182ND INFANTRY REGIMENT, US ARMY
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2
The 182nd Infantry Regiment was initially attached to the 26th Division at Camp Edwards, USA. After Pearl Harbor, they were reassigned to Task Force 6814 on 14 January 1942
Bill Picardy of the Company "L" of the 182nd Infantry Regiment of Task Force 6814, arrived in Melbourne on 26 February 1942. They were a New England National Guard Company, a "bunch of eager-beaver green kids" as Bill described them. They had boarded the troop ships in New York on 18 January 1942 and left New York on 23 January 1942. On arrival in Melbourne on 26 February 1942, Companies "L" and "M" boarded a troop train and arrived at Camp Darley on the afternoon of 27 February 1942. The remainder of Task Force 6814 were billeted at Royal Park (Camp Pell) in Melbourne, other parts of Melbourne (possibly Camp Murphy), Ballarat and Bendigo and other small communities.
Bill Picardy told me how they spread their blankets on the cement floors of the barracks at Camp Darley to sleep at night. They used their packs as pillows. Camp Darley was located about 5ks north of Bacchus Marsh, in Victoria. Bacchus Marsh is located about 52km west of Melbourne about half way between Ballarat and Melbourne.
The meals were filling and tasty except for the ever present "Ug Mutton". They were given a weekend pass to Melbourne, and met some beautiful girls (with bad teeth!!), drank good warm beer and had some snacks form the food vendors downtown.
Bill Picardy told me that they began their jungle training under the direction of some expert Australian scouts and Army personnel. When they arrived in Melbourne they still had their winter woollens, overcoats and ear-muffed hats. They handed these in and trained in their summer dress as their fatigue dungarees were left on board the ship.
Bill advised that the Australian people were most courteous, kind and generous and they thought that they were more like the New Englanders than they had expected.
On 6 March 1942 they broke camp, boarded some trains for the docks in Melbourne and left for an unknown destination which turned out to be New Caledonia. The arrived in New Caledonia on 12 March 1942. The 182nd Infantry Regiment was assigned to the Americal Division effective 274 May 1942. Americal is a combination of the words American and Caledonia.
Bill Picardy smuggled a Brownie camera in his barracks bag. The camera was cracked due to rough handling of their baggage in transit. This is the reason for some white patches on some of the photographs. Bill taped up the crack in the camera and kept taking photographs.
The 182nd Infantry Regiment went on to land on Guadalcanal on 12 November 1942.
The following photographs
were supplied to me by Bill Picardy.
For more photographs visit the Camp Darley home page.
HMS Leander made the run from
"Efate" to Espiritu Santo
to establish a "point" and patrols on this cruiser.
Resting while training for the Islands. "Porky", Lacau, Waterhouse and Comeau.
A soft-ball game in a clearing they made in the jungles on Efate Island
Grayzkc and Bill Picardy, New Hebrides
I'd like to thank Bill Picardy of Company "L", of the 182nd Infantry Regiment for his assistance with this home page.
NOTE:- Bill Picardy advised me that Bob Doucette from "L" Company of the 182nd Infantry Regiment held yearly re-unions, but due to a slight stroke he had to give it up. At that time we could only find 18 survivors of the original group.
Can anyone help me with more information?
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 11 August 2003
This page last updated 09 October 2016