2/5 INDEPENDENT COMPANY
LATER RE-DESIGNATED
2/5 COMMANDO SQUADRON
2/7 CAVALRY (COMMANDO) REGIMENT
AUSTRALIAN ARMY
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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2/5 Independent Company was formed in March 1942 and possibly trained at No. 7 Infantry Training Centre at Tidal River on Wilson's Promontory in Victoria.

The 2/5 Independent Company embarked at Townsville in north Queensland and arrived Port Moresby in New Guinea on 13 April 1942. The 2/5 Independent Company flew to Wau on 23 May 1942 in US Army Air Corps C-47s and Australian civilian aircraft. They were first Australian Army unit to fly into battle.

After the 2/5 Company arrived in Wau they were reinforced by a platoon of reinforcements originally destined for the 1st Independent Company. Unfortunately the 1st Independent Company had been overrun by the Japanese. The anti-tank platoon of 23 Australian Infantry Brigade AIF had earlier joined up with the 2/5th in Port Moresby. Along with some members of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (NGVR), a local militia unit, they all were part of Kanga Force.

The men of 2/5 Independent Company were spread over a wide area. Many of the men did not see their mates for almost 10 months due to the dispersed nature of their operation.

Men of the 2/5 Independent Company and the NGVR attacked the Japanese at Salamau, a main Japanese base, on the evening of the 28/29 June 1942. Approximately 100 Japanese were killed and equipment and intelligence documents were captured.

Kanga Force was reinforced by 2/7 Independent Company in October 1942 after they were flown from Port Moresby to Wau. 2/5 Independent Company, and 2/7 Independent Company carried out a very major attack on Mubo, a large Japanese outpost on 11 January 1943. Some elements of the 2/5 Independent Company were operating in the Markham Valley at that time.

By the end of 1943, 2/5 Independent Company had been re-designated as 2/5 Commando Squadron, 2/7 Cavalry (Commando) Regiment.

 

REFERENCES

The Defence Reserves Year Book 2004-2005

 

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