevens wrote a cable stating that the Portuguese governor was now living in a large residence in the eastern side of the town, and the doctor was at the hospital with a large red cross on the roof. These buildings were off limits, though ‘the remainder of the town was considered to be an open target’. Aside from these two buildings, Baucau was virtually flattened by the RAAF’s bombing and strafing to the point where only four colonial buildings were left standing by the end of the war”. [29] Baucau and anchorage [30] 4. SEICAL RIVER 8°29'7.79" S, 126°33'10.79" E The following narrative of the misfortunes of the SRD SUNCOB operation exemplifies the difficulties the organisation had in conducting any mission effectively in what was a very hostile environment. The two men involved did their best to avoid capture by the Japanese and in doing so covered a considerable amount of ground in the central and southern sectors of what is now the Baucau Municipality. SRD OPERATION SUNCOB The SUNCOB project was designed for the relief of COBRA personnel who had been in the field since January, 1944. The final composition of SUNCOB was Captain P.W. Wynne (leader and signaller), and Corporal J.B. Lawrence. [31] Selecting the Seical River Drop Zone A number of reconnaissance flights were made over the area and many photographs were taken of the valleys of the Seical, Vei Aca and Mau Vui rivers. The results of some of the early aerial reconnaissance were relayed to COBRA in order to confirm the suitability of certain prospective alighting areas. Although COBRA was not specifically informed of the intention to insert SUNCOB, sufficient warning of the general intention had been given. When this news was passed to COBRA the party had already been Japanese hands for some months, but although this position was suspected, it had not been confirmed. View over rice fields from Baucau towards Seical, with Mt Matebian in background, April 2013 [32] A sparsely populated area on the Seical River, about eight miles south of Bacau, was selected as the most suitable DZ [Drop Zone]. This area consisted of an old paddy field of boomerang shape, each arm of which was about half a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide. The plan provided for SUNCOB to enter the area 'blind' without the knowledge of COBRA, and to reconnoitre COBRA's HQ in the Guruda area. If COBRA were found to be free, SUNCOB was to join forces, otherwise it was to more away and act independently, if necessary being evacuated to Australia. The Drop The party parachuted from a Liberator of 200 flight over the assigned DZ at last light on 2 July 1945. The descent was made from about 1500 feet above terrain and as the light had not entirely failed, Wynne is certain that the descent was seen by many natives. This, however, was almost unavoidable due to the difficulties of piloting large aircraft over mountainous terrain at the comparatively low speed necessary for personnel dropping. Lawrence Captured Lawrence landed in a tree and hung in his rigging lines 25 to 30 feet above the ground, but released himself without great difficulty. For some time he searched unsuccessfully for Wynne, spending the rest of the night in the hut of a friendly native. On the following morning he located the storepedo containing the party's stores and, after impressing four native carriers, set out for a pre-arranged rendezvous near Guruda mountain, where he expected to meet Wynne. Travelling by day he reached the RV [Rendezvous] at about 3.40 pm on July 3rd and waited there overnight. As Wynne had not arrived, Lawrence set off for a second pre-arranged contact point at 7am on July 4th. Two hours later Lawrence ran into a Japanese patrol of about eight men. A skirmish resulted and Lawrence was captured. Wynne On The Loose Wynne had landed about 400 yards from the DZ, breaking through a tree and severely bruising his left leg. Due to the rough nature of the terrain he could not see Lawrence, and the noise of the wind in the trees prevented contact being made by calling to him. Wynne estimated, after a subsequent visit to the area, that he landed 800 yards from Lawrence. From some time after landing, Wynne heard much excited shouting, which he attributed to natives who had witnessed the descent. After an unsuccessful search for Lawrence, Wynne moved towards the rendezvous at Guruda travelling slowly on account of his bruised leg. On the following day, natives posing as friends led him to a Japanese camp which was fortunately deserted. Despite attempts by some 200 natives to detain him, Wynne made his escape, but lost all his gear except his clothing, arms, equipment, ciphers and W/T crystals. After hiding for four hours in a water channel, he moved away to the south. On July 4th, fearing that the Guruda area would be dangerous, he moved to the Fatu Macu area on the Baucau (Salazar) Plateau where he remained for two days. Avoiding Japanese patrols he moved by stages through Guruda, Ue Babo, Builo and the Be Vuji valley to Hill 565, eight miles south of Guruda, arriving there at dawn on July 15th. The natives he met en route were generally friendly and gave him food and shelter. They had heard a rumour that an Australian had been captured in the area. Wynne Captured Hill 565 was a pre-arranged contact point for air searches and Wynne laid out a ground signal made of sheets of paper and strips of maps, requesting extraction. Early on the morning of July ·15th, an aircraft crossed the area, but failed to see the signal. He remained at this point all day and the following night. At dawn the next morning, July 16th, he was awakened by a considerable volume of small-arms fire directed at his sleeping-place from a short range. Barefooted, he attempted to run through the encircling force of Japanese but was brought to the ground by a large stone thrown by one of the natives accompanying the patrol - so much for Japanese marksmanship! Lawrence Tortured And Interrogated Lawrence, after his capture, was taken to Baucau and Lautem, where he was interrogated with torture for 16 days. According to Wynne, the Japanese sergeant interpreter said later that he was full of admiration for Lawrence's fortitude under torture and what he called his 'strength of mind'. After interrogation, Lawrence was moved to Dili and placed in solitary confinement until released on 1 September, 1945. Wynne Tortured And Interrogated Meanwhile, Wynne was taken to Baucau where he was interrogated under torture, including the application of a plaited cane horse whip across the face and bare legs and kneeling on a narrow log, a simple but very painful torture. His interrogators seemed to have little knowledge of other SRD operations outside Timor but showed considerable curiosity concerning the base in Western Australia. This presumably stemmed from the capture in early 1945, of two members of RIMAU party on Romang Island, after an epic voyage of escape from the Singapore area in a native sailing canoe. They had been trained in Western Australia and had embarked in a British submarine at Fremantle. Wynne was able to conceal his authenticator and identity checks and readily agreed to operate his W/T set if required, being confident that Darwin would thus detect the fact that he was under Japanese control. Wynne was then taken to the DZ in the Seical Valley and was told that he was to lead a Japanese patrol over the route he had followed, for the purpose of identifying natives who had befriended him. The Japanese were very concerned that one white man could live for so long in an area they closely controlled. On August 6th he was taken to Dili and lodged in solitary confinement until 1st September, when he and Lawrence were released and met the other SRD prisoners. Wynne’s Survival Techniques It is of interest that Wynne was able to avoid capture for two weeks after his insertion by parachute, making good use of his previous experience in Timor with the No. 4 Independent Company in 1942 and 1943. He had learned some of the native language and was able to grasp the meaning of the messages which the Timorese would yodel from hill to hill, their usual method of inter-village communication. He would approach a village at dusk, accept food, but however friendly they were he would movie away alone into the bush, travelling by night as the natives would not leave their fires after dark and could thus be avoided. Dogs, however, were the greatest danger. [33] 5. CALICAI 8°33'06.0"S, 126°36'06.0"E 3a. Road Baucau to Laga Turnoff to Calicai (Boa Vista): Approximately 11 miles (18 km.) from Baucau a branch off from the main road runs south for approximately 8 miles (13 km.) to the Posto of Calicai. The road runs up the fertile rice valley of the Mau-Fui River to the foothills at Calicai Palms and lightly grassed areas give little cover from the air. [34] Calicai is 12 miles (19 km.) at a bearing of 124° from Baucau. It is at the end of a spur road which branches south, from the north coast motor road. It looks west over the valley of the Mau-Fui River. It is a small posto town with a few stone houses and many small native villages. The district is fairly fertile; there is much grassland and forest. [35] To protect him from capture by the searching Japanese, Flying Officer George Wadey, the downed and badly burned Australian pilot, was moved by Lt. Pires, the supportive Portuguese District Administrator at Bacau, from Manatuto through Baucau to Calicai where he arrived in late September 1942. After a few days he was then moved further east by car to a safer location at Baguia. [36] Calicai, like all the other posto towns in the region was subsequently garrisoned by the Japanese and subjected to occasional bombing and strafing raids by the RAAF. 6. LAGA 8° 29' S., 126° 36' E Laga is 11 miles (18 1/2 km.) at a bearing of 94° from Baucau. It is on the right bank of the Laga River and near the river mouth. There is an important anchorage here. The fact that the north coastal motor road goes through the town, and that it is the junction of the inland road to Baguia, increases its military importance. Laga is a posto town and has two posto buildings; the new one is on the east of the old one which is used for a Government office. There are several Chinese houses, some in the main group of houses north of the posto, and some in a group on the East. The narrow coastal strip north of the town and the strip of western river flats comprise extensive paddy fields. There are three native villages across the Laga River west of the town. [37] Map of Laga [38] “On the coast highway, 19 km east of Baucau, is Laga, a peaceful little town with a small market from which a road leads down to a pleasant pebbly beach about 1km away. The land here is largely flat with virescent rice fields stretching to the horizon. The town’s crumbling old Portuguese fort tops a low hill just south