The 2/2nd after Timor

The 2/2nd spent Christmas in Larrimah (Northern Territory) and was later sent home for 14 days leave in Perth.

They were then retrained and reinforced with 150 men at the new commando training camp in Canungra (Queensland). Jungle green uniforms were issued and the new Australian Owen submachine gun replaced their Tommy guns.

In June 1943, six months after Timor, the 2/2nd embarked for Port Moresby and was flown to Bena Bena in the central highlands of New Guinea. It patrolled in the jungle of the Ramu River valley and fought off Japanese advances. During the ensuing 16 months of jungle fighting the company lost 18 lives and killed between 400 and 500 Japanese.

In September 1944, the 2/2nd returned to Western Australia for three months leave. Following retraining in Queensland the company was sent to New Britain in April 1945. Here it assisted the 5th Australian Division to contain the estimated 31,000 Japanese troops isolated in the Rabaul area. Following the Japanese surrender in August, the company moved to garrison Rabaul.

After Christmas they returned to Australia and were disbanded in February 1946. At war’s end the 2/2nd had the distinction of being the Allied unit with the longest active service in constant contact with the enemy. Since formation the 2/2nd had lost 51 lives.

Capt David Dexter’s A Platoon 2/2nd Independent company at Larrimah,NT

Capt David Dexter’s A Platoon 2/2nd Independent company at Larrimah, Northern Territory after returning from Timor in December 1942.
Original source unknown. Featured in Cyril Aryis, All the Bulls Men, 2006