In April 1942, General Sir Thomas Blamey issued an order to establish Inter-allied Services Department (ISD or IASD). This was a cover name for Special Operations Australia (SOA) which was a British sabotage unit established under Special Operations Executive (SOE), the British Intelligence unit.

Blamey later ordered that ISD transfer to AIB under Roberts. Special Operations Australia was the "dirty tricks" department of the Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB).  

In March 1943, relationships with AIB were so bad that SOA was restructured. The British Commanding Officer of ISD was replaced by AIB with another SOE officer from London and the group became known as Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD). Chapman-Walker was appointed Director of SRD and given the temporary rank of Colonel.

In June 1942, the Australian service personnel in ISD were administered by a holding company known as "Z" Special Operations. 

The Naval Section of SRD was established in January 1944. Initially, the Naval Section had only two vessels:-

Krait - 70 foot, 68 gross tons Japanese fishing vessel originally called Kofuku Maru.

Alatna - 62 foot Australian Army launch used as a tender

SRD was the cover name for Special Operations Australia (SOA).


Operation Hornbill 


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This page first produced 27 September 2001

This page last updated 31 August 2018