of the main road. The square fort has round towers at two of its corners, and there are fine views from the battlements north over the town and church towards the coast, and south across the river and rice paddies to the central mountains. Salt is gathered from lakes near the town. The town’s pale blue church is fronted by a big ceramic panel illustrating smiling Timorese getting their introduction to Christianity from a Portuguese friar. Across the road there’s an interesting collection of bas-reliefs and brightly coloured statues with more religious messages. Look for a large orphanage run by the Silesian Sisters just east of town. The turn-off to Baguia is just past the church”. [39] Laga’s importance as an anchorage meant that from time-to-time it was attacked by the RAAF: “Buildings were demolished and large fires started when RAAF Hudsons and Beaufighters made a heavy attack on Laga village on the north-east coast of Japanese-occupied Timor on Saturday morning. …. It was the first time that Laga had been raided. [The] only enemy activity was light machine-gun fire from the ground. … the Hudsons attacked first. They were followed by a formation of Beaufighters, which strafed the target area, and pilots reported that the earlier attack had been successful. Another Beaufighter formation followed later. It attacked and riddled barges, stores and equipment near the shore. During the whole operation few enemy personnel were seen”. [40] “Our medium units [Mitchell or Hudson bombers] bombed and machine-gunned enemy positions at Laga". [41] 7. BAGUIA 8°37'40"S, 126°39'41"E Road Laga to Baguia: This is a second class road in fair condition and capable, with a little improving, of carrying M.T. in all weather. The distance is about 25 miles (40 km.) across very rugged country. There are three bridges, but they would not make an effective roadblock as they are very small. For the first 15 miles (24 km.) the road follows the valley of the Laga River. The country here is heavily timbered and the undergrowth fairly dense, but the remainder of the road over smaller hills is surrounded with sparsely timbered country. There is much rice grown along the route, particularly at the big village of Camalete, 8 miles (13 km.) from Baguia. [42] The Lonely Planet Guide provides an updated version of the same journey: “An interesting side trip can be made south of Laga to the small town of Baguia, 38 km up into the hills. Obscure and unique languages are spoken in this area, and can vary from one slope of a mountain to another. Indonesian and Tetum are widely spoken, but very little English is. At first the sealed road is in OK condition as it climbs steadily away from the coast. But as the road climbs and dips, the remaining 26 km are in the typically rural condition that history buffs will compare to 1916 Verdun. The dry northern hills are scattered with the occasional traditional village, and small cemeteries with white crosses dot the hills – not an uncommon sight in East Timor. About halfway along, the road crosses the northern mountain range and the countryside becomes much greener and lusher as you approach Mt Matebian, which towers over the area. Two kilometres before Baguia are the ruins of the Escola do Reino de Haudere. Only the walls remain of this impressive Portuguese school, which fell into disrepair and disuse after WWII”. [43] Escola do Reino de Haudere, December 19, 2006 [44] Baguia is 17 1/2 miles (28 km.) at a bearing of 129° from Baucau. It is situated on a hilltop on the east flank of the Mata-Bia Range (over 7,000 feet: 2,100 m.), which runs north/south across the back of Timor in the east part of Sao Domingos Province. Baguia, at an elevation of 1,400 feet (425 m.) overlooks the upper valleys of the Seli-Bere River. It is a posto and market town. The high posto wall includes the secretary's office and barracks. North of the posto there is a new Roman Catholic church (partly constructed) near the old one and a rest house nearby. South of the posto are market shed, stable, coolie barracks, hospital, storehouse and school. The posto is surrounded by a garden; there are coconut plantations to the North and South. [45] The Commander’s house, Baguia, 1935 [46] The Lonely Planet Guide provides an updated description of the town: “Baguia itself is a diminutive, relaxed hill town with a small Portuguese fort built in 1915. The walls are reasonably intact and inside is an old villa, occupied by the UN police force. You can walk along the walls and climb the corner turret that was once used as a prison. At the top end of town the baby-blue church features a Christ-and-child statue perched atop the church tower. The name Baguia is derived from the Portuguese for ‘under the cave’, and the large rock outcrop overlooking the town is said to contain caves. Other than checking out the sites, there’s little to keep you here”. [47] The Japanese established a comfort women station in Baguia and this is a good indication that a substantial number of its troops were stationed in the area. [48] “In Baguia in 2014, senior men recalled the harshness of Japanese occupation and working in construction gangs. They built roads from Baguia Villa to Hae Coni, Osso Huna and Afaloicai village, and Uatolari and Uatocarbau villages in neighbouring Viqueque District. During this time ... we did not use tractors and cars but only crowbar and machetes to make the roads. The width of the road we built was determined by the width of the car ... In the Japanese period, when people did not do the work they were ordered to do, the Japanese would hit them with a wooden stick until the Timorese people almost died ... During the Japanese period, Timorese people were still continuing with their culture as usual ... we as men were wearing a loincloth, as there were no shirts and pants to wear, we just used a loin-cloth and a piece of handwoven cloth ... Also women used female and man’s cloth as clothing until they rotted. The cotton used to make these tais was grown before the Japanese came. In addition to memories of hardship and scarcity under Japanese occupation, recollections of the introduction of weapons, predominantly machetes, remain in Baguia. One style of sword known as the samurai was, in 2014, a reminder of the Japanese occupation. The introduction of metal drinking flasks and aluminium cooking posts was also associated with this period. [49] The Portuguese infirmaria [hospital] at Baguia was the final eastern refuge of the downed Australian pilot Flying Officer S.G. Wadey. He was retrieved by car from there by a small party led by Lt. Col Doig and returned in a perilous road journey to Ossu and subsequently evacuated to Australia. [50] 8. VENILALE 8°35′S, 126°22′E Venilale looking northwest (17/11/42) [51] Road 5 - Baucau to Venilale: Distance 16 miles (26 km.). Suitable for M.T. in all weather. This constructed road is B1 (two streams, occasional passing, heavy traffic). Mainly flat, no steep grades. There is poor air cover in places; the surrounding country is open forest and cultivation and grassland. Approaching Venilale the air cover is better. The road itself traverses the eastern end of the Salazar Plateau. [52] Metzner describes the terrain conditions and the circumstances under which the road was built by the Portuguese in the 1920s and its similar strategic importance to the Japanese during the occupation period: “The wildness of the terrain and the high degree of erodibility of the soil which has been aggravated by human action, have rendered highway construction on Timor extremely difficult. This is particularly so in our area owing to the high percentage of heavy clay soil derived from Bobonaro Scaly Clay, which is very liable to slumping. It is therefore all the more astonishing that one of the few roads linking the north coast with the south coast was laid through the Area in the 1920s ... This road was built primarily for military purposes (with statute labour by local population) enabling the colonial administration to transfer troops quickly to the newly pacified interior when necessary. It links Baucau with Venilale , Ossu, Viqueque and Be Aco [Beaco]; the road was later extended to Uato Lari. Today it is still the main link between Baucau and the south coast. Small extensions were built under Japanese occupation, 1942-45; e.g. between Ossu and Uato Lari via the suco of Ossoroa. These roads were built under forced labour conditions by the Timorese. Their purpose was to enable the Japanese to gain better access to the south coast, from which they expected an invasion of the Allied Forces”. [53] The road today is in poor condition but is due to be upgraded during the period 2020-2022. [54] Venilale (see Photo No. 84 and Map No. 26) is 18 miles (29 km.) at a bearing of 205° from Baucau. It looks west over the valley of the River Vemasse, and the north/south motor road from Baucau passes through it. It is a small posto town with the usual administrative buildings and barracks standing back from the road. There are about 12 stone houses and many small native villages. A fair quantity of maize is grown in the area. The vegetation is often forest and grass. The surrounding country is very mountainous. [55] Venilale township map [56] JAPANESE CAVES (GUA TUJU), UMA-ANA-ULU VILLAGE, NORTH VENILALE S 08°37', E 126°23' An important WWII site just north of the Venilale township are the Japanese Caves, locally known as Gua Tuju near Uma-Ana-Ulu village. Locating a key defensive and storage base at Venilale, roughly mid-way on the strategically important island straddling road between Baucau and Viqueque makes sense. Personnel and stores were secure from aerial bombing until any threat was evident and then they could have been diverted in the required direction – north, south or further east. The tunnels would have become a strong defence point in the event the battle became localised. The tunnels extend 20 metres into the hill side and are all interconnected with cross tunnels, five meters in from the entrances. The cross tunnels may well have been for direct access to other entrances, but they also provided shelter from aerial attack. “[The caves were] used as storage space for various military equipment such as bombs, hand guns and pistols. [They were] carved and dug in 1942 and was used for the next 3 years (until the end of WWII) … through forced labour under the order of the Japanese military”. [57] Entrance to one of the Japanese caves, 16 June 2010 A darker extension to this narrative of how the tunnels were built has been provided by Adriano de Almeida Gominho, “ex-administrador de Aileu-Timor” in his historical novel O tesouro de Yamashita [The treasure of Yamashita]. This factually-based novel describes the construction of the tunnels as being largely completed during November 1942 using three different teams of 20-30 Timorese labourers