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Research essay
Australian Pacific war unit histories - Bibliography
Richard Pelvin

      This bibliography is adapted from the Australian War Memorial guide Access to published unit histories. Some less relevant histories have been deleted, others added. Time constraints have not allowed all the works listed to be perused, and not all works consulted have drawn comment. This is not a comment on the value of the book but rather on the uniformity of the genre.

      The bibliography is arranged by service and, in the case of the Army, by corps, and then numerically by unit number. Warships are listed alphabetically.



      Birks, M.R. (ed.), The 2/7th Australian Cavalry Regiment, Guildford, NSW: 2/7th Australian Cavalry Regiment Association, 1974.

      Hartley, F.J., Sanananda interlude: the 7th Aust. Division Cavalry Regiment, Melbourne: Book Depot, 1949.

      Pura, Colin, Black berets: the history and the battles of the 9th Division Cavalry Regiment, Melbourne: 9th Australian Division Cavalry Regiment Association, 1983.


      Speed and vigilance: the story of the 2 Aust Tank Bn (AIF), 1939–1944, Sydney: New Century Press, 1945.

      Tank tracks: The war history of the 2/4th Australian Armoured Regimental Group, Sydney: Halstead Press, 1953.

      History of the 2/6 Australian Armoured Regiment, Southport: Bulletin Printery Pty Ltd, 1945.

      Armour to anchors: the history of the 2/8th Australian Armoured Regiment 1941–44 and service with the 41, 42, 43 Australian Landing Craft Companies 1944–46, AIF, Karingal, Vic.: 2/8th Australian Armoured Regiment Association, 1991.

      Donovan, P.F., Waltzing Matildas: the men and machines of the 2/9th Australian Armoured Regimental Group in Australia and Borneo 1941–1946, Blackwood: Donovan and Associates, 1988.
      Well-researched history, sourced and indexed. The former commanding officer of the regiment provides a justification for the controversial Borneo campaigns in the foreword.


      Field regiments

      Haywood, E.V., Six years in support: official history of the 2/1st Australian Field Regiment, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1959.

      Cremor, W. (ed.), Action front: the history of the 2/2nd Australian Field Regiment Royal Australian 7020 and Artillery, AIF, Melbourne: 2/2nd Field Regiment Association, 1961.
      A useful account of artillery in the Aitape–Wewak campaign, with a great deal of interesting detail. This history displays more than the usual amount of unit pride and is particularly testy about the Army’s higher administration.

      Henry, Russell L., The story of the 2/4th Field Regiment: a history of a Royal Australian Artillery Regiment during the Second World War, Melbourne: Merrion Press, 1950.

      O’Brien, John W., Guns and gunners: the story of the 2/5th Australian Field Regiment in World War II, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1950.

      Warby, John, The 25 pounders – from Egypt to Borneo: … the story of the 2/6th Australian Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, Pymble, NSW: 2/6th Field Regiment Association, 1995.

      Goodhart, David, The history of the 2/7th Australian Field Regiment, Adelaide: Rigby Ltd, 1952.

      2/8th Australian Field Regiment Association, 2/8 Australian Field Regiment remembers World War II, 1939–1945, n.p.: 2/8th Field Regiment Association, 1992.

      Goodwin, Robert, Mates and memories: recollections of the 2/10th Field Regiment RAA, Rochedale, Qld: Boolarong Press with 2/10th Field Regiment Association, 1995.

      Lewis, Bill, Observation post: six years of war with the 2/11th Aust. Army Field Regiment, West Essendon, Vic.: 2/11th Australian Army Field Regiment Association, 1989.

      Parsons, Max, Gunfire! A history of the 2/12th Australian Field Regiment 1940–1946, Cheltenham, Vic.: Globe Press, 1991.

      Jackson, R., The broken eighth: a history of the 2/14th Australian Field Regiment, Melbourne: Clipper Press, 1997.

      Whitelocke, Cliff, Gunners in the jungle: A story of the 2/15th Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery, 8 Division, Australian Imperial Force, Eastwood, NSW: 2/15th Field Regiment Association, 1983.

      Anti-aircraft regiments

      Delaforce, Keith, 53rd Australian Composite Anti-Aircraft Regiment RAA: an historical record, Grafton, NSW: K. Delaforce, 1995.

