Note: Name MOORE, ALBERT JOHN Service: Australian Army Service Number: NX17128 Date of Birth: 28 Mar 1919 Place of Birth: SCOTTSDALE, TAS Date of Enlistment : 24 May 1940 Locality on Enlistment: HORNSBY, NSW Place of Enlistment: PADDINGTON, NSW Next of Kin: MOORE, EDWARD Date of Discharge: 19 Oct 1945 Rank: Sergeant Posting at Discharge: 2/17 AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION WW2 Honours and Gallantry None for display Prisoner of War No 9th Division The 9th Australian Division was the fourth AIF division formed for service in the Second World War. Originally consisting of the two AIF Brigades serving in the United Kingdom during 1940 - the 18th and 25th - the division was reorganised in the Middle East in February 1941 to include the 24th, 26th and 28th Brigades. The 9th Division fought in four major campaigns during the Second World War - the Siege of Tobruk in 1941, the El Alamein battles in 1942, the Huon Peninsula operations in New Guinea in 1943, and the landings in British North Borneo in 1945. It was commanded, in succession by Major Generals Henry Wynter (October 1940 - February 1941), Leslie Morshead (February 1941 - March 1943) and George Wootten (March 1943 - October 1945). 2/17th Battalion : The 2/17th Infantry Battalion was formed on 26 April 1940 at Ingleburn army camp, south-west of Liverpool, as part of the 20th Brigade of the newly formed 7th Division. The 2/17th did its basic training at Ingleburn, before marching to Bathurst army camp for subunit field training. In October 1940 the 20th Brigade sailed from Sydney Harbour to the Middle East. The brigade transferred to the newly formed 9th Division en route to Egypt, arriving in the Middle East in November. In early March 1941 the 2/17th relieved subunits of the 6th Division destined for Greece in the foremost defences near Mersa Brega, east of Tripoli. After German forces landed at Tripoli to bolster the Italians, they soon advanced to the east. The 2/17th was involved in a general withdrawal of British forces to Tobruk. When the Axis made a major attack to capture Tobruk at Easter, the 2/17th held against German tanks and remained in position with engaging enemy infantry. The German tanks were destroyed by artillery and supporting arms. Corporal John Hurst Edmondson was posthumously awarded Australia’s first Victoria Cross for his involvement in the battle. Tobruk was under siege for over eight months. During this time, the remaining 9th Division was successfully relieved by the 70th British Division, arriving by units in stages by sea to Alexandria and by land to Palestine. The 2/17th moved to Hill 69, near Gaza, between 20 and 27 October 1941. They remained there for the rest of the year. In the first half of 1942 the battalion undertook training in Lebanon and Syria. The war in North Africa became critical for the British Eighth Army in early-July 1942. German and Italian forces reached the vicinity of El Alamein in Egypt, about 100 miles north of the capital. The 9th Division moved to the area from Syria and held the northern sector in protracted defence for almost four months, while the British prepared for an offensive under new command. The 2/17th reached the forward defences in mid-July. After an excursion with 20th Brigade to block enemy threat in the south the battalion moved to the forward defended locality of Tel El Eisa in early-August. For over two months the 2/17th observed enemy defences, before moving to a reserve training area in preparation for the Battle of El Alamein. The battalion performed with great distinction throughout the battle from 23 October to 5 November 1942. The 9th Division was recalled from the Middle East to face the Japanese encroachment in the Pacific Islands which threatened Australia. The 2/17 left Suez aboard the Acquitania on 27 January 1943 and disembarked from Sydney on 27 February. After leave and jungle training on the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland, the battalion embarked for Milne Bay in Papua on 1 August 1943 aboard the Dutch MS Van Heurts and American SS William Ellery Channing. The battalion participated in the amphibious landing of Australian troops at Lae and Finschhafen. It returned to Australia a second time on 10 March 1944 aboard the Clip Fontain and disembarked at Townsville for leave. The battalion reformed on the Atherton Tablelands and spent the next 13 months training. It was not until the final months of the war the battalion returned to action. Embarking from Townsville in Queensland the 2/17th came ashore at Brunei on 10 June 1945. The Australian advance freed the country and its rich oilfields at Seria from the Japanese. Demobilization followed and the unit became redundant in Brunei on 29 October 1945. The battalion’s ranks thinned, as men were discharged, transferred, or volunteered for the occupation force for Japan. The 2/17th returned to Australia on 19 December 1945 and was disbanded at Ingleburn camp on 8 February 1946. Colour Patch Glossary 2nd Australian Imperial Force ; 9 Division ; Battles for Tobruk ; Capture of Lae ; El Alamein Battle Honours North Africa 1941-42 Defence of Tobruk El Adem Road El Alamein South-West Pacific 1943-45 Lae-Nadzab Finschhafen Scarlet Beach Defence of Scarlet Beach Jivenaneng-Kumawa Liberation of Australian New Guinea Sio Borneo Brunei Alam el Halfa Casualties 188 died 573 wounded For more information please see the Roll of Honour and Second World War Nominal Roll (external website) databases. Commanding Officers Broadbent, John Raymond Crawford, John