62ND AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII
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The 62nd Infantry Battalion was raised in the Torres Strait area in December 1942. It was established by absorbing the 14th Garrison Battalion which was based on Thursday Island at the time.
Map showing locations of
62nd Infantry Battalion
on 28 January 1943
In January 1943, the 62nd Battalion, less one Company and less one Platoon was located on Thursday Island. 12 Platoon was located on Good Island and "A" Company was located on Horn Island.
On 1 February 1943, the 62nd Australian Infantry Battalion landed from the S.S. Islander at Merauke and proceeded to the dispersal area pending movement to its camp areas.
Lt. G.A. Clark, i/c and a party of 13 Ordinary Ranks arrived at the camp site at Stanley (Roseneath) outside of Townsville (Camp Site 82 STANLEY ref TOWNSVILLE SPECIAL 1" to 1 mile 952691) on 25 February 1944 to establish camp for Battalion personnel now under the command of 3 Aust Inf Bde (AIF).
The advanced party of the 62nd Battalion boarded a ship at Merauke on 26 February 1944.
Lt William Ronald Pechey (QX16129) i/c and party of 9 Officers and 47 Ordinary Ranks arrived at Stanley outside of Townsville from 5 AARD Sellheim. These men had been on leave, at training schools and in hospital. There were also a few reinforcements joining the battalion. Lt. Pechey took command and immediately commenced on preparations of the camp area.
The main body of the 62nd Australian Infantry Battalion boarded the S.S. Gorgon on 27 February 1944 headed for Australia. The S.S. Gorgon arrived in Brisbane on 5 March 1944. The 62nd Battalion disembarked and proceeded to 17 AAPSC from where personnel went on general ARL (Leave).
On 14 April 1944, the 62nd Australian Infantry Battalion (AIF) came under the Command of Townsville Fortress after 3 Australian Infantry Brigade (AIF) was disbanded. Captain Stevens from Townsville Fortress visited the camp area at Stanley on 14 April 1944. The first draft of personnel returned from leave to the camp at Stanley on 19 April 1944. Men continued to return from leave through to 23 April 1944.
The 62nd Battalion marched out of camp on 27 April 1944 for a two day march and then an overnight bivouac at Alligator Creek. The Battalion returned to their camp on 28 April 1944.
The 62nd Battalion commenced three days of manoeuvres to Sharp Elliott area (Mt. Elliott) on 1 May 1944. The Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Graham K. Haupt (435314) and Adjutant Captain Joseph James Rose (QX22429) left for Mareeba for business regarding the disbandment of the unit. They returned to the camp area on 5 May 1944 at 1800 hrs.
At 0830 hrs on 10 May 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Graham K. Haupt and Adjutant Captain Rose left for Mareeba again for business regarding the disbandment of the unit. They returned to camp on 12 May 1944.
On 16 May 1944, Captain Rose and Assistant Adjutant left for Barrine on Unit business. They returned to camp on 18 May 1944.
At 1030 hrs on 24 May 1944, a Battalion Parade was held at the Stanley strip area. The troops were inspected by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Graham K. Haupt who then addressed the troops and advised that it was the last parade for the 62nd Australian Infantry Battalion (AIF). Lt. Col. Haupt then left to go to HQ 1 Aust Corps.
Instructions were issued on 26 May 1944 for the move of 62 Aust Inf Bn (AIF) to APSC Oonoomba on Sunday 28 May 1944.
Demolition of the camp area at Stanley (Roseneath) commenced on 27 May 1944. All buildings were demolished and salvage stacked in Coy. stacks on Sunday 28 May 1944. All Otway Pits were filled in with the exception of the two immediately south of the Officer's lines. All urinals were removed. All showers were demolished with the exception of the one near the Officers' lines. Unit ammunition was delivered to FAD Sellheim en route. The 62nd Australian Infantry Battalion (AIF) moved from Area 82 Stanley to 13 Aust Pers Staging Camp Oonoomba.
On 29 May 1944, Lt Col. Haupt returned from HQ 1 Aust Corps and the Rear Party arrived at 13 Aust Pers Staging Camp.
On 30 May 1944, Battalion vehicles were delivered to Charters Towers. On the same day, the Nominal Roll was being prepared and the Battalion was preparing to march out in accordance with LHQ SM3575 of 6 April 1944. The 62nd Australian Infantry Battalion was disbanded in May 1944.
I'd like to thank Mel Dundas-Taylor for his assistance with this web page.
© Peter Dunn 2006
This page first produced 9 October 2011
This page last updated 09 October 2011