2/2 INDEPENDENT COMPANY
2/2 COMMANDO SQUADRON AIF
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2
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2/2 Independent Company was formed in 1941 and was trained at No. 7 Infantry Training Centre at Tidal River on Wilson's Promontory in Victoria.
Under a treaty with the Dutch Government, Sparrow Force was deployed to Kupang in then-Dutch Timor. Sparrow Force comprised 2/40 Australian Infantry Battalion AIF, a heavy artillery unit and 2/2 Independent Company AIF.
The Japanese over-ran Kupang, with the 2/2 Independent Company refusing to surrender, withdrawing into the hills to fight a guerilla war for approximately 12 months. Their guerilla tactics kept some 20,000 Japanese troops in Timor occupied, thus denying their use in other areas.
2/2 Independent Company withdrew from Timor in late 1942 and were replaced by the 2/4 Independent Company.
The 2/2 Commando Squadron took part in two further campaigns in mainland New Guinea and New Britain.
The 2/2 Independent Company moved into the Bena Bena area in July 1943. Bena Bena is located between the Finisterre and Bismark Ranges. The area provides access to the Markham and Ramu Valleys. The engineer sections of the 2/2 Independent Company and the 2/7 Independent Company supervised the construction of the Goroka airfield.
By late 1943, the 2/2 Independent Company was re-designated 2/2 Commando Squadron, AIF. The 2/2 Commando Squadron and the 2/8 Commando Squadron were the only two Commando squadrons which continued to operate in an independent role, not as part of a regimental structure, until the end of the war.
At the end of the war, the 2/2 Commando Squadron had been in contact with the enemy longer than any other unit in the Australian Army.
The Defence Reserves Year Book 2004-2005
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© Peter Dunn 2006
This page first produced 1 September 2007
This page last updated 02 September 2007