recruited from Ossu and Ossualata under the false promise of being paid for their work. A Japanese Army engineer was in charge of the works and the labourers worked under the supervision of a Timorese foreman. The officer in charge was under heavy pressure to complete the project in a timely fashion. When the labourers became exhausted by the heavy work they were taken by truck to Taci-Tolu near Dili, summarily shot and their bodies buried there. A replacement team with a new foreman was then recruited. [58] The tunnels were not cleared of their deadly contents at the end of the war: “On 10 March 1954, the Australian Consul had visited Japanese war-time storage caves south of Venilale containing small arms ammunition and mortar bombs and reported that the Portuguese authorities were ‘indifferent to these stocks of ammunition’ that were being traded by ‘Arabs in Dili’ to visiting Indonesian copra boats”. [59] NOTE: This post is a draft chapter of a proposed publication: ‘WWII in East Timor – an Australian Army site and travel guide’ that is the subject of a current application for an Army History Research Grant. REFERENCES [1] Wall Chart : 2015 Timor-Leste Population and Housing Census – Data Sheet http://www.statistics.gov.tl/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Wall-Chart-Poster-Landscape-Final-English-rev.pdf. [2] Map derived from Area study of Portuguese Timor / Allied Geographical Section, South West Pacific Area. - [Brisbane] : The Section, 1943. – (Terrain study (Allied Forces. South West Pacific Area. Allied Geographical Section) ; no. 50.) : Map 33. [3] Brad Manera ‘"H" detachment Sparrow Force at Viqueque, 1942’ Wartime 17, Summer 2002: 56. [4] Ed Willis ‘The Sid Wadey Story – Rescued on Timor’ - https://doublereds.org.au/forums/topic/207-the-sid-wadey-story-–-rescued-on-timor/ [5] Hiroyuki Shindo ‘The Japanese Army's search for a new South Pacific strategy, 1943’ in Australia 1943: the liberation of New Guinea / edited by Peter J. Dean. – Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2014: 82. [6] https://visiteasttimor.com/matebian/; the Matebian Mountains area will be investigated and documented in a forthcoming site survey. Note that the SRD was also alert to potential military use of caves on Timor ‘The extensive limestone caves throughout islands of the Lesser Sundas were proposed as hideouts and storage sites – see NAA: A3269, R20 for maps of limestone caves in Timor. In Portuguese Timor, the principal area of caves was in the far southeast of the island – in the Mount Paixão region of Lautem. The map data also indicates limestone caves at Ossu, Quelicai, Matebian, Uatolari, from Baucau south to Venilale, around Viqueque town, and a few areas in Cova Lima and Bobonaro’. (Ernest Chamberlain. - Forgotten men: Timorese in Special Operations during World War II. – Port Lonsdale, Vic.: The Author, 2010: 14). [7] Mark Johnston. - Whispering death: Australian airmen in the Pacific war. – Crow’s Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2011. [8] On SRD operations in Portuguese Timor, see for e.g. Chamberlain. - Forgotten men. [9] Timor-Leste (East Timor) / [written and researched by Rodney Cocks]. – 3rd ed. - Footscray, Vic. : Lonely Planet Publications, 2011: 60-61. [10] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 32. [11] Chamberlain. - Forgotten men: Annex A, 29. [12] Quoted in Lithgow, Shirley. - Special operations : the organisations of the Special Operations Executive in Australia and their operations against the Japanese during the Second World War. – Canberra : University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, History, 1992. Master’s Thesis: 158; on Japanese counterinsurgency tactics, see Vivian Blaxell ‘Seized Hearts: “Soft” Japanese counterinsurgency before 1945 and its persistent legacies in Postwar Malaya, South Vietnam and beyond’ The Asia-Pacific Journal|Japan Focus 18 (6, 2) March 06, 2020: 1-19. [13] ‘Nothing left of town now’ Border Morning Mail (Albury, NSW: 1938 - 1946), Tuesday 26 September 1944: 6. Note, the Mitchell bomber crashed off Manatuto not Vemasse. [14] Area study of Portuguese Timor: Map 25. [15] https://satellites.pro/Vemasse_map.East_Timor [16] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 33. [17] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 38. [18] Lonely Planet Timor-Leste (East Timor): 61. [19] Pat J. da Luz ‘Letter’ Courier October 1981: 3. [20] Lithgow Special operations: 135-136. [21] John Laffin. – Special and secret. – Sydney: Time-Life Books Australia, 1990: 93-94. [22] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 2. [23] G.E. Lambert - Commando, from Tidal River to Tarakan : the story of the No. 4 Australian Independent Company AIF later known as 2/4th Australian Commando Squadron AIF, 1941-45. - Loftus, N.S.W. : Australian Military History Publications, 1997: 156. Note, this airfield was never completed by the Japanese, but the location was later used by the Portuguese for this purpose – see entry 11 following. [24] Lonely Planet Timor-Leste (East Timor): 61. [25] Lonely Planet Timor-Leste (East Timor): 62. [26] Joachim K. Metzner. - Man and environment in Eastern Timor: a geoecological analysis of the Baucau-Viqueque Area as a possible basis for regional planning. – Canberra: Australian National University, 1977. - (Australian National University. Development Studies Centre. Monograph Series; no. 8): 213. [27] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 11-12. [28] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 30-31. [29] Paul Cleary. - The men who came out of the ground : a gripping account of Australia's first commando campaign : Timor 1942. - Sydney : Hachette Australia, 2010: 248-249. [30] Area study of Portuguese Timor: maps 22 and 23. [31] Captain P.W. Wynne was a former member of the No. 4 Independent Company while Corporal J.B. (Barry, Blossom or Bloss) Lawrence was a former member of No. 2 Independent Company. [32] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:View_over_ricefields_towards_Seical,_with_Mt_Matebian_in_background_13_Apr_2013.jpg [33] This section has been adapted from: Jack Hartley ‘SUNCOB’ Courier October 1994: 13-15 https://doublereds.org.au/couriers/1994/Courier%20October%201994.pdf. [34] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 39. [35] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 31. [36] Ed Willis ‘The Sid Wadey Story – Rescued on Timor’ - https://doublereds.org.au/forums/topic/207-the-sid-wadey-story-–-rescued-on-timor/ [37] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 31. [38] Area study of Portuguese Timor: maps 24. [39] Lonely Planet Timor-Leste (East Timor): 66. [40] ‘New target in NE Timor’ Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.: 1933 - 1954), Tuesday 29 December 1942: 3. [41] ‘Widespread air attacks by Allies’ Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 - 1954), Saturday 16 January 1943: 2. [42] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 39. [43] Joanna Barrkman. - Return to Baguia: an ethnographic museum collection on the edge of living memory. - A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of The Australian National University, September 2017: 57. [44] Lonely Planet Timor-Leste (East Timor): 66-67. [45] https://www.flickr.com/photos/pepitosousa/327073557 [46] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 31. [47] Barrkman. - Return to Baguia: 57. [47] Lonely Planet Timor-Leste (East Timor): 67. [48] Vera Mackie ‘Gender, geopolitics and gaps in the records: women glimpsed in the military archives’ in Sources and methods in histories of colonialism : approaching the imperial archive / edited by Kirsty Reid and Fiona Paisley. - London: Routledge, 2017: 135-159. [49] Barrkman. - Return to Baguia: 62. [50] Willis ‘The Sid Wadey Story – Rescued On Timor’ [51] Area study of Portuguese Timor: Photograph 84. [52] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 40. [53] Metzner, Man and environment in Eastern Timor: 38. [54] Timor-Leste: Baucau to Viqueque Highway Project https://www.adb.org/projects/51115-001/main [55] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 31. [56] Area study of Portuguese Timor: Map 26. [57] See http://fatinhistorico.org/?p=86 and https://vimeo.com/27761677. [58] Adriano de Almeida Gominho. - O tesouro de Yamashita. – Lisbon: Neolivros, 2006: 31-32. [59] Report quoted in Chamberlain, Ernest. - Faltering steps : independence movements in East Timor - 1940s to the early 1970s. - Point Lonsdale, Vic. : Ernest Chamberlain, 2007: 29. Prepared by Ed Willis Revised 4 July 2020
  7. Dear Gerard and Brad: Thank you both for your replies and providing additional interesting information and images. As I said in my earlier reply unfortunately little has been published in Australia detailing the Dutch contribution to the campaign against the Japanese on Portuguese Timor - ready access to Dutch sources on the campaign, especially in English translations, is a problem, so your offer to share some documents (Brad) is welcome. Regards Ed Willis
  8. Dear Gerard: Thank you for contacting the Association with the information about your father’s service as a member of Sparrow Force, his award of a decoration and uploading a photo of the award ceremony. I have located some newspaper reports of the award ceremony: Dutch V.C. For Man Who Led Guerrillas Against Japanese (1943, February 3). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article245957574 HIGH AWARDS FOR NEI MEN FROM TIMOR (1943, February 4). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11342733 AWARD OF THE DUTCH V.C. (1943, February 4). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206844670 HEROISM IN TIMOR RECOGNISED AT IMPRESSIVE CEREMONY (1943, February 13). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 4. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142146160 I don’t think the soldiers in the photo were members of the 2/2 or 2/4 – both units were elsewhere at the time. One of the newspaper reports states: ‘On the flank, within an enclosure, Australian generals and army nurses stood with sailors of the N.E.I. and American officers, as well as womenfolk of prisoners’ of war in Java, Sumatra, Borneo and the. Celebes, …’ It is interesting to know that your father was a member of the Dutch team that defended the Dili airfield – unfortunately little has been published in Australia detailing the Dutch contribution to the campaign against the Japanese on Portuguese Timor. However, I have attached one item from the Association’s archives: ‘Fighting in the jungle of Timor, 1941-1942’ by A.J. (Ben) Brodie, Retired Warrant Officer of KNIL. Brodie states ‘With my machine gun unit, I was sent to the southern edge of the airstrip to try to block the Japanese push towards Dili, but without success’. So he may have been a member of the same unit as your father. As far as we know there are now no surviving members of the 2/2 and 2/4. There is a wealth of other information on our Website about the Timor campaign that you are welcome to access and use. Please make contact again if you are seeking additional information. Good luck with your documentary production. Please keep us informed about your progress with this project. Kind regards Ed Willis - Vice President A.J. Brodie - Fighting in the jungle of Timor 1941-1942 - scan.pdf
