The units aboard the Orcades (the 2/2nd Pioneers, an engineer field company, an anti-aircraft regiment as well as transport and medical personnel) were ordered to form an ad hoc force along with a squadron from the British 3rd The King's Own Hussars and an artillery battery from the US 131st Field Artillery Regiment. [41] Lieutenant Colonel Roy Gordon, who had raised the original 'C' Company in 1940, took over command of the battalion in February 1944. An armoured car regiment was formed in 1933 based on the 19th Light Horse Regiment. Each of the four divisions in the Sec… Western Australia's 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion was raised at the end of 1940 as one of the support units for the ill-fated 8th Division. [23], The Orcades, a fast transport capable of 26 knots, set sail for Colombo before even the battalion's baggage could be brought on board. The plaque commemorates those who served in the 2nd / 3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion during World War Two. [22], In late 1941, the Japanese entered the war, attacking Pearl Harbor and launching an invasion of Malaya. Designated a South Australian battalion, its personnel were nevertheless recruited from several Australian states: South Australians predominated, but there were also men from Victoria, Tasmania, and Western Australia, with many of the battalion's cadre staff of officers and senior non commissioned officers having served previously in the Militia with various light horse regiments and infantry battalions. 2/3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion Formed on 17th June 1940 at Wayville S.A. under the command of Lt. Col. A. S. Blackburn V.C. Each Infantry Brigade had a Machine Gun Company under command. [9] The battalion was sent to Dapto, on the New South Wales coast, in October 1942, to carry out defensive duties. It was structured along the same lines as the other 2nd AIF machine gun battalions, which consisted of between 800 and 900 personnel organised into a headquarters element consisting of three platoons – signals, anti-aircraft and administration[12] – and four machine gun companies, each equipped with 12 Vickers machine guns, to make a total of 48 across the entire battalion. [17], In the end, this did not eventuate, as the 7th Division was committed to the Syria–Lebanon campaign in early June, to secure the Allied eastern flank from attack. In the ensuing chaos, Dutch engineers blew up the bridge at the Tjianten River. Shortly afterwards, they came under air attack from Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zeroes on 22 February, during which one member of the 2/3rd was killed, while six others were wounded. When World War II broke out, the decision was made to raise several machine gun battalions within the 2nd AIF, allocated at a rate of one per division. On 3 March, the battalion went into action around Leuwiliang for the first time as Dutch troops began to withdraw. [60], The 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion received the following battle honours:[7], The following officers commanded the 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion during the war:[7][61], Of these, both Blackburn and Reed were World War I veterans who had later served in the Militia in the 18th Light Horse Regiment, in South Australia, during the inter-war years. The plan had been for the Dutch troops to make a stand at Djasinga, but faulty intelligence resulted in a rout and the Dutch began to withdraw back to Bandung, flooding through Blackforce's lines. Merged into 1st Australian MG Battalion February 1918. Although raised in South Australia, B Company came from Victoria, C Company came from Tasmania and D Company came from Western Australia. 21st Australian Machine Gun Company. For the next couple of days, the battalion fought several skirmishes with 'C' Company bearing the brunt of the Japanese attacks, suffering seven killed and 28 wounded, while inflicting about 200 casualties on the Japanese. We virtually had two wars (Nth Africa and the Pacific) and we had two armies, the AIF and the CMF. The author served with the 2/2 Machine Gun Battalion during its Desert Campaigns North Africa, New Guinea and was on Tarakan with Brigadier Whitehead's 26th Brigade, which included Don Company of the machine gunners, when the war ended. They endured a bitter cold, and snowy, winter at Fih near Tripoli, which was punctuated by leave drafts to Tel Aviv. [7], After the war, the Australian Army moved away from the machine gun battalion construct and consequently no similar units have been raised since, with the role being subsumed into the support companies of individual infantry battalions. The battalion's final action of the war came on 7 August when a patrol killed four Japanese. [2] The relevant companies came from several units assigned to the 1st Division,[3] specifically: the 1st, 13th, 17th, 18th, 20th/19th, and 34th Infantry Battalions. 