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Australian First Independent Company, 1942


Australian First Independent Company Dispositions (circa 23 January 1942) with approximately 271 officers and men.

First Independent Company Headquarters, CO Major Edmonds-Wilson
Medical Section, Captain Bristow - Kavieng, New Ireland
Engineer Section, Lieutenant Dixon - Kavieng, New Ireland
Signal Section, Lieutenant Page - Kavieng, New Ireland

'A' Platoon HQ with attached Engineers
Signals and Medical detachments at Vila, Captain A. Goode - New Hebrides
No. 1 Section in the Solomon Islands, Lieutenant McRae-Russell - Tulagi Island
No. 2 Section on Vila, Lieutenant Watson - New Hebrides
No. 3 Section with Company asset detachments at Buka and eventually Bougainville Island, Lieutenant Mackie


Note A group of thirteen members from No. 1 and No. 2 Sections were sent to Townsville on a special assignment onboard the fitted out MV Paluma, a diesel powered vessel of 90 feet in length, also crewed by Coast Watchers and was in service until the end of the Buna operations late 1942. After the war the Paluma became a tourist vessel on the Australian Queensland Gold Coast but was burnt in a fire to the water-line August 1996.

'B' Platoon HQ at Kavieng, Captain A.E. Goode - New Ireland
No. 4 Section, Lieutenant Palmer and attached RAAF Air Gunner - Manus Island
No. 5 Section, Lieutenant Burns - Kavieng, New Ireland
- Squad No. 5 Section, Corporal Rogers - Namatanai, New Ireland (escaped to Vila)
No. 6 Section, Lieutenant Gibson - Kavieng, New Ireland

'C' Platoon HQ, Captain Millican - Kavieng, New Ireland
No. 7 Section, Lieutenant Dennis - Kavieng, New Ireland
No. 8 Section, Lieutenant Sleeman - Kavieng, New Ireland
No. 9 Section, Lieutenant Leverett - Kavieng, New Ireland

Reinforcement Platoon - Detachment First Independent Company, original strength 4 officers and 53 men.
Platoon HQ, Captain Howard
No. 1 Section, Lieutenant Cossey
No. 2 Section, Lieutenant Littlejohn
No. 3 Section, Lieutenant Boyland

Note A full reinforcement platoon had been trained to replace expected casualties of the First Independent Company at Kavieng. The unit sailed on the Macdui, arrived at Port Moresby 10 March 1942 becoming Independent Platoon Port Moresby for defence purposes. By the end of the month the Platoon, split into Section parties, left Port Moresby and was the first AIF unit sent over the Owen Stanley Range to the Wau and Lae region of Papua-New Guinea with Operational Instructions issued from Operational HQ, 8th Military District.

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Copyright Klemen. L. 1999-2000
Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942

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