  9. ‘INDEPENDENT COMPANY’ DOCUMENTARY – A NEGLECTED VISUAL RECORD OF THE TIMOR CAMPAIGN The documentary film ‘Independent Company’ is a neglected visual record of the No. 2 Independent Company’s (No. 2 IC) campaign against the Japanese on Portuguese Timor during 1942. First shown on SBS in 1988 it has been rarely, if ever, broadcast subsequently. The film can be viewed through the Doublereds website: https://doublereds.org.au/archives/video-and-audio/independent-company-videorecording-the-australian-22-independent-company-timor-1941-42-produced-with-assistance-from-sbs-tv-and-film-victoria-r21/ The 53 minute film is made up of interviews with No. 2 IC men (Bernard Callinan, George ‘Happy’ Greenhalgh, Gerry McKenzie, Jim Smailes, Colin Doig, Tom Nisbet, Rolf Baldwin, David Dexter, Percy Hancock, Joe Poynton, Arch Campbell, Keith Hayes, Don Turton, Jerry Maley, Ray Aitken, Ray Parry and Harry Sproxton), ‘Mad Mike’ Calvert (trainer of the No. 2 IC) [1], Maria Louisa Sousa Santos (wife of António Policarpe de Sousa Santos, the Administrator of Fronteira Province) and 5 Japanese veterans (Koichi Nakajima, Haruka Nishiyama, Kuwakichi Arakawa, Masatsugu Kambe and Onuki Shigenobu) who served on Timor. There are also re-enactments using of some of the key incidents during the campaign – the most notable being the rejection of the Japanese surrender demand at Hatolia and the construction of ‘Winnie the war winner’. [2] The footage is rounded out with extracts from Damien Parer’s better known ‘Men of Timor’ (1943) film. The film was produced by Colin South of Melbourne-based Media World Pty Ltd [3] and the script was based on Bernard Callinan’s book ‘Independent Company’, archival research and interviews with participants in Australia, England, Portugal and Japan. The production team had hoped to film the re-enactment scenes in Timor but access to do this was not possible during that phase of the Indonesian occupation. Tom Nisbet was ‘technical adviser’ for the film. The old 2/2 Commando Association was consulted about the production and they gave it active support. The producers flew Bernard Callinan and Rolf Baldwin to Perth to participate in the 1987 Anzac Day parade and film interviews with some of the WA-based veterans. A ‘Meet the Visitors’ get-together was held in Mandurah on the following Sunday. [4] Sir Bernard Callinan and Rolf Baldwin lead out the 2/2 contingent at the 1987 Anzac Day parade in Perth Colin South kept the Association well informed by letter regarding progress with the production and this correspondence was printed in the ‘Courier’. One matter that Colin attempted to follow up was the sudden termination by the Japanese of their ‘August push’ that had the No. 2 IC ‘on the ropes’. The cessation of the Japanese assault was signalled by a green flare or ‘rocket’ on the night of 18 August 1942. [5] Colin reported. ‘My specific quest for the withdrawal of the Japanese in August 1942 unfortunately has not been answered fully, but two sources of fact are still being investigated; research into the diaries of Col. Doi the Japanese Commanding Officer in Dili, and the translation of two chapters of the 228 Regiment History, dealing specifically with ‘the Campaign against Australian Guerrilla force in East Timor’. The 228 Regiment was based in Timor from the invasion till 6th September, 1942, when they were sent to Guadalcanal. They reached Timor after serving in Manchuria, Hong Kong and Ambon. The 1st and 3rd Battalions were based in the West, the 2nd in Dili. Of the 2nd only a handful survived Guadalcanal. Those who became P.O.W.'s still refuse, despite genuine encouragement, to join the 228 Regiment Association. The general consensus was the troops were withdrawn under orders to be sent to Guadalcanal with the other troops, which came from West Timor and the South coast mobilized to replace the 228 from Dili. Once each force made physical contact with one another, time had run out and the entire force moved back to Dili’. [6] The documentation related to the production of ‘Independent Company’ was deposited in the Research Collection at the Australian War Memorial. [7] ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I belatedly thank Colin South and his colleagues for the considerable effort they put into the production of ‘Independent Company’ that resulted in this unique and valuable visual record of the Timor Campaign. I also thank Colin for providing additional information about the production in our telephone conversation on 23 April 2020. REFERENCES [1] ‘Brigadier Michael Calvert (1913–1998) – Trainer and Long-Term Friend of the Doublereds’ https://doublereds.org.au/forums/topic/85-brigadier-michael-calvert-1913–1998-–-trainer-and-long-term-friend-of-the-doublereds/?tab=comments#comment-133 [2] ‘The story of how 300 Australians held of the Japanese In Timor: Winnie The War Winner’s Tale’ Canberra Times Monday September 28, 1987: 1, 6 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page12979370 [3] https://www.mediaworld.com.au [4] ‘Anzac Day – Dawn Service – The March – The Get-Together – Meet the Visitors’ 2/2 Commando Courier June 1987: 3-4 https://doublereds.org.au/couriers/1987/Courier%20June%201987.pdf [5] No. 2 Independent Company war diary entry, 18 August 1942 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1363501 [6] ‘Independent Company Timor Documentary’ 2/2 Commando Courier December 1987: 8-9. https://doublereds.org.au/couriers/1987/Courier%20December%201987.pdf [7] ‘Correspondence, scripts, research notes and other source material used in the production of two videos by Media World Pty Ltd ‘Flowers of Rethymnom’ (Crete 1942) and ‘Independent Company’ (2/2nd Independent Company on Timor 1942 to 1943). Language English, Portuguese, Tetum and Dutch.’ AWM PR91/136. https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C242361
  10. THE Australian Defence Cooperation Program (DCP): Timor-Leste team in Dili in cooperation with their New Zealand colleagues prepared this special video as a substitute for the usual live dawn ceremony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbw_N3jOqXI&feature=youtu.be
  11. Beau, I think 'Bloss' is John Barrasford Lawrence (see link) - can't identify 'Flea' as yet. Also see the attached photo - writing on the back identifies as being taken at the 1946 or 1947 reunion.
  12. LOCATION Coordinates: 8°39'24.9"S 125°24'31.9"E INTRODUCTION The ‘Battle’ of Grade Lau was a signature ambush conducted by A Platoon of the No. 2 Independent Company on 3 March 1942 in the early part of the Timor campaign. It’s recollection has perhaps been overshadowed by the Japanese attack at Bazar-Tete that took place a couple of days before when two B Platoon men were killed in action and three were wounded. [1] The Japanese were aware other elements of No. 2 Independent Company were in close proximity further south and pressed on aggressively with columns advancing from Bazar Tete and Railaco towards the A Platoon positions at Grade Lau. Cyril Ayris in Chapter 14 of ‘All the Bull’s men’ titled ‘The unit strikes back’ gives an account of this action conducted under the astute leadership of Captain Rolf Baldwin of A Platoon who had anticipated the direction of the Japanese advance, set his Sections well in prepared positions, timed the ambush in order to inflict maximum casualties on the enemy and planned an organised withdrawal that enabled all the men under his command to escape unharmed. An estimated 30 or more Japanese soldiers were killed in the ambush. Fortunately, detailed first hand accounts of the ambush were recorded by Rolf Baldwin, 2 Section soldier Jack Hartley and some other participants. The information they provided enables the site to be fairly accurately located, which is often not the case with other actions during the campaign. THE OFFICIAL RECORD Unit War Diary Entry The unit war diary recorded the action as follows: 3 Mar At approx. 1000 hours approx. 150 Japanese moved to A Platoon position to attack it. They were ambushed by No. 2 Section (now rested after the aerodrome action) under Lieutenant MCKENZIE and a few of Platoon HQ, the whole operation directed by Captain BALDWIN. The Japanese lost two officers and 30 ORs but there were no casualties to our troops. The enemy withdrew after that action and A Platoon commenced to move to HATOLIA. [2] Rolf Baldwin’s Report Lieutenants Rolf Baldwin and Bernard Callinan, Wilsons Promontory, early 1941 [3] A few months later Rolf Baldwin submitted his report on the action to Bernard Callinan: MAPE 1 AUG 42 Dear Bern, Below are my reminiscences of the great battle of GRADE LAU, which I think is the name given to the locality by the natives. You can modify its sensational tone if desired. For some days before the night of 3/4 MAR 42 A Pl[atoon] was dispersed in section positions over approximately 1 ½ miles of the big ridge SOUTH of RAILACO. On the morning of 3 MAR it was reported to Capt BALDWIN that a large party of Japs was at BOIBAO. Cpl PALMER was despatched with a party of 5 men to O.P. this body of the enemy. Soon after the departure of Cpl PALMER it was reported. that the Japs attacked Lieut NISBET'S section on KOOT LAU, near BAZAR TETE. Almost at the same time Japs were reported in RAILACO. In the early evening of 3 MAR a conference of section leaders was held in which L/Sgt DENMAN took the place of Lieut DEXTER who was absent on recce duty behind DILLI. The following dispositions were then made: 2 section, under Lieut McKENZIE, to guard the approach from KOOT LAU at the WEST end of the ridge; 3 section, under Lieut TURNER to guard the approach from RAILACO at the EAST end of the ridge; 1 section under L/Sgt DENMAN and Pl H.Q., under Capt BALDWIN in the centre to be in reserve. Soon after daylight on 4 MAR Aft many heavy explosions were heard from the general direction of TOCOLULLI. Then followed reports from 1 section that enemy could be seen advancing up [the] ridge from RAILACO, and from 2 section that approx. 