      Rae, C.J.E., et al., On target: the story of the 2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Victoria: 2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Association, 1987.

      West, Francis, From Alamein to Scarlet Beach: the history of 2/4 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Second AIF, Geelong, Vic.: Deakin University Press, 1989.

      Tank attack regiments

      "Silver John" (Argent, Jack N.L.), “Target Tank”: the history of the 2/3rd Australian Anti-Tank Regiment 9th Division, AIF, Parramatta, NSW: Cumberland Newspapers Ltd, 1957.

      Searle, R.C., On your feet: an account of 2 battery of the 2/1 Australian Tank Attack Regiment in the Wewak campaign. New Guinea. 1945, Brisbane: W. Brooks, 1948.

      The story of the 2/3 Anti-Tank Regiment RAA AIF: now the 23 Field Regiment RAA Army Reserve, Sydney: published by the regiment, 1975.

      Smith, N.C., Tid–Apa: the story of the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment 1940–1945, Melbourne: Mostly Unsung Military History Research and Publications, 1992.
      The account of heavy fighting in the Malayan campaign is followed by an overview of the campaign which might have been better placed as an introduction. This is the only tank attack regiment in the Pacific war used in its designed role. An index of personal names is included.

      Searchlight battery

      Hill, Noel, “The Long White Finger”: A narrative history of the 73rd Aust. Mobil Searchlight Battery, AIF, during its active life 1942–5, n.p., [c.1992].
      Provides useful detail on the operation and deployment of searchlights used not only to illuminate intruders but also as beacons to assist with the safe return of friendly aircraft.


      Field companies

      Davidson, Reginald, With courage high: the history of the 2/8th Field Company Royal Australian Engineers, 1940–1946, Melbourne: Green and Sons, 1964.

      Bourne, Jack, and Jack Lavery, A purple patch: a history of the 10th Field Company Royal Australian Engineers (AIF) 1940–1945, Melbourne: 10th Field Company RAE (AIF) Association, 1991.
      Fewer yarns and more information on the work of the unit would have made this a more valuable work for researchers.

      Franke, Carl S., Mad Mick’s mob: a history of the 15th Australian Field Company Engineers RAE (AIF), Mentone, Vic.: 15th Australian Field Company Engineers Association, 1995.

      Small ship companies

      Stapleton, Austin, In all respects ready... , East Bentleigh, Vic.: Pegasus Public Relations, 1982.

      Field workshops

      Moran, George, The story of the 2/2 Army Field Workshops, Melbourne: Outlook Press, 1964.

      Water transport companies

      Pearn, John Hemsley, Watermen of war: a history of No. 43 Australian Water Transport Operating Company (Landing Craft) AIF, of the Royal Australian Engineers, Brisbane: Amphion Press, 1993.


      Viccars, Jack S., History of New Guinea Survey Section later 8 Australian Field Survey Section, Canberra: J.S. Viccars, [c.1988].

      McRae, Heather, Soldier surveyors: a history of 3 Australian Field Survey Company (AIF) 1940–1945, Victoria: 3 Australian Field Survey Company (AIF) Association, 1996.


      3/66 Club Unit Association (comp.), Getting through: the unit war history of 3rd Australian Division Signals, 1939–1945, Melbourne: Kenwalk Publications, 1987.

      Jacobs, J.W., and R.J. Bridgland (eds), Through: the story of Signals 8 Australian Division and Signals AIF Malaya, Sydney: Halstead Press Ltd, 1950.

      Mansfield, Alan (comp.), A brief history of the New Guinea Air Warning Wireless Company (AIF), Melbourne: New Guinea Air Warning Wireless Association, 1962.

      Perrin, A.E., The private war of the spotters: a history of the New Guinea Air Warning Wireless Company, February 1940–45, Foster, Vic.: NGAWW Association, 1990.


      The first at war: the story of the 2/1st Australian Infantry Battalion 1939–45, the City of Sydney Regiment, Earlwood, NSW: Editorial Committee Association of First Infantry Battalions, 1987.

      Wick, Stan, Purple over green: the history of the 2/2nd Australian Infantry Battalion 1939–1945, Sydney: 2/2nd Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1977.
      Conventional but well written. It has some interesting insights into Albert Chowne, VC.