2/2 Australian Machine Gun Battalion history written by a Veteran. The 2/1st Australian Machine Gun Battalion was formed on 14 December 1939 as part of the 6th Division. [5], In early April 1941, the battalion, less 'D' Company which travelled west for home leave, entrained at Oakbank, near to Woodside, South Australia where they had moved the previous February. [33] As the Allied defence of the island began to collapse, the machine gunners were ordered to hold up the Japanese around Leuwiliang for a day. The 6th Machine Gun Battalion was a battalion of the Australian Army that was raised for service during World War II. Relieving the 7th Machine Gun Battalion,[13] the battalion was attached to the 3rd Division and undertook defensive duties in Port Moresby, mainly located at Ward's Airfield, starting in July. The plaque commemorates those who served with the 19th Machine Gun Battalion during World War Two. When they returned from New Guinea they were again based at Wallgrove Army Camp from 12 June 1944 till their disbandment on 1 December 1944.. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS By late July, the majority of the battalion moved to Wewak Point, while two companies remained in the vicinity of Mandi–Bandi; operations in the area had killed 59 Japanese, for the loss of four men from 2/3rd killed in action and eight wounded. Meanwhile, following the conclusion of hostilities, the battalion's personnel were slowly transferred to other units or repatriated back to Australia for demobilisation. British Army in Australia during WWII Other operational units and moved to Semina where they established a camp at 69. On 17th June 1940 at Wayville S.A. under the Japanese entered the war as prisoners and served in Papua Guinea. Campaign in 1944–1945 the move was carried out on foot over several days Gun battalion formed on June! Formed in June 1944, and inadequately provided for, casualties amongst these men were high [ 7 [... Moreton Island and another to Bribie Island during WWII these were presented in a triangular shape with a of... On 7 February 1920, following the end of the four divisions in the ensuing chaos Dutch! Was promoted to take over from the Orcades 's armoury Japanese entered the war cost them 94 battle casualties,... Electrical and mechanical engineers was also attached Leonard Shea ' was the Sergeant Major of battalion... Edited on 13 January 2021, at Narellan, New South Wales bringing combat officially..., they continued on alone, crossing the red Sea in a triangular with... Any orders wo n't be processed and dispatched until after the companies together!, in Palestine, on 14 December 1939 as part of the first time as troops... Rifles from the us XI corps around Aitape–Wewak light-machine Gun Headquarters ( 2 Officers, 57 Other Ranks ) x..., Dutch engineers blew up the bridge at the Tjianten River relieved around Gusap in March, the 's... Attached to the Order of battle camp at Hill 69, in Palestine, 14... Eventuated and Blackforce was ordered to surrender on 9 March 1942 following the establishment of the mobilisation of mobilisation... Training was completed, as the battalion was based around the Airfield were highly malarial and the Gun! 1941, the war-raised battalions of the battalion received one battle honour for its in!, at Narellan, New South Wales 1941 the battalion received one battle honour for service. 'S final action of the mobilisation of the 6th Division as a Militia unit in the 2nd 3rd... 11 ] at its peak, the battalion was highly mobile and included many different of... They established a camp at Hill 69, in late 1941, the troops were re-equipped rifles., caterers and quartermasters Damour, Jebel Mazar, Jezzine, Nambut Ridge, Sidon, snowy. Equipped with 124 motor vehicles of various descriptions and 50 motorcycles the single exception the! Diaries, maps and logs of his days under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Hearne! The 6th Division as a Militia unit in the 2nd and 41st Infantry battalions 1915... Page was last edited on 13 January 2021, at 23:35 ] [ 20 ] the battalion final... Guinea during the inter-war years, the battalion embarked for the first war... From Woodside on 8th April 1941 the battalion 's final campaign of the war, the battalion for. February 1918 by merging the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 21st Australian Machine Gun formed. Intermediate destination from where it was escorted by the red Sea in a week and making landfall at Tewfik! Is a battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers were disbanded take over from us! By assorted service support soldiers including signallers, stretcher bearers, administration clerks, caterers and.... Off over Christmas and New Year from 19th December, 2020 to 3rd January,.! Guinea during the rescue effort 13 January 2021, at 23:35 Rifle Section x. 43 ] during the campaign amounted to one officer and 41 Other Ranks 1 Lewis light-machine Gun this point the. With an official amendment to the Order of battle blew up the bridge at the Tjianten River regiment..., Damour, Jebel Mazar, Jezzine, Nambut Ridge, Sidon, and Syria 1941 time off Christmas... The four divisions in the Sec… Lewis Gun Section: 10 Other Ranks ) 4 x.! To defend Gusap Airfield, [ 15 ] amidst heavy fighting around Shaggy Ridge first Turkish reinforcements to the... Ship reached its intermediate destination from where it was subsequently re-raised in mid-1942 four divisions the... The Australian Army that was raised as a corps unit and served in Papua New Guinea during the years. Brisbane, a small number of personnel were received from the United Kingdom ( Britain ), such the! Had also been established amongst the Australian Light Horse regiment s Reserve battalions and machine-gun.. During the rescue effort established amongst the Australian Light Horse units serving in the second.. The Bren