60 enemy were advancing from the WEST end of the ridges. Orders were sent to 3 section warning them of the approach of the RAILACO party and to 1 section to be ready to move to support 3 section if necessary. After the despatch of these orders Capt BALDWIN moved Pl H.Q. to the support of 2 section. When he arrived at 3 section's area Japs could be plainly seen advancing along a track about 800 yards away. Our troops were rapidly put into positions on the hilltop above the track along which the Japs were moving, with 2 section flanking and PI H.Q. enfilading at a range of 150 - 200 yards. Almost as soon as these dispositions were complete, came the first burst of concentrated fire against the Japs. As far as our troops could see half a dozen Japs were killed immediately, and a similar number in the half hour sniping duel which followed. Native reports however put the enemy's casualties as 31. Our own were nil. No contact being possible between 2 section and H.Q. during the firing, the skirmish was broken off at discretion some half hour after the commencement. 2 section then retreated to the EAST along the ridge, H.Q. to the NORTH, into places of concealment. During the day of 4 MAR there was much movement of Japs on the ridge and our own men lay in successful hiding, save for a few chance meetings between individuals and the enemy. From these encounters our men all escaped. During the night of 4 MAR the movement of our sections to the SOUTH began, independently, according to prearranged plan. No casualties were incurred. R.R. Baldwin, Capt [4] JACK HARTLEY’S STORY Jack Hartley, 11 December 1941, just before he joined the No. 2 Independent Company in Dili John Frederick (Jack) Hartley (NX78025) was a member of the First Reinforcements for the No. 2 Independent Company that arrived in Dili aboard M.V. Koolama on 22 Jan 1942. [5] Jack recorded a very full and informative memoir of his Timor campaign experiences that was heavily relied upon by Cyril Ayris in Chapter 14 of ‘All the Bull’s men’ that begins with an account of the ‘battle’. [6] Relevant extracts from Jack’s memoir follow here: To Railaco [After arriving in Dili] We had a meal at the drome, after which we were given a lecture by Captain Bernard Callinan, the 2 I/C of the Company. Then humping our gear again we set out on a twelve mile trek up into the hills. The first stop was at Three Spurs camp where we had lunch and then pushed on up to Railaco. The camp at Railaco was only in its infancy and very little had been done to make it comfortable, so we had to pitch in next morning to get things shipshape. One long grass hut was sufficient to quarter most of us, plus the "Q" store and kitchen. New huts had to be built for Headquarters, the hospital, sigs wireless hut and the ammunition dump. Slit trenches had to be dug for defences and protection from air raids. Latrines ten feet deep were one of the more urgent tasks. Water was pretty scarce and we were obliged to carry it in buckets and bamboos from a small spring a couple of hundred yards down the slope from the camp. There was a large pineapple plantation nearby which was given quite a caning by the troops, with obvious results. Too much tropical fruit is not to be recommended as a suitable diet when one is not used to it. The days passed quickly enough and after the work was done and the camp completed we settled down to serious training in weaponry. ….. Sent to No.2 Section Meanwhile the men at Railaco had been allotted to go to different Sections and I was fortunate enough to be sent to No.2 Section, the first Section to go into action. The camp was broken up and everyone left there carrying as much food and ammunition as he was capable of humping. I personally had a change of clothing, a blanket and battle jacket, some tins of food and a Thompson submachine gun with about six hundred rounds of ammunition and three hand grenades. The weight of the ammunition was terrific, but I had no idea when we would be able to replenish our supply and I had no intention of running out, so I chose to carry as much as I possibly could pack. I later acquired a drum magazine which added to the load. Water Pipe Camp Tom Mildren, Keith Brown, Harry Cole and George Miller had been drafted to No.2 Section with Lt. Gerry McKenzie and only had to move a couple of miles to join them. Most of "A" Platoon were at Water Pipe Camp and it was to here that the men from the drome made their way. The camp derived its name from the bamboo pipe line built to carry water from a small spring about half a mile from the camp around the side of a mountain. In charge of the camp was Captain Rolf Baldwin as O/C "A" Platoon. Lieutenant David Dexter was in charge of No. 1 Section, and Lieutenant Clarrie Turner was in charge of No. 3 Section. Among the first of 2 Section to come in were Joe Poynton and Neil Hooper. The others straggled in over the next couple of days until all were present with the exception of the 3 men who were lost on the drome. Lt. McKenzie took charge of his Section again and with the five reinforcements to bring it up to full strength, the Section was soon ready for action again. By this time the Company C.O. Major Spence had moved with his headquarters to Hatolia and for the present there was no definite plan of action. "B" Platoon under Captain Geoff Laidlaw had its headquarters at Liquiça on the north coast and would stay there until it was pushed out. "A" Platoon were about ten miles inland from "B" Platoon, and "c" Platoon were at Hatolia. ‘… moved a couple of miles north’ As soon as "A" Platoon were properly organised, we left Water Pipe camp and moved a couple of miles north along the range we were on and set up three sectional camps at the most strategic points we could find. The ridge ran roughly north and south and on either side of it was a deep river gorge. A fairly good track ran along the top of the ridge and it was the most logical place for the Japs to come from the north coast when they wanted to move inland. Most of us had by now learned a smattering of Tetum, the native language, and we were able to buy fruit and eggs, vegetables and rice to supplement our own meagre rations. Also we had acquired some young criados who were willing to stick with us and carry our packs. For a couple of days things were quiet enough, but this happy state of affairs was not to last long. Contacting "B" Platoon One evening Cyril Doyle, Bruce Smith and I were assigned the task of contacting "B" Platoon with the idea of finding out what their positions were and what plans of action they had. We had to go down into a valley and then up a steep range to reach Liquiça where we expected to find their headquarters. We reached the top of the range and were only a short distance from their headquarters when we met Cpl Norm Thornton and from him we heard some bad news. "B" Platoon had been attacked the night before by a strong party of Japs and had been forced to withdraw into the hills. The problem was at this period we had no radio contact between platoons and runners were the only means of communication. Norm had been given the job of getting clear with a load of ammunition and had no idea of how the rest of the platoon were faring. ….. ‘… moved back up onto the top of the ridge’ As soon as it was light to see we moved back up onto the top of the ridge and took up a position covering the main track. We had a scratch breakfast of fruit and then sent our native boys off with our packs containing the odds and ends of gear we didn't need. That was the last we saw of those boys and our packs for as soon as the shooting started they just went bush. About nine o'clock the Japs made an appearance at a village about a mile away and we took up our positions. There were twenty of us lined up along the ridge running parallel with and above the track about fifty yards away. About a hundred yards away further up the track headquarters took up a position in an old stone fort to fire down the track. 1 Section and 3 Section were too far away to get to the scene in time to join in the fun. Being a tommy gunner I thought I could do more damage by being a bit forward of the Section, so I moved about another ten yards down the slope and took cover behind a tree. There was a small side track only a few yards below me and I thought if they came along this I could play merry hell with them. The Japanese Ambushed However, the Japs came along the lower track with an officer leading them on horseback and the rest in close single file. There were about fifty in the first group and we allowed the leaders to get slightly past us before we opened fire. The officer on the horse and a lot more went down under the first burst of fire, but the others dived for cover and in what seemed only a few seconds were firing back with machine guns and mortars. One mortar bomb exploded in the trees above me and another landed in the stone fort, but no one was hurt. Most of the mortars went over the ridge and exploded behind us. One Jap ran straight towards us and dropped behind a log about twenty yards below me. I put a few rounds into the log to keep him down and then Tom Mildren who was firing over my head with a snipers rifle got him through the thigh and put him out of action. Withdrawal The warning came from our rear scout that another big party of Japs were coming around the hill behind us so Gerry McKenzie gave the order to withdraw. I was too occupied and didn't hear the order and carried on firing. Tom Mildren looked around when the Section had gone about fifty yards and saw I wasn't coming, so he stopped and yelled out to me. By the time I'd scrambled back up the ridge the others were out of sight. Just then the first of the second bunch of Japs put in an appearance about thirty yards away so I took off down the hill after the Section. I could hear a submachine gun blazing away behind me and expected to cop it any second, but the Jap must have been a poor shot and I managed to outrun him. About a quarter of a mile down the hill I caught up with Pte Lou Marchant who was on the point of exhaustion from malaria. I urged him on and we finally caught up with the others who were waiting for us. We moved on immediately as the Japs had seen us and were firing down the hill with what sounded like Bren guns. They were getting too close for comfort, so we kept on going around the mountain and finally ended up down in the river gorge on the wrong side to where we wanted to be. The Japs kept firing for a couple of hours after we were out of sight, but we didn't see any more of them. ESCAPE Corporal Kevin Curran later recalled how some of the men escaped from the ambush site: After the mortaring the Australians fell back to a position, but it was found here that they had been outflanked by a second Japanese party. In the movement which followed, Two Section and Pl HQ became separated, the section going to one side of the track and the troops to the other. They were forced then to take cover in the bushes, lying low all day. Cpl Curran and fourteen privates on one side of the track stayed in hiding until four thirty, watching the Japanese walking about, at times so close that they could have reached out and touched them. When the night fog came down the whole of the forces left their hiding places