Author Topic: History of2/3 Battalion AIF  (Read 306 times)

Offline iwccc

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History of2/3 Battalion AIF
« on: Wednesday 06 December 17 11:02 GMT (UK) »
Hello, I am trying to research the history of the 2/3 BattalionAIF when they were sent to New Guinea in1944.    I am particularly interested in the battle when they went to New Guinea in 1944.  Many were killed in a battle on Good Friday 30th March 1945.  My uncle was shot.  Can anyone help me with information of this battle. Where was this battle?   Did the Japanese snipers use some sort of exploding bullets in this battle?  How many men were killed?  How were the remaining wounded soldiers taken to care?  Any information on this period of his life would be most welcome. thank you

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Offline majm

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Re: History of 2/3 Battalion AIF
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 06 December 17 22:22 GMT (UK) »
Hi there,

Have you considered

 :) contacting the following group: https://brucesanders.wordpress.com/
 :) seeking out your uncle's WWII service record from the National Archives of Australia?  If he is deceased, any person can order copy of the service record.   http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/defence/service-records/   
 :) http://regimental-books.com.au/mud-and-sand-being-the-official-war-history-of-the-23-pioneer-battalion-aif-part-1-p-1481.html  (fingers crossed it is available in a public library, but here's a snippet from the blurb

The 2/3rd returned to Australia in early 1943.
After leave, the battalion underwent jungle training on the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland but would soon return to action. As part of the move to capture the Japanese base at Lae the 9th Division landed at Red Beach, north-west of the area, in September. Following Lae’s capture, the Australians made another landing at Scarlet Beach, near Finschhafen. The 2/3rd rejoined the division and in October participated in the successful defence of Scarlet Beach when the Japanese counter-attacked. When the fighting was over, the pioneer’s reverted to their engineering role, working on the Satelburg Road and other locations on New Guinea’s northern coast supporting the Huon Peninsula campaign.

The 2/3rd returned to Australia in March 1944, disembarking in Brisbane. After leave, the battalion reformed at Ravenshoe in May and did not go into action again until the final months of the war.

Devised towards the end of the war, the OBOE operations were designed to reoccupy areas of the Netherlands East Indies with the 9th and 7th Divisions making amphibious landings on Borneo. The 9th Division landed on Tarakan in May and on Labuan Island and Brunei Bay in June. The 7th Division land at Balikpapan in July.

In order to support the landing at Tarakan, Australian troops first landed on Sadau. A detachment from the 2/3rd worked as gun crews on the landing craft that took the men ashore. When the 26th Brigade landed on Tarakan, the pioneers were assigned to the 2nd Beach Group. On 4 May the battalion relieved the 2/23rd Infantry Battalion and began patrolling the Tarakan township and around the Pamoesian oilfield. The next day they began clearing the Japanese from high ground to the east of the town.

On 5 May two companies from the 2/3rd advanced eastward along John’s Track and found two Japanese positions – called the “Helen” and the “Sadie” – on each side. The positions were overcome with persistent attacks from the pioneers supported by heavy artillery, naval concentrations, and napalm air strikes. They were finally occupied on 14 May. At the same time elements of the pioneers reached the coast and captured the Japanese defences. Corporal John Bernard Mackey was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his involvement in the fight for the Helen.

By the end of June the fighting was over on Tarakan and Japan surrendered in August. The 2/3rd gradually thinned, as men were discharged or transferred. In January 1946 the remaining troops returned to Australia and the battalion was disbanded shortly after.
)

 :) more info here :
http://www.militarian.com/threads/australian-2-3rd-machine-gun-battalion.1272/
http://www.230battalion.org.au/Gallery/displayimage.php?pid=4958
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1361039

Was your uncle originally CMF?

JM
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Offline majm

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Re: History of 2/3 Battalion AIF
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 07 December 17 05:04 GMT (UK) »
DO NOT COPY PASTE ANY OF MY POSTS TO ANY OTHER FORUM. I DO NOT GIVE PERMISSION FOR ANY OF MY POSTS TO BE SHARED WITH OTHER FORUMS.
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Offline majm

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 Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.
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Offline iwccc

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Re: History of2/3 Battalion AIF
« Reply #4 on: Friday 08 December 17 10:43 GMT (UK) »
Hello Majm,  Thank you so much for all the information that you have passed on.  Very interesting.
I still can't find where exactly the ambush took place on 30th March, 1945. I would love to know the deaths and casualties of this battle.  Also love to know how the wounded were sent back to Australia.
I was told that most of the battalion was killed - I am trying to find if this is true.  Also still trying to understand about the Japanese snipers who I was told used exploding bullets - just need to verify this.
Thanks again for your help

Offline majm

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Re: History of2/3 Battalion AIF
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 09 December 17 03:03 GMT (UK) »
Have you considered asking the AWM for info about the losses for the Battalion in that battle, and for details re the exploding bullets?

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/understanding-the-memorials-collection/researching-a-unit

JM
DO NOT COPY PASTE ANY OF MY POSTS TO ANY OTHER FORUM. I DO NOT GIVE PERMISSION FOR ANY OF MY POSTS TO BE SHARED WITH OTHER FORUMS.
 Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.
Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.    
All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk         
The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes