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Edward Willis

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Everything posted by Edward Willis

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Thanks Louis for this and the Facebook post. Regards Ed
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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 th
  13. 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 pe
  14. 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
  15. 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 Ju
  16. ‘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-victo
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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 f
  20. 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
  21. GPS: 8°49'25.36" S 125°42'16.34" E TURISCAI is a town in the Turiscai district of the Manufahi Municipality. The district had a population of 7,718 at the time of the 2015 census. Turiscai lies 87.5 kilometres south of Dili by road via Maubisse. If road conditions are good it can be reached by vehicle from Dili in approximately 3 ½ hours. Map - Dili to Turiscai by road Turiscai was a significant campaign site particularly between July 1942 and January 1943, being frequently occupied as Section and Platoon headquarters by both the No. 2 and No. 4 Independent Companie
  22. JAMES STANLEY (JIM) DUNN (1928 – 2020) Members and supporters of the Doublereds will be saddened to learn of the passing of James Dunn who became best known during the 1970s and ‘80s when he stood up against Australia’s foreign policy establishment over its endorsement of Indonesia’s invasion and annexation of East Timor. The evidence presented in Dunn’s published reports and books was endorsed and appreciated by the men of the old 2/2 Commando Association of Australia who used it their representations and advocacy to government in support of the Timorese fight for independence
  23. COMMANDO CAMPAIGN SITES – EAST TIMOR BOBONARO DISTRICT MAROBO GPS: 8°58'48”S, 125°21'14"E Location of Marobo shown on map from the Area Study of Portuguese Timor [1] “Marobo is 3 miles (5 km.) from Bobonaro at a bearing of 359°. It is situated in a deep re-entrant at the foot of Mt. Uso Lau. The town is a resort on account of its sulphur springs. It is connected to Bobonaro by M.T. road. There are about 12 stone houses and the town is concealed from the air”. [2] Marobo viewed in 1927 [3] SIGNALLER HARRY WRAY’S MAROBO RECOLLECTIONS Signal
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