and trekked onto the main Dilli to Ermera Road. The Section men were the first to leave and they, shortly followed by Platoon HQ set off for Hatu-Lia, the pre-arranged rendezvous. [7] LOCATING THE BATTLEFIELD TODAY Railaco can be reached comfortably by vehicle from Dili – the 30 kilometre drive will take approximately 50 minutes. A walk into the nearby hills will then be required to reach the ‘Battle’ of Grade Lau site. Drive route from Dili to the ‘Battle’ of Grade Lau site The site of the ‘Battle of Grade Lau’ can be approximated using relevant location information derived from the available first-hand accounts in the unit war diary, Baldwin’s report and Jack Hartley’s reminiscences. The following map based on a current Google Maps satellite view of the area attempts to illustrate where the A Platoon sections were situated, the directions from which the Japanese approached. The map also indicates the direction in which the A Platoon men left after the battle. I emphasise that if the indicated location is correct, the landscape would have to have been more heavily vegetated and less closely settled in March 1942 than it is now, otherwise they would not have been able to conceal themselves as effectively as they did prior to the ambush and afterwards when making their escape. ‘Battle’ of Grade Lau site The efficacy of nominating this location for the battlefield can be best tested by visiting Railaco, assessing the terrain and speaking to local residents who could be asked questions such as: · Are you aware of a battle nearby during WWII where the Australians fought the Japanese? · Is there a place nearby called Grade Lau? · Is there a track that runs from Bazar-Tete to Railaco? · Is there an old stone fort on the high ground nearby? · Do you know where the Australians camped in Railaco and nearby The answers given to these questions should determine whether the nominated battlefield site is correct or the ambush occurred in another place that can then be visited, surveyed and documented. It is hoped that visiting and surveying this location and other commando campaign sites can be accomplished as soon as practicable after the current health crisis is over and travel restrictions are lifted. This post will be updated once more definitive information is available. Those visiting the location beforehand may wish to ask the aforementioned questions of local residents before attempting the walk – employing a guide before proceeding is also recommended. REFERENCES [1] https://doublereds.org.au/forums/topic/214-commando-campaign-sites-–-east-timor-liquica-district-bazar-tete/ [2] No. 2 Independent Company war diary, Item number 25/3/2/5 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1367000. [3] https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-136262775/view [4] Baldwin’s report is included in No. 2 Independent Company war diary, Item number 25/3/2/5 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1367000. [5] https://doublereds.org.au/history/men-of-the-22/nx/john-frederick-hartley-r181/ [6] Jack Hartley ‘… glossary of personal experiences during the time I spent with the 2/2 Commando Squadron in Timor’, copy of printed notes held in 2/2 Commando Association of Australia archives. [7] S.A. Robinson, [Timor (1941-1942) - Sparrow Force and Lancer Force - Operations]: The Campaign in Portuguese Timor, A narrative of No 2 Independent Company. Story prepared by Corporal S.A. Robinson, No. 5 Military History Field Team: 30-32. – Australian War Memorial file AWM54 571/4/53. ADDITIONAL READING Ayris, Cyril. - All the Bull's men : No. 2 Australian Independent Company (2/2nd Commando Squadron) / Cyril Ayris. - [Perth, W.A.] : 2/2nd Commando Association, 2006: Ch. 14 ‘The unit strikes back’, esp. 162-166. Cleary, Paul. - The men who came out of the ground : a gripping account of Australia's first commando campaign : Timor 1942. - Sydney : Hachette Australia, 2010: 109-110. Wigmore, Lionel. - The Japanese thrust. - Canberra : Australian War Memorial, 1957. Ch. 21 ‘Resistance in Timor’: 466-495 (Australia in the war of 1939-1945. Series 1, Army ; v. 4): 481. Wray, Christopher C. H. - Timor 1942 : Australian commandos at war with the Japanese. - Hawthorn, Vic. : Hutchinson Australia, 1987: 76. Prepared by Ed Willis Revised: 13 April 2020
  13. GPS: 8°53'38.0"S 125°42'16.0"E INTRODUCTION Mindelo is a village in the Turiscai district of the Manufahi Municipality. The district had a population of 7,718 at the time of the 2015 census. The village population was 593 at that time. [1] Confusingly, Mindelo is also known as Maubisse (or Mau-Bessi), the same name as the nearby large town that is in the Ainaro Municipality with which it shares a long and sometimes violent history. LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION 1943 MINDELO (Mau-Bessi - ... ) is 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Aileu at a bearing of 140°. Mau-Bessi is a small posto and market town and must not be confused with Maubisse in the same province. The buildings comprise posto and administrative block and barracks, also a church. The posto is surrounded by trees which give fair air cover. The town is connected to other districts by pony tracks only. There is a good water supply in the district. Australian troops occupied this town during October, 1942. [2] Location of Mindelo shown on map from the ‘Area Study of Portuguese Timor’ [3] The following oblique aerial photo from December 1942 gives an excellent idea of the terrain in which Mindelo is located and the directions to the nearest significant locations – Tutuloro and Turiscai/Maubisse. Central mountain country. Mindelo looking southwest – November 17 1942 [4] Visiting Mindelo Today Mindelo lies approximately 127 kilometres south of Dili by road via Same. If road conditions are good Same can be reached by vehicle from Dili in 3½ hours. Mindelo is located 13.7 kms north of Same and can be driven along a track suitable only for a four-wheel drive vehicle. [5] Driving conditions and the time required to reach Mindelo from Same will vary depending upon if there has been recent rain and how recently the track has been maintained – landslides, rock and tree falls, slippages and collapses are persistent problems on these types tracks in Timor-Leste. Map - Dili to Mindelo by road Trekking in, if you are fit and time is available, or using a motorbike are alternative modes of transport. If trekking you may wish to try and follow the track described in the Area Study of Portuguese Timor: 32a. Track Same to Junction Track 32 to Alas to Maubisse: Two hours' walking. A good track goes north from Same, crossing three or four creeks and climbing divides between. At a junction of tracks two miles (3 km.) north of Same, the track swings east, descends to the Carau-Ulo River, climbs the divide on the other side, and drops steeply to another branch of the Sue River, where one track leads north to Mindelo (Maubessi) and the other track continues east to Alas. Both rivers cause delay in the wet season. [6] Track from Same to Mindelo – GERTIL map Mindelo – satellite view – Google Maps HARRY WRAY’S RECOLLECTION OF MINDELO – October 1942 Corporal Harry Wray of the Signals Section, as is often the case, can be relied on to provide a good description of Mindelo: [7] Description Our journey ended at Mindelo where we arrived on the 15th October 1942. Mindelo was the site of a Posto and was in an area that consisted of hills and mountains as far as the eye could see. The Posto was located on the top of a long mountain ridge that rose upward from the end on which the Posto was located. The ground where the Posto stood had been levelled off for about three hundred yards and was about one hundred yards wide. As well as the Posto residence there were a number of other buildings, one a school. The inevitable cock fighting ring stood in the middle of the space used for the weekly markets close by the Posto. In order to make the level space I have described, stone retaining walls had been built along parts of the ridge, and these at one end near the Posto were covered with thick growths of passion fruit vines. As I have said the Posto was at the lower end of the ridge or spur, which rose upwards from the Posto for several hundred yards going upwards and away from the Posto. The ridge was razor backed and just wide enough for a bridle path. This widened out further up and there stood the ruins of a large stone building, gutted by fire, and a little further on the huts of a large village lay about in heaps of ashes. Local Situation This district had been ravaged by internecine war and villages and crops destroyed wholesale. The Posto and school were deserted, and very few natives to be seen. Those still remaining in the area were miserable frightened people who were rarely seen. Food was very scarce around Mindelo and as we were living on the land we fared badly, and for weeks our diet consisted of inferior sweet potatoes for the most part, and even these were hard to come by. Living Conditions George, the Platoon commander [8], chose a small hollow in the side of the ridge beyond Mindelo Posto, and roughly just below the burnt out village I have mentioned. There was a small U-shaped patch of ground like a shelf sheltered in the hillside, and well hidden from view. A spring seeping from the hillside made the ground rather boggy all the time. We built ourselves a small hut just large enough for us three Signallers to sleep in and to shelter the wireless set, but it was rather leaky when it rained. The other men were camped here and there round about in twos and threes in little huts. Role After the first few days there were only about seven or eight of us and the Captain (George) camped there. The others were camped here and there around Mindelo to keep and eye on the approaches. We were on the fringes of, if not actually in a pro-Jap area, and the Japs were occupying a Porto town [Maubisse] in force, not far away. Mindelo was in a district where heavy mists came down over the mountaintops during the afternoon and persisted all night until well after sun up in the morning. The result of this was that guarding a path or keeping a look out from a hilltop was not the easiest of jobs when the mist was about. Morale and Events Morale was bad among a number of the men in the Platoon at this time, and they were very nervy and jumpy, not without some cause, I must admit, and some of them had harrowing experiences at various times to add to their present frayed state. At night we used to have a guard posted on the ridge among the ruins of the village above us. I know that when I had my turn I would often find the guard had spent his hour or two just within sight and call of the camp instead of several hundred or more yards away on the ridge. It was lone and eerie walking up and down among the ruins of the village, one