Wilson Fergusson, Maurice Alfred 'Ant Eater' Simpson, Noel William 'Red Fox' source ref: http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_11268.asp Rats of Tobruk The 2/17th Battalion participated in a general withdrawal of the British troops eastwards towards Tobruk in early 1941 when German forces landed at Tripoli to reinforce their Italians allies. The Axis forces eventually surrounded Tobruk, with the plan being to capture the city at Easter The 2/17th were one of six battalions ordered to defend the 45km front-line perimeter around Tobruk. The Battalion was instructed to defend the section along the El Adem Road and start preparation to repel an enemy attack. The Germans attacked the section along the El Adem Road on Good Friday, with the 2/17th fighting one of the most memorable battles of the Tobruk campaign, known as the Easter Battle. The Battle: Commencing on 11 April 1941, the men of the 2/17th Battalion were faced with four days of attacks conducted by German forces, attempting to penetrate the perimeter along El Adem Road. The Battalion repelled tank attacks that where launched on the Good Friday, 11 April. It was reported that large numbers of enemy infantry were approaching the positions held by the 2/17th during Saturday of the Easter Battle. This culminated in a breach of the defenses by a group of thirty Germans, who were then met with a bayonet charge by five Australians, led by Corporal J. H. Edmondson. Despite dying hours after the attack from wounds sustained, Edmondson was awarded the first Victoria Cross of World War II for his heroics. On Easter Monday thirty-eight German tanks rolled through the breach in the perimeter, and over the Australian soldiers lying in wait. Once these tanks had passed through, the Australians rose up and attacked the German reinforcements that were approaching from the rear.(4) Epilogue: The blitzkrieg style of attack favoured by the Germans was ineffective against the Australian defenders. The 2/17th Battalion continued to defend Tobruk after the Easter Battle ended, from April to December 1941. The 70th British Division eventually relieved the 2/17th Battalion at Tobruk. They, and all Australian forces within Tobruk earned the title ‘Rats of Tobruk’; given to them by Lord Haw Haw (German radio broadcaster) who saw similarities between rats and the underground habitations of the Australian troops. •The part of the story that sometimes gets lost in the bigger saga of the Siege is the fact that Australians helped capture Tobruk in the first place. They evicted Mussolini's "famous" defenders with little trouble. This is the town's official flag, liberated from the Town Hall. Cut off from their main forces, the AIF fell back on Tobruk, retired behind its strongly fortified perimeter and established the ring of fire and steel on which successive waves of German shock troops were shattered. A big white town, with a peacetime population of about 5,000 people, Tobruk lies at the end of a bay about one mile wide and two miles long. It was planned and built as a garrison town, for there can be no other reason for its existence in arid, treeless country supporting only a few camels, goats, and gazelles. Through the town runs the single bitumen road that crosses Cyrenaica. Australian War Memorial, ‘2/17th Battalion’, http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_11268.asp Scrub typhus From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Scrub typhus or Bush typhus is a form of typhus caused by the intracellular parasite Orientia tsutsugamushi, a Gram-negative α-proteobacterium of family Rickettsiaceae first isolated and identified in 1930 in Japan Although the disease is similar in presentation to other forms of typhus, its pathogen is not anymore included in genus Rickettsia with the typhus bacteria proper, but in Orientia. The disease is thus frequently classified separately from the other typhi. Without treatment, the disease is often fatal. Since the use of antibiotics, case fatalities have decreased from 4%-40% to less than 2%. In 1945 antibiotics were still being researched. There are currently (2014) no licensed vaccines available World war II provides some indicators that the disease is endemic to undeveloped areas in all of Oceania in the Pacific Theater, although war records frequently lack assured diagnoses to desired by epidemiological statics-and many records of "high fever" evacuations were also likely to be other tropical illnesses. In the chapter entitled "The Green War", General MacArthur's biographer William Manchester identifies that the disease was one of a number debilitating afflictions affecting both sides on New Guinea in the running bloody Kokoda battles over unbelievably harsh terrains under incredible hardships- fought during a six month span all along the Kokoda Track in 1942-43, and mentions that to be hospital evacuated, Allied soldiers (who cycled forces) had to run a fever of 102°F-and that sickness casualties outnumbered weapons inflicted Similarly, the illness was a casualty producer in all the jungle fighting of the land battles of New Guinea campaign and Guadalcanal campaign. Where the allies had bases, they could remove and cut back vegetation or use DDT as a prophylaxis area barrier treatment, so tick induced sickness rates in forces off the front lines were diminished. The disease was also a problem for US troops stationed in Japan after WWII, and was variously known as "Shichitō fever" (by troops stationed in the Izu Seven Islands) or "Hatsuka fever" (Chiba prefecture).