      Barter, Margaret, Far above battle: The experience and memory of Australian soldiers in war: 1939–1945, St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1994.
      A thoughtful, scholarly study of the 2/2nd Australian Infantry Battalion. Dr Barter’s intention is to provide a more penetrating account than the conventional battalion history and she succeeds admirably.

      Kennedy, Colin (comp.), Port Moresby to Gona Beach: 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion 1942, Canberra: Colin Kennedy, 1992.

      Clift, Ken, War dance: A story of the 2/3 Aust. Inf. Battalion AIF, Kingsgrove, NSW: Fowler and 2/3 Battalion Association, 1980.
      A competently written account. Anecdotes are added in much the same style as a sidebar would be in a more recent publication. This becomes even more accentuated in the account of the battalion’s Wewak operations to the extent that the story becomes repetitious and disjointed.

      Bolger, W.P., and J.G. Littlewood, The fiery phoenix: the story of the 2/7 Australian Infantry Battalion 1939–1946, Parkdale, Vic.: 2/7 Battalion Association, 1983.
      Described by its authors as a family history, eschewing criticism and giving praise. Written very much for battalion members.

      Speed, Frank Warren (ed.), Esprit de corps: the history of the Victorian Scottish Regiment and the 5th Infantry Battalion, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1988.

      Trigellis-Smith, S., All the king’s enemies: a history of the 2/5th Australian Infantry Battalion, Ringwood, Vic.: 2/5th Battalion Association, 1988.

      Unit History Editorial Committee (ed.), “White over green”: the 2/4th Battalion and reference to the 4th Battalion, Sydney: Angus & Robertson for the 2/4th Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1963.

      Hay, David, Nothing over us: the story of the 2/6 Australian Infantry Battalion, Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1984.
      A particularly well-written history, with some perceptive insights into the battalion’s culture.

      Pedder, Allan, The Seventh Battalion: a brief history and pictorial record of the Seventh Australian Infantry Battalion (AIF) (1936–1945),
      Melbourne: 7th Battalion Association, 1989.

      The Second Eighth: a history of the 2/8th Australian Infantry Battalion, Melbourne: 2/8th Battalion Association, 1984.

      Allchin, Frank, Purple and blue: the history of the 2/10th Battalion, AIF (The Adelaide Rifles) 1939–45, Adelaide: Griffin Press, 1958.
      Economically places the battalion’s story into the strategic context. Concludes with a chapter on the battalion’s sporting history.

      The 2/11th (City of Perth) Australian Infantry Battalion, 1939–1945, Perth: H.M. Binks, 1984.

      Graeme-Evans, A.L., Of storms and rainbows: the story of the men of the 2/12th Battalion AIF, October 1939–January 1946, vol. 2, [vol. 1 covers the battalion’s service in the Middle East], Hobart: 12th Battalion Association, 1991.
      Extensive quotation from reminiscences and documentary primary sources usually works well, but here there is too much irrelevant quotation from secondary sources. Well footnoted.

      Fearnside, G.H. (ed.), Bayonets abroad: a history of the 2/13th Battalion AIF in the Second World War, Swanbourne, WA: John Burridge Military Antiques, 1993.
      Originally published in 1953. The editor brings together a collection of accounts by different authors, all members of the battalion, describing different periods and aspects of the unit’s history. Includes chapters on the 2/13th’s experience of troopships and the work of the battalion’s Ladies’ Auxiliary. Another chapter pays tribute to Albert Chowne, who distinguished himself with the battalion before going on to win a VC, awarded posthumously, with another battalion.

      Mason, Ralph (ed.), A pictorial history of the 2/13th Australian Infantry Battalion AIF: from photographs supplied by members of the 2/13 Battalion, Milsons Point, NSW: R. Mason, 1979.
      Photographic record of the battalion’s history designed as a complement to Fearnside.

      Russell, W.B., The Second Fourteenth Battalion: a history of an Australian infantry battalion in the Second World War, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1949.

      McAllester, J.C., Men of the 2/14 Battalion, Melbourne: 2/14 Battalion Association, 1990.

      Bilney, Keith, 14/32 Australian Infantry Battalion AIF 1940–1945, Melbourne: 14/32 Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1994.
      This starts as a fairly bland history of a unit that seemed destined to miss any serious action, then gives an excellent account of the battalion’s attack on Mount Sugi in the last days of the war.