seemed utterly alone and miles away from anyone. I often used to speculate as to the fate of the villagers, and on some bright moonlight nights I used to scratch about in the ashes of the huts to see if I could find any bones of the inmates. I do not know whether the inhabitants were murdered, or just driven off. One thing in favour of the post on this ridge, it always seemed to be above the mist, and one had a good view for a reasonable distance about. In most parts of Timor the hillsides for miles around were bright with tiny dots of light from the village fires. These were often seen twinkling through the nightly mists, but at Mindelo there was not a fire to be seen in this desolated district. SIGNIFICANCE By the middle of October 1942 pressure was increasing in all areas as the Japanese spread disaffection among the Timorese. Maubisse was now well established by the Japanese who were using the town as a base for the training and collection of rebel natives, some of whom more shirts and shorts, living in the village with the Japanese. Whenever Australian patrols approached this area, the natives from the surrounding country withdrew back into the township and there sought the protection of the Japanese. Parties of fifty or sixty natives, urged on from the rear by two or three Japanese, carried out raids against the units at Mindelo and Turiscai. Almost daily, Australian patrols fought actions against these parties resulting in the deaths of ten, twenty or thirty natives but only one or two Japanese. The Japanese were not only using the natives as a weapon in their fight against the Australians but also as a means of destroying Portuguese authority on the island. [9] TWO MEN MISSING IN ACTION - PTES ANDY SMEATON AND GEORGE THOMAS It was during this period, on 11 November 1942, that the 2/2nd lost two men, Privates Andy Smeaton [10] and George Thomas. [11] They were members of C Platoon No. 8 Section. The Unit War Diary entry recorded what happened as follows: 11 November 1942 "C" P1 have had another clash with the Japanese and their natives. At 0845 hrs Lieut McKENZIE reported hearing rifle fire and also Brens from the direction of No VIII Secs position. His HQ OP saw movement on skylines in that direction also. Some creados came in from there and said many natives and Japanese were attacking No VIII and had burnt their shelters. At 1300 hrs he reported further the forward sub-sec had been attacked and the rear sub-sec had opened fire on another party of enemy. By 0930 hrs both sub-sections had been forced out of their positions by weight of numbers. They inflicted numerous casualties all of whom were carried out by other natives. Unfortunately one Bren gun was lost. Another party which was moving out to MINDELO was intercepted and attacked by No VII Sec. This party left their dead and wounded and scattered. Both sub-sections are safe but two men, Ptes SMEATON and THOMAS, are missing. [12] TWO EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNTS OF THE ACTION Stan Sadler’s Story Stan Sadler provided this personal account: 8 Section was then sent to man an observation post forward of Mindelo and this we did for about a week. We were camped in a hut in a small thicket of trees and the O.P. was up a 'steep, bare rise - about 500 yards away. There was some cover on top of the O.P., which was on a flat ridge and gave a good view of the countryside towards Turiscai. Two men would go up at first light in the morning and two would relieve them at lunch time and go on until dark. This lasted a week and we saw some movement of small parties of Japs and some natives at times. Chas and I were on O.P. the afternoon before the attack and we saw a lot of native movement and heard a big gathering of them in the distance. We reported it when we came off at night. In the morning, George Thomas and Andy Smeaton went up at 1st light. That morning also, some bombers from Darwin had come over us on their way to bomb Dili. We had been cheered by that. Chas, Tom Coyle and another had gone down to the creek about half a mile down the hill to have a wash and get water. Then we heard the sound of machine gun fire from the O.P. There were four or five of us in the hut and we soon packed up and retreated. Bullets were cutting off the leaves of trees above us as we slid down the steep slope. We managed to get down to a steep gully and after some trouble, made our way down this and back to a place called Fai Nain. We never saw George and Andy again, but the native boy who was with-them got away and he told us that George was hit. Andy had run away but had gone back to help George and that was the finish. It was a blow to us and we never really got over it. [13] Alan Adams Story Alan Adams was also present: We lost George Thomas and Andy Smeaton on the 11th November 1942, a day I remember only too well. We stood to at dawn, and then George and Andy went to our O.P., which was located fairly close to our camp. They did not report back so it was all clear, so we set about getting breakfast ready. There was a little spring nearby where we used to wash while breakfast was cooking. Another mate and I went to the spring to wash. Walking down a little ridge on the way down he went to relieve himself, at that stage the Japs opened fire on us from the O.P. He came flying over to me unhurt. The only way we could go was downhill to the valley. A cliff face blocked us. The only other way was open country so we were trapped. There was a small patch of scrub near the spring and we had to make a quick decision - open country or hide in the bushes which was hardly big enough for us and our creado to hide in. We chose the bushes, the Japs came down to the spring and were talking away not knowing we were a few yards away. After a while they went away. Then we had to decide what to do next. We decided to stay, as we didn't know if they were still in the area. It was a very long day and as it got dark we moved out. We didn't know what happened to the rest of the Section or where they went. We walked all night to where they might be and found them safe and all well, so ended a very traumatic and lucky escape. We never found out what happened to George and Andy as far as I know. [14] JIM SMAILES ON ANDY SMEATON AND GEORGE THOMAS Jim Smailes wrote about the personal backgrounds of Andy Smeaton and George Thomas: Towards the end of November No. 8 Section under Lt John Burridge, had a very bad time of it in the Maubisse area. There was trouble with natives, and much Japanese activity. They had developed a habit of sleeping in the bush rather than a hut in case of ambush during the night. This particular night it had rained so they slept inside except for guards. Just on daylight two men went out to man the observation post. Shots were heard which of course aroused the rest of the section and they made their escape in various directions. The other two men were never heard of again. Neither on the island, through natives or even after the war. It is certain that they were not taken prisoner, so must have been killed by those shots, but if that is so, it saved the lives of the others who were encircled by Japanese, and most likely would have killed more with their ambush. As it was all the others escaped and were able to regroup and re-establish again as a section. George Thomas The two lost were Andy Smeaton and George Thomas. George had been over and spent a few days with me only the week before. He had had malaria rather badly and become run down. When he left to rejoin the Section he gave his wallet and a few odds and ends to me to look after, as he thought it was very bad where they were, and would I do the right thing if anything happened to him. I did just that after we got home and visited his parents and brother who lived in Boulder. They had hopes of George returning when peace came, but I did not encourage this view. They were fine folks but had no idea about what George had been through, and what was involved in this class of warfare. George had been a storeman on the Great Boulder Mines and was highly regarded by management. Andy Smeaton Andy Smeaton was a real loner, did not appear to have any friends or relations, and was very inclined to get into trouble with officers and higher authority. He was a very, likable young chap, and I had always got on well with him. Once out on a patrol with him, he had confided to me that he had never known his father, and in fact nobody knew who he was. He said that back in Scotland his mother became involved with a young soldier from Australia who was in hospital with wounds from France in 1916. He evidently used a false name and after he had taken her out a few times, he returned to his unit, and was never heard of again. The girl later found herself pregnant, and nobody of this soldier’s name could be found. Thus he had his mother’s surname of Smeaton, and he grew up in one of Dr Bernado's homes in Britain. He made light of his origins and held no malice for his mother or her family. He was sent out to Australia at about six years of age to the Fairbridge Farm School at Pinjarra in Western Australia. At 14, in 1931, he was found a job with a wheat farmer, and moved about on labouring and farming work until enlisting in Wagin in 1941. His sole aim in defending this country was to do his bit to make sure the Hannan's Brewery was intact when he got back again. It was the best beer he had ever tasted, and I think he had been quite a good judge of lager in his short life. Just before the Japanese invasion, Andy was on guard duty one night at Three Spurs Camp and fired a shot at a noise of some sort. This was taboo with the situation so tense, and Andy was on the mat next day for disobeying orders. Each man had five rounds in his rifle, but we were not supposed to fire unless ordered to do so. Major Spence and Sgt. Major Craigie slept in a tent on their own, and they had some boxes between their beds upon which stood a bottle of whiskey. With the firing of the shot, both men came to the scene, and after conferring, decided to take disciplinary action next morning. When they returned to the tent the whiskey was gone. This of course made things worse, and Andy was fined 5 pounds, and this put as a deduction in his pay book. When he got outside the ‘court’ he picked up his rifle and let off the other four rounds for good measure. He was then arrested and had to come up again next day. I was one of his escort that morning, and I got chatted by Spence because my safety catch was off, which, he pointed out, was not required in guard duties. In his defence Andy mentioned being a Fairbridge boy, and Spence did not know what he meant, and being from W.A., asked me to explain. This I did, which revealed his start in life and hard time since, Spence then let him go with a caution and quashed the fine for yesterday’s misdemeanour also; Paddy Knight, Andy and the others said they enjoyed the whisky. [15] Smailes also provided this additional comment in the vale he prepared for William (Scotty) Taylor, the 8 Section Corporal: He was terribly upset over the deaths of Smeaton and Thomas almost at the end of a year without loss in the Section. He wrote me a note together with some private papers of George Thomas, to deliver to his parents in Boulder if I should get home and try to find somebody who new Smeaton. He felt that the lives of the Section had been saved by the sacrifice of these two mates. [16] REDEMPTION - DAMIEN PARER FILMS THE MINDELO RAID In November 1942 Damien Parer, the renowned war correspondent and film maker/photographer travelled to Portuguese Timor to film the No. 2 Independent Company in action. He was accompanied by William Marien, an Australian Broadcasting Commission journalist, and an English journalist Dickson Brown, who was reporting for English and American publications. [17] Parer and his companions arrived at No. 2 Independent Company HQ at Tutuloro, a few kilometres southeast of Mindelo on the afternoon of 13 November 1942 as recorded in the unit war diary: 13 November 1942 Ptes SMEATON A and THOMAS GE are still missing and so must be presumed captured. [18] …. Lieut Doig, who is reporting back to the Coy for duty, Lieut SNELL, of the RNEI Army, and DAMIEN PARER, the official cinematographer for the Department of Information, arrived at Coy HQ [TUTULORO], at approx. 