THE STORY OF THE 42ND
AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION
IN WORLD WAR II
BY CPL. S.E. BENSON
From Yeppoon the story follows the battalion on its moves to Tiaro, north again to Townsville and New Guinea, through the Salamua campaign to Lae, back again to Australia and finally over to Bougainville, where the battalion saw its last action before being broken up at the end of the war.
The writing began one afternoon in New Guinea while the battalion was in action and battalion headquarters were situated on the steep-sloping banks of the stream which runs between Bamboo Knoll and Charlie Hill. It was Lieut.-Col. Davidson's idea.
Much of the Salamua campaign was written while the battalion was lolling about at Lae, but most has been done since the end of the war.
The story has been written from official war diaries, some of which have been available through the foresight of the Intelligence Sergeant, R. C. Unwin, who made provision for the preservation of some of them when the battalion was broken up. Pte. J. Rickarts, also of the Intelligence section, played his part by bringing other diaries home to Australia from Bougainville.
Other facts have been obtained from personal observation, scores of interviews, from stories written by members of the battalion, and from Lieut.-Col. Davidson, who supplied valuable background information.
The story is intended chiefly as a fairly complete record and to provide "trig points" which men can use to focus their memories of incidents which otherwise might pass beyond recollection, and with the aid of which they might recall the story of the war as it applied to them individually.
Contact the 42nd Battalion Association to see if they are still selling the book
42nd Battalion Association
P.O. Box 403
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 19 April 2009
This page last updated 25 April 2023