      Austin, Ronald J., Let enemies beware! “Caveant hostes”: the history of the 2/15th Battalion, 1940–1945, Brunswick, Vic.: Impact Printing, 1995.
      Achieves a good balance in providing a context for the unit’s operations and a linking narrative between extensive quotations from the members of the battalion.

      Uren, Malcolm, A thousand men at war: the story of the 2/16th Battalion AIF, Melbourne: William Heinemann, 1959.

      2/17 Battalion History Committee (Australia), “What we have – we hold!” A history of the 2/17 Australian Infantry Battalion, 1940–1945, Balgowlah, NSW: 2/17 Battalion History Committee, n.d.
      Quotes lavishly from official records such as the war diary or battalion orders. There is a large appendix containing personal anecdotes.

      Burfitt James, Against all odds: the history of the 2/18 Battalion AIF, Frenchs Forest, NSW: 2/18 Battalion (AIF) Association, 1991.

      2/19 Battalion AIF Association, The grim glory of the 2/19th Battalion AIF, Sydney: 2/19 Battalion AIF Association, 1975.

      Wall, Don, Singapore and beyond: the story of the men of the 2/20 Battalion, East Hills, NSW: 2/20 Battalion Association, 1985.

      Macfarlan, Graeme, Etched in green: the history of the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion 1939–1946, Melbourne: 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1961.

      Share, Pat (ed.), Mud and blood: Albury’s own Second Twenty Third Australian Infantry Battalion, Ninth Australian Division, Frankston, Vic.: Heritage Book Publications in association with the 2/23rd Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1978.

      Fancke, Dick (comp.), Mud and blood in the field, Hughesdale, Vic.: John Sissons (Bookseller) in association with the 2/23 Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1984.

      24th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF: pictorial battle history, Melbourne: Craftsman Press, 1946.

      Christensen, George (ed.), That’s the way it was: the history of the 24th Infantry Battalion (AIF) 1939–1945, Melbourne: 24th Battalion (AIF) Association, 1982.

      Serle, R.P. (ed.), The Second Twenty-Fourth: Australian Infantry Battalion of the Ninth Australian Division: a history, Brisbane: Jacaranda Press, 1963.

      Magarry, Ron, The battalion story: 2/26th Battalion, 8th Division, AIF, Jindalee, Qld: R. Magarry, 1994.

      Turrell, A.N., Never unprepared: a history of the 26th Australian Infantry Battalion (AIF), 1939–1946, Wynnum, Qld: 26th Battalion Reunion Association, 1992.

      Bennett, A. (ed.), The chocolate and blue soldier: a pictorial history of the SA Scottish Regiment in the Second World War 1939–45, Adelaide: 27th SA Scottish Regiment Club, 1969.

      Burns, John, The brown and blue diamond at war: the story of the 2/27th Battalion, AIF, Adelaide: 2/27 Battalion Association, 1960.

      Masel, Philip, The Second 28th: the story of a famous battalion of the Ninth Australian Division, Perth: 2/28th Battalion and 24th Anti-Tank Company Association, 1961.

      Christie, R.W., and Robert Christie (eds), A history of the 2/29 Battalion, 8th Australian Division AIF, Malvern, Vic.: 2/29 Battalion Association, 1983.
      The first part of this book consists of a number of personal memoirs describing aspects of the formation of the unit and the fighting prior to the fall of Singapore. There is an all too short account of the experiences of a number of the battalion’s members who fell in with the Communist guerrillas in Malaya after the fall of Singapore. The second part of the book describes the battalion’s POW experiences.

      Charlott, Rupert (ed.), The unofficial history of the 29/46th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, Melbourne: Halstead Press, 1952.

      The history and regimental standing orders of the 30th Infantry Battalion: the New South Wales Scottish Regiment, Crows Nest, NSW: Battalion Headquarters, 1959.

      Penfold, A.W., W.C. Bayliss, and K.E. Crispin, Galleghan’s greyhounds: the story of the 2/30th Australian Infantry Battalion. 22nd November 1940–10th October 1945, Sydney: 2/30th Bn AIF Association, 1949.

      Laffin, John, Forever forward: the history of the 2/31st Australian Infantry Battalion 2nd AIF, 1940–45, Newport, NSW: 2/31st Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1994.
      Very well illustrated. Includes a large section of poetry composed by members of the battalion.

