Operations and Evacuation of the 2/4th
After landing in late September, the 2/4th sections were allotted to their corresponding 2/2nd sections to learn the ropes. They were soon in the thick of the fighting opposing the Japanese ‘September Push’.
When the Japanese retreated back to Dili, the 2/4th then had to separate from the 2/2nd due to the inability of the scorched land to support troop concentrations. Young Timorese served the 2/4th as criados but the Japanese and the ‘Black Columns’ from West Timor were destroying the ability of local Timorese to back the new unit.
The 2/4th patrolled, ambushed the enemy and manned the vital observation posts over Dili, the city now all but destroyed by bombing raids. They covered the withdrawal of the Dutch, Portuguese civilians and the 2/2nd. However the position of the 2/4th became untenable.
Three weeks later, on the night of 9 January 1943, the majority of the 2/4th were evacuated by HMAS Arunta. An observer party of 10 was left but these were evacuated a month later.
Four 2/4th were killed in action and one died of illness after being left behind.