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The 2/5th Battalion was formed in Melbourne, Victoria on 18 October 1939. The battalion was part of the 17th Brigade, 6th Australian Division. The early members of the battalion assembled at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds in Melbourne.

The Battalion moved to the recently completed camp at Puckapunyal Army Camp on 2 November 1939 and started to received its first new recruits. After some basic training at Puckapunyal, the battalion left for the Middle East on 14 April 1940.

They arrived in the Middle East on 18 May 1940. After some more training in Palestine and Egypt they took part in their first campaign against the Italians in eastern Libya, in January through to February 1941.

They took part in more action at places such as Bardia, Tobruk, Kalabaka (Greece), Kalamata (Greece), Crete, Syria, and Lebanon. After the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and the perceived threat to Australia, the 2/5th Battalion left the Middle East on 10 March 1942 to defend Australia. However, on the return voyage, they were diverted to defend Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from the Japanese from mid March through to early July 1942. The 2/5th Battalion finally arrived back in Melbourne, Victoria on 4 August 1942.

In early October 1942, the 2/5th Battalion moved to Milne Bay, in Papua. They fought and defeated the Japanese at Wau from the end of January through to early February 1943. They then drove the Japs back towards Salamua. They took part in some major actions at Goodview and Mount Tambu in July and August 1943.

The 2/5th Battalion arrived in Cairns, north Queensland on 23 September 1943. They underwent jungle training on the Atherton Tablelands for the rest of 1943 and the most of 1944.

The 2/5th Battalion arrived at Aitape, New Guinea on 29 November 1944 where they completed the rest of the war in patrols to clear the Japs from the Torricelli and Prince Alexander mountain ranges.

The 2/5th Battalion arrived back in Australia on 1 December 1945. They were disbanded at Puckapunyal in early February 1946.



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This page first produced 29 April 2006

This page last updated 04 September 2018