      Trigellis-Smith, Syd, Britain to Borneo: a history of the 2/32 Australian Infantry Battalion, Sydney: 2/32 Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1993.

      Crooks, William, The footsoldiers: the story of the 2/33rd Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, in the war of 1939–1945, Brookvale, NSW: Printcraft Press, 1971.

      Brigg, Stan, and Les Brigg (comps), The 36th Australian Infantry Battalion, 1939–1945: the story of an Australian infantry battalion and its part in the war against Japan, Sydney: 36th Battalion (St George’s English Rifle Regiment) Association, 1967.
      Especially useful for its account of operations on the Sanananda track and later in New Britain. Occasional good use of Japanese sources to show conditions on the other side of the hill.

      37th/52nd Australian Infantry Battalion Association, A young man’s war: a history of the 37th/52nd Australian Infantry Battalion in World War Two: battle honours South-West Pacific 1943–1945, liberation of Australian New Guinea, Gusika–Fortification Point, Melbourne: 37/52 Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1992.

      Austin, Victor, To Kokoda and beyond: the story of the 39th Battalion, 1941–1943, Carlton, Vic., Melbourne University Press, 1988.
      The author provides a well-written account which smoothly links personal reminiscence, war diaries and official histories to present the story of the battalion most closely associated with the Papuan campaign. The professional production of this book is exemplified by the quality of its maps and the incorporation of an index.

      Henning, Peter, Doomed battalion: mateship and leadership in war and captivity, the Australian 2/40th Battalion 1940–45, St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1995.
      Although concerned mainly with the 2/40th’s POW experience, the author provides a well-researched account of the battalion’s raising and its early history, and graphically recounts its short combat experience on Timor.

      Alcorn, J.W., History of 41st Battalion, the Royal New South Wales Regiment 1916–1984 (rev. ed.), Lismore, NSW: J.W. Alcorn, 1984.

      Benson, S.E., Story of the 42nd Australian Infantry Battalion, Sydney: Dymock’s Book Arcade, for the 42nd Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1952.

      Boss-Walker, Geoffrey, Desert sand and jungle green: a pictorial history of the 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion (Ninth Division) in the Second World War 1939–1945, Hobart: Oldham, Beddome and Meredith Pty Ltd, 1948.

      Combe, Gordon, et al., The Second 43rd Australian Infantry Battalion 1940–1946, Adelaide: Second 43rd Battalion AIF Club, 1972.

      Glenn, John G., Tobruk to Tarakan: the story of the 2/48th Battalion, AIF, Adelaide: Rigby, 1960.
      Pitched very much to the battalion’s members. Uses very little direct quotation from primary sources.

      Cranston, F., Always faithful: a history of the 49th Australian Infantry Battalion, 1916–1982, Brisbane: Boolarong Publications, 1983.
      A very good history of a semi-trained battalion thrust into the brutal fighting at Sanananda, then disbanded just as it was expecting to receive proper training.

      Hughes, W.E., At war with the 51st Infantry Battalion and 31/51st Infantry Battalion from 1940 to 1946, Toowoomba, Qld: Church Activist Press, 1993.

      Budden, F.M., That mob: the story of the 55/53rd Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, Sydney: F.M. Budden, 1973.
      Provides a defence of the 53rd Battalion’s role in the Kokoda fighting.

      Mathews, Russell, Militia battalion at war: the history of the 58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion in the Second World War, Sydney: Halstead Press, 1961.
      A tautly written account by a member of the battalion who had become a senior academic by the time of writing. Very concerned to counteract a perceived bias in publicity towards the AIF.

      Machine-gun battalions

      Hocking, Philip, The long carry: a history of the 2/1 Australian Machine Gun Battalion, 1939–46, Nunawading, Vic.: The 2/1 Australian Machine Gun Battalion Association, 1997.
      A well-produced book which includes an index and a useful appendix on the role and use of the Vickers Medium machine-gun.

      Oaks, Edwin Ernest, Muzzle blast: A pictorial story of six years of war with the 2/2 Australian Machine Gun Battalion, Sydney: 2/2 Australian Machine Gun Battalion Association War History Committee, 1980.