1530 hrs. The scene was set for subsequent events at Mindelo by Lieutenant Gerry McKenzie’s report and recommendation of the previous day: 12 November 1942 Later the same morning more natives attacked No VII Sec’s position near MINDELO but these were driven off with losses. During the rest of the day No VII Sec sent out small patrols to shoot up a lot of stray natives who had been very friendly to the Japanese natives. Also a large patrol was sent out to locate the main force. Lieut McKENZIE states the native chief at TUTULORO is loyal and has a lot of natives who will fight with us if armed. The hostile natives from Maubisse probed towards Mindelo again on the 14 November: 14 November 1942 A quiet day the only activity being reported from “C” Pl who at 1245 hrs reported their forward OPs had seen approx. 200 natives approaching their positions from the direction of MAOBISSE. Forward sections were in position to oppose them. The C Platoon men actively opposed the intruders the following day: 15 November 1942 No V Sec of “B” Pl stationed at TURISCAI reported seeing fires burning and hearing shooting from the direction of MINDELO this morning. They were advised these activities were part of “C” Pls campaign against the hostile natives in that area. …. “C” Pl report early this morning the party of natives reported yesterday as moving towards MINDELO turned back and returned to MAOBISSE the same evening. It seems a plan of action was put together by the HQ staff of No. 2 IC and Lt McKenzie for C Pl to attack Mindelo next day with the assistance of local warriors provided by the sympathetic chief of Tutuloro. There was long standing animosity between the people of Tutuloro (‘good boongs’) and Mindelo (‘bad boongs’). [19] 16 November 1942 "C" Pl advise a detachment of our troops and 100 loyal natives under Lieut McKENZIE ATTACKED THE hostile area between MINDELO and MAOBISSE. The operation was very successful. Forty-six natives were killed and forty-one captured; approx. 110 huts were burnt down and many buffalos pigs etc captured. Our native friends acquired themselves a lot of native women who originally were the property of the men who were killed by our troops. Private Harry Sproxton carried a Tommy gun when they went into the village that day. The 9 Section men machine-gunned the huts and the Timorese followed through with spears and machetes, causing what Sproxton described as ‘a bit of carnage’. Sproxton saw more than 40 dead people being thrown into huts, which were then set alight. [20] Parer filmed the assault remotely and the vision includes a long distance shot of a burning village that is almost certainly Mindelo from the descriptions given above. [21] Mindelo ablaze – still from Damien Paper’s film ‘Australian guerrillas on Timor’ [22] He also witnessed the tragic aftermath of the events just described as the victorious warriors brought home their captives and booty. In a sequence that he called ‘native victory march’, Parer wrote in his ‘dope sheet’ for those later preparing the movie commentary: ‘They have just returned from doing up the bad boongs; in the fight they killed 46, captured women 28, captured boongs 3, children 7, pigs 3, horses 6. All our boongs returned safely and there were 8 Aussies with the boongs in the show. The three captured were later killed by the natives when our boys left them’. [23] Australian guerrillas In Timor. Natives in victory parade. Natives friendly to the Australians attacked a tribe which was in the pay of the Japanese. Picture shows natives captured in the raid. (Negative By Parer). [24] 17 November 1942 Having secured the Mindelo site: “C” Pl have commenced a drive against the hostile natives in the area. Five men of No. IX Sec with 40 natives attacked approx. 500 Japanese natives near the junction of the MINDELO-MAOBISSE-TURISCAI tracks and forced them to retire. They are now in a position to meet a counter attack. Parer used the less hazardous circumstances to recreate and film some of the previous day’s action during the attack on the village. Pan shot (staged). Good boongs dash through with blazing spear to set fire to huts. [25] Mindello [Mindelo], Portuguese Timor, 1942-11. Members of the 2/2nd Australian Independent Company, assisted by friendly natives, burn down pro-Japanese natives' huts. (Film Still) [26] NORFORCE apparently sent two Hudson bombers to reconnoitre the area probably after receiving Sparrow Force reports of these events. The planes presence was recorded in the No. 2 IC war diary: “C” Pl from MINDELO saw one large unidentified twin-fuselaged [sic] plane heading NORTH at 0615 hrs. They also saw two unidentified planes flying low up the bed of the SUE River at 0630 hrs. [27] Lts McKENZIE, BURRIDGE and COLE arrived at Coy HQ late this evening. Also DAMIEN PARER arrived here on his return to FORCE HQ [at Alas]; he has now almost completed his film on TIMOR. [28] A Hudson bomber reconnoitres the burning Mindelo, 17 November 1942 [29] The men of C Platoon enjoyed a bit of ‘down time’ and sustenance after the intense activity and action of the previous few days. A meal of water buffalo and rice is enjoyed by (L-R): Dave Richie, Eric Herd and Harry Sproxton (9 Section) after the burning of Mindelo. (Rear): Bill Curtis and Roy Wilson. [30] REFERENCES [1] http://www.statistics.gov.tl/category/publications/census-publications/2015-census-publications/volume-2-population-distribution-by-administrative/ [2] Allied Forces South West Pacific Area. Allied Geographical Section. - Area study of Portuguese Timor. – [Melbourne?]: Allied Geographical Section, South West Pacific Area: The Section [Brisbane], 1943: 50. https://repository.monash.edu/items/show/26455#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0 [3] Area study of Portuguese Timor: Map 1. [4] Area study of Portuguese Timor: Map 30 [5] http://east-timor.places-in-the-world.com/1635225-place-Maubisse.html [6] Area study of Portuguese Timor: 49. [7] Corporal Arthur Henry Kilfield ‘Harry’ Wray (WX11485). - Recollections of the 2nd Independent Company Campaign on Timor, 1941-42: 220-222. Manuscript in the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia archives. [8] Captain George Boyland, WX6490, Officer Commanding, C Platoon. See Doublereds ‘Men of the 2/2’ entry https://doublereds.org.au/history/men-of-the-22/wx/george-boyland-r34/ [9] Christopher C.H. Wray. - Timor 1942 : Australian commandos at war with the Japanese. - Hawthorn, Vic. : Hutchinson Australia, 1987: 144. [10] Andrew Smeaton, WX5537 – See Doublereds ‘Men of the 2/2’ entry https://doublereds.org.au/history/men-of-the-22/wx/andrew-smeaton-r605/ [11] George Edgar Thomas, WX12592 – See Doublereds ‘Men of the 2/2’ entry https://doublereds.org.au/history/men-of-the-22/wx/george-edgar-thomas-r669/ [12] No.2 Independent Company War Diary, 11 November 1942 -https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1363501 – all subsequent references to the War Diary use this source. [13] Stan Sadler. - War service 1941-1945: 12. Manuscript in the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia archives. [14] Alan Adams ‘A close shave’ 2/2 Commando Courier March 2002: 11-12 https://doublereds.org.au/couriers/2002/March/ [15] Jim Smailes The Memoirs of James Palliser Smailes Chapter 6 – The 1940s: 145-146. Manuscript in the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia archives. [16] Jim Smailes ‘Vale – William (Scotty) Taylor’ 2/2 Commando Courier February 1987: 8-9 https://doublereds.org.au/couriers/1987/Courier%20February%201987.pdf [17] Wray. - Timor 1942 : Australian commandos at war with the Japanese: 154. [18] The story persists to this day amongst the local population that both men were captured alive and tortured in Maubisse before being executed. [19] See Doublereds disclaimer on the use of such now inappropriate language – ‘Important Notice’ https://doublereds.org.au/archives/articles/ [20] Paul Cleary. - The men who came out of the ground : a gripping account of Australia's first commando campaign : Timor 1942. - Sydney : Hachette Australia, 2010.: 260; author interview with Harry Sproxton, 10 October 2007. [21] See ‘LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION’ and ‘HARRY WRAY’S RECOLLECTION OF MINDELO – October 1942’. [22] https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C189152 [23] Paul Cleary. - The men who came out of the ground: 255. [24] https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C33234. [25] Paul Cleary. - The men who came out of the ground: 255, quoting Parer’s ‘dope sheet’ for the filmed sequence. [26] https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C56377. [27] The Sparrow Force war diary entry for 17 November 1942 is illegible. [28] No. 2 IC war diary for 18 November 1942 records ‘DAMIEN PARER departed Coy HQ for Force HQ at 0900 hrs. [29] https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C48293. Note this photo is officially, and probably incorrectly, labelled ‘HUDSONS OF NO. 13 SQUADRON WITHDRAWING AFTER BOMBING A JAPANESE POST AT MINDELO, IN MOUNTAINOUS COUNTRY IN CENTRAL PORTUGUESE TIMOR, ON 1942-12-17. (RAAF)’. I think the photo was more likely taken on the reconnaissance mission one month earlier on 17 November 1942. [30] https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C33181. Prepared by Ed Willis Revised 3 April 2020
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