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Edward Willis

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  1. Perth-based members and supporters of the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia are encouraged to visit an upcoming exhibition at the Wireless Hill Museum, Yagan Mia Wireless Hill Park, 1 Telefunken Drive, Ardross WA 6153. The centre piece of the exhibition will be a 3D textile version of ‘Winnie the War Winner’ created by Sandy Mack whose father was original unit member Terry Paull (WX12340). Sandy’s representation of the iconic radio set is remarkable and should provide quite a conversation piece and draw card for the exhibition. Full details regarding the location of the Museum a
  2. Dear Ken: See the Doublereds entry for your uncle linked below that includes details of the medals he was entitled to - let me know if you need any additional information. Harvey's service record can also be downloaded from: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=6468894&isAv=N Regards Ed Willis President, 2/2 Commando Association of Australia
  3. WWII in East Timor – A Site and Travel Guide LIQUIÇÁ MUNICIPALITY MAUBARA 8° 36' 42.98" S 125° 12' 22.00" E Maubara is 26 miles (42 km.) from Dili at a bearing of 262°. This small posto and market town is situated on the north coast and at the terminus of the coast road. The posto itself is constructed on a knoll with its usual administrative and auxiliary buildings. Several buildings were destroyed by floods during 1939. Other buildings are church, school, and residences, most of which are built of stone with galvanized iron roofing. There is an anchorage on th
  4. ‘The RAAF boys who fell out of the sky’. Sgt John Jones with (mounted) RAAF Sgt Webb and Flying Officer Gabb. [1] Introduction No. 31 Squadron was formed on the 14th August 1942. It was to be a long range fighter squadron equipped with Beaufighter aircraft, the first of which was received on the 23rd August 1942. The arrival of the squadron at Batchelor in the Northern Territory on the 27th October improved the RAAF’s fighting potentialities in North Western Area. After a few weeks of intensive training and familiarisation flights, No. 31 Squadron moved to its operational b
  5. INTRODUCTION It is the 79th anniversary of the Japanese assault on Dili (February 19-20 1942) that began the almost year long Australian commando campaign against the occupying enemy in, then, Portuguese Timor. The earliest account of the history of the campaign was written by Bernard Callinan and titled Independent Company and published in October 1953. The book was reprinted in 1984 and is widely regarded as one of the best of the personal WWII campaign histories genre. Back in 1966 he gave an insightful address to engineering undergraduates at the University of Melbourne (hi
  6. Dear Ed, Thank you for your suggestion to submit a funding proposal for 2/2nd to contribute to the Veterans Training Centre, Daisua, Same. I have completed the submission as below. Our successful implementation of this will be our partnership with Veterans Care Association, AHHA Education and the Timorese Veteran Foundation in TL/Same. As a result I have copied in CD Singh from AHHA, Gary Stone and Colin Ahern from VCA and Ambassador Ines Almeida from the TL Embassy. I have also copied in MP for Stirling, MP Vince Connelly, who has been highly supportive of our cooperation in Timor
  7. INTRODUCTION Dutch airmen who escaped to Australia after the Japanese invasion of the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) were brought together to form Dutch squadrons under RAAF command. First among these special squadrons was 18 (NEI) Squadron, formed at Canberra on 4 April 1942. Although nominally made up of Dutch nationals, the RAAF supplied many co-pilots, air gunners, bombardiers, photographers, and ground staff. The US provided supplies and equipment. In December the unit moved to MacDonald airstrip in the Northern Territory and began transforming the undeveloped site into a worka
  8. Further to our earlier post reporting that Ed Willis, President of the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia, in partnership with ex-SAS officer, Jim Truscott, OAM, has been awarded an Army History Unit Research Grant of $10,556 for the 2020/2021 financial year. The grant has been awarded for the preparation of a ‘WWII in East Timor – an Australian Army site and travel guide’ with the following objective: ‘Australian Defence personnel and others travelling to East Timor and wishing to learn more about and visit sites connected with the commando campaign conducted by the No. 2 and No.
  9. News item from Andrew Hastie, MHR regarding Ben Lindsay from Austin Cove Baptist College, the latest very worthy recipient of the Double Reds Resilience Award that he has introduced in the electorate of Canning. In the news item, Mr Hastie highlights the connection between the recent award of the posthumous Victoria Cross to Ordinary Seaman Edward (Teddy) Sheean of HMAS ‘Armidale’ and the 2/2. The corvette was sunk by Japanese aircraft on 1 December 1942 while approaching Timor to embark the 2/2 men who were to be evacuated from the island. Last Tuesday, on the anniversary of that
  10. WWII in East Timor – A Site and Travel Guide Commando Campaign Sites ERMERA MUNICIPALITY ATSABE 8°55′28″S 125°23′54″E Atsabe’s location in relation to other sites mentioned in the text [1] Atsabe (Nova Ourem - See Map No.7) is 9 miles (14 km.) at a bearing of 28° from Bobonaro. Atsabe is one of the larger postos and market centres and its buildings number about 20 in all. These stone buildings, most of which have galvanized iron roofing, comprise posto and administrative block, church, school and about 15 Chinese shops. About one mile (11/2 km.) along the
  11. Thanks Louis for this and the Facebook post. Regards Ed
  12. Ed Willis, President of the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia, in partnership with ex-SAS officer, Jim Truscott, OAM, has been awarded an Army History Unit Research Grant of $10,556 for the 2020/2021 financial year. The grant has been awarded for the preparation of a ‘WWII in East Timor – an Australian Army site and travel guide’ with the following objective: ‘Australian Defence personnel and others travelling to East Timor and wishing to learn more about and visit sites connected with the commando campaign conducted by the No. 2 and No. 4 Independent Company’s and the clandestin
  13. Association President, Ed Willis met with Andrew Hastie, MHR for Canning, on August 20. Ed lives in his electorate and was invited to meet Mr Hastie after he had read a paper Ed had prepared on the ‘Future of the Dare Memorial and a possible WWII Memorial In Dili’. Progress on the outcome of that discussion will be the topic of a future Facebook post and Doublereds news item. Finally, Mr Hastie said would like to use the 2/2 Timor story as the basis of a new award he wished to introduce for schools in the Canning electorate (those that are presented at assemblies and the like
  14. Wayne Havenaar, President of the NSW Commando Association, has advised that the Commando Memorial in Martin Place, Sydney, will be re-dedicated in a ceremony to held at 10:30 am on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 (Remembrance Day). Wayne advises: ‘[The re-dedicated memorial] has a new plaque with all units and deployments since WWII added. If you have anyone over this way, please let them know they are invited to attend however there are limited places due to Covid 19 restrictions, so booking is essential. Please see our website www.commando.asn.au on the notices page’. For informatio
  15. Dear Mina: Thank you for your enquiry. Bobonaro and Atsabe were both important towns during WWII in Timor-Leste with Australian troops based in them for lengthy periods, especially between March – September 1942. After that time the towns were occupied and garrisoned by the Japanese. Both towns were heavily bombed by both the Japanese and Allied air forces at different times. The following description and map of the town was published in the ‘Area study of Portuguese Timor’ (1943). The location of the Chinese shops is indicated on the map: Bobonaro … is 35 miles (5
  16. 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
  17. 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 man
  18. 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
  19. 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 ope
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