      Bellair, John, From snow to jungle: a history of the 2/3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1987.
      This book describes two quite different types of fighting in the war against Japan. Returning from the Middle East, most of the battalion was diverted to the Netherlands East Indies where its members saw action against the Japanese, before becoming POWs. The remainder formed the core of a “reinforced” battalion which saw service in the Aitape–Wewak campaign.

      Cody, Les, Ghosts in khaki: the history of the 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion, 8th Australian Division AIF, Carlisle, WA: Hesperian Press, 1997.

      Ball, Reg A., 5 Aust Mg Bn (AIF): Torres Strait Force, Kareela, NSW: R.A. Ball, 1993.

      McGoldrick, D., History of the 7th Aust. Machine Gun Battalion AIF, Beecroft, NSW: 7th Australian Machine Gun Battalion AIF Association, c.1973.
      A short booklet describing the history of a unit which was disbanded in 1943. Despite its short length, it contains a number of valuable insights.

      Pioneer battalions

      Osborn, Gordon, et al. (eds), The pioneers: unit history of the 2nd/1st Australian Pioneer Battalion Second AIF, Beverly Hills, NSW: M.D. Herron, 1988.

      The story of the 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion, Melbourne: 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion Association, 1953.

      Anderson, J.A., and J.G.T. Jackett (eds), Mud and sand: being the official war history of the 2/3 Pioneer Battalion AIF, Sutherland, NSW: 2/3 Pioneer Battalion Association, 1963.


      Fuller, Norm, The flying footsloggers: a saga of World War II, n.p., n.d.
      Describes the formation and training of a unit unique in the Australian Army but not committed to action.

      Commandos and independent companies

      Callinan, Bernard, Independent company: the Australian Army in Portuguese Timor 1941–43, Richmond, Vic.: Heinemann, 1984.

      O’Leary, Shawn, To the green fields beyond: the story of 6th Australian Division Cavalry Commandos, Sydney: Sixth Division Cavalry, Unit Historical Committee, 1975.

      Doig, C.D., The history of the Second Independent Company, Perth: C.D. Doig, 1986.

      Garland, Ron, Nothing is forever: the history of 2/3rd Commandos, Malabar Heights, NSW: R. Garland, 1997.

      Lambert, George Ernest (comp.), Commando, from Tidal River to Tarakan: the story of the No. 4 Australian Independent Company AIF later known as 2/4th Australian Commando Squadron AIF, 1941–45, Melbourne: 2nd/4th Commando Association, 1994.

      Boxall, Jack, Story of the 2/5 Australian Commando Squadron, AIF, Lakemba, NSW: Metropolitan Printers, 1961.

      Pirie, A.A., Commando double black: an historical narrative of the 2/5th Australian Independent Company, later the 2/5th Cavalry Commando Squadron, 1942–1945, Sydney: 2/5th Commando Trust, 1993.

      Trigellis-Smith, Syd, The purple devils: a history of the 2/6 Australian Commando Squadron, formerly the 2/6 Australian Independent Company, 1942–1946, Melbourne: 2/6 Commando Squadron, 1992.

      Astill, Don, Commando white diamond: memoir of service of the 2/8 Australian Commando Squadron, Australia and the South-West Pacific 1942–1945, Loftus, NSW: Australian Military History Publications, 1996.

      Noonan, William, The surprising battalion: Australian commandos in China, Sydney: NSW Bookstall Co., 1945.

      Pacific Islands Regiment

      Granter, N.E.W. (ed.), Yesterday and today: an illustrated history of the Pacific Islands Regiment from its formation on 19 June 1940 until the present day, Port Moresby: South Pacific Post, 1970.

      Sinclair, James, To find a path: the life and times of the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment, Spring Hill, Qld; Bathurst, NSW: Boolarong Publications for M.B. Pears for the Trustees RPIR Regimental History Committee; Crawford House Press, 1990–1992 [available from Wancliff Press, PO Box 5849, Gold Coast Mail Centre, Qld, 4217].

      New Guinea Volunteer Rifles

      Cooke, John, Working in Papua New Guinea, 1931–1946, Upper Mt Gravatt, Qld: Lara Publications, 1983.


      Patterson, Jim (comp.), 1st Australian Pack Transport Company (AIF): an incomplete story of the unit activities, n.p., n.d.

      Colbourne, John, 165 Australian General Transport Company (AIF): its history and antