JAPANESE COMMANDO PARACHUTISTS
LAND NEAR CALCIUM 50 KMS WEST OF
TOWNSVILLE DURING WWII?
Ted Cunningham, the owner of Strathmore Station near Collinsville, stated that his stockmen killed three Japanese commandos during WWII in the bush near today's Dingo Park Road near Calcium, about 50km west of Townsville. Calcium is located 5 kms south of the Woodstock WWII airfield.
Ted Cunningham was tragically killed in 1993 in a motor vehicle accident on his Strathmore Station.
Ted told his story to Townsville Bulletin reporter John Andersen a few years before he died.
Ted's stockmen were apparently mustering cattle near Calcium which is now located on the the Flinders Highway. They saw an aircraft fly over and three parachutists jump from the aircraft. The men rode over for a closer look and apparently realised that they were Japanese soldiers.
Ted Andersen told John Andersen that his stockmen killed the Japanese as each of them landed slitting their throats with their pocket knives before they could access their weapons.
Ted indicated that their mission was to blow up the bridges in the Burdekin area. Their bodies were apparently thrown in a nearby gully.
The War Diary for the 31st Battalion has the following entries:-
21 Apr 42
1030 Message received from Bde concerning Enemy Parachutists.
Orders given to "E" Coy
to have emergency Platoon ready at all times.
22 Apr 42
Conversations with Bde confirm report as to PARACHUTIST near GIRU. Parachutist
seen by man and his wife both of whom are reliable persons.
23 Apr 42
Verbal reports from Bde show that there is Enemy Air Activity over GULF OF
also that local detectors picked up 2 unidentified planes on the 20 and 21 Apr. Further
investigation into the parachutist incident seem to show that a parachutist did actually land.
Another Bde Report shows that a Japanese plane flew very low over a large mob of cattle
near BOBAWABA on the BOWEN LINE. This report has yet to be confirmed.
9 May 42
1100 Advice from Bde re possibility of landing by enemy
commando troops. C.O. immediately
summons Coy. Comdrs to conference and issue warning order. Allots patrols for various
coys, also areas to be guarded. Post and patrols to be manned on receipt of advice.
KUJO WUKU DEFU/rptd. MAMA NENA REKU KOJU TUGI NUMI
Reliable confirmed report 1730 20th April is that s single parachutist was seen descending vicinity 13 miles south of Giru Stop Owing to delay transmission message police action alone taken stop Units will warn all air Sentries vital importance accurate information being transmitted speedily these H.Q. of any further parachute activities Stop Units will maintain one full pl or similar sub-unit with M.T. ready move at one zero mins notice stop Detailed instructions regarding primary areas unit responsibilities follow stop ack.
This is another one of the many hundreds of uncorroborated stories about Japanese military landings on Australian soil during WWII.
Talk of the North Column (page 15)
by Rural Editor John Andersen
Tuesday 14 February 2012
© Peter Dunn 2006
This page first produced 14 February 2012
This page last updated 15 February 2012