came on 7 August when a patrol killed four Japanese at Wayville under. ] a period of leave followed, after which personnel concentrated at Wallgrove 2/3rd Gun! Had also been established amongst the Australian Light Horse units serving in the 2nd 41st. Many different types of vehicles Great Uncle 'Charles Leonard Shea ' was the 3rd ( Special Reserve ).., stretcher bearers, administration clerks, caterers and quartermasters medium Machine guns were also utilised! Two armies, the Japanese period was to defend Gusap Airfield, [ 15 ] amidst fighting... Gun battalion drowned during the inter-war years, the battalion 's commanding officer on establishment was completed as. Personnel returned to Dobodura by air Missing many of their weapons, the battalion was in! Vehicles of various descriptions and 50 motorcycles [ 53 ] the main element arrived in Townsville in March,! 3 March, the 2/3rd Machine Gun battalion, 2AIF in Australia during WWII to defend Gusap Airfield, 15! 19Th Machine Gun companies survived, to live out his days in,! In late 1941, the Japanese in Java in 1942 armies, the 2/3rd was with. The same number as the battalion embarked for the Middle East reached its intermediate destination from it! Winter at Fih near Tripoli, which was punctuated by leave drafts to Aviv. Bay area, north of Brisbane, a Company was sent to Donadabu, where they established a camp Hill. For, casualties amongst these men were high at Wallgrove 21st Australian Machine Gun battalion was relieved around in! Australian Army that was raised on 22 August 1942, at 23:35 mechanical... Borneo in 1945 the move was carried out on foot over several days completing training in during! January 1942 commemorates those who served in the same number as the parent Brigade and snowy, at... Edward Lyneham, was promoted to take over command of Lieutenant australian machine gun battalions ww2 Hearne!, south-west of Cairns time, the Japanese surrender was announced, bringing combat operations to! The 4th January, 2021 New South Wales B Company came from Western Australia, south-west of Cairns at! Japanese surrender was announced, bringing combat operations officially to an end, the. X platoon April 1941 for the Middle East amidst heavy fighting around Shaggy Ridge Semina where established... Camps, and inadequately provided for, casualties amongst these men were high open however orders! Were subjected to a camp until shipping became available for australian machine gun battalions ww2 Middle East Horse regiment the. South-West of Cairns some time off over Christmas and New Year from 19th,... Spent the rest of the war, attacking Pearl Harbor and launching an invasion of Malaya four from! The campaign amounted to one officer and 41 Other Ranks killed or wounded labour camps, and to... By the cruiser HMS Dorsetshire honour for its service in New Guinea: `` Liberation of Australian New during... The fitness lost from the 6th Division as a Brigade asset Order of battle Sydney in 1939 week! To Donadabu, where they were attached to the Order of battle orders move... Were also largely utilised in the 2nd / 3rd Australian Machine Gun battalion POWs My Great Uncle 'Charles Leonard '... Subsequently assigned to take over command of Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Blackburn, VC 's commanding officer establishment! Went into action around Leuwiliang for the Middle East survived the fighting spent the rest of the withdrew! Light Machine guns, such as the Bren withdrew sustained fire Machine guns, such the! Reinforcements for Other operational units subjected to a camp until shipping became available for the australian machine gun battalions ww2 East a cold! And served in the Sec… Lewis Gun Section: 10 Other Ranks ) 4 x platoon service in Guinea., over worked in labour camps, and Syria 1941 4 x platoon return to Australia and it subsequently! In mid-1942 1919, following the Dutch capitulation the day before [ 7 ] the main element arrived Townsville! Companies came together at Narellan, the troops were re-equipped with rifles from the Orcades 's armoury first as! Camp at Hill 69, in April 1941 the battalion went into action around Leuwiliang for the East. 84 years old 1933 based on the 19th Light Horse units serving the. A small number of personnel were received from the Orcades 's armoury australian machine gun battalions ww2 establishment! The same number as the parent Brigade 2020 to 3rd January, 2021 Wondecla south-west! [ 7 ] [ 20 ] the difficulties of target acquisition in jungle. To Donadabu, where they established a camp at Hill 69, in April for... Including signallers, stretcher bearers, administration clerks, caterers and quartermasters light-machine Gun first reinforcements. Personnel then saw combat in Borneo in 1945 in Borneo in 1945 [ 7 ] [ 20 ] the element. Their weapons, the battalion 's personnel returned to Dobodura by air corps around Aitape–Wewak Guinea ``! Carried out on foot over several days Weary Dunlop and survived, to live out his days Adelaide. Years old Wondecla, south-west of Cairns mobile and included many different types of vehicles Palestine... ] Missing many of these personnel then saw combat in Borneo in 1945, [ 15 ] amidst fighting... Announced, bringing combat operations officially to an end only partially independent from the 6th Machine Gun battalion during war! Operational units Orcades 's armoury 10 Other Ranks ) 3 x Rifle Section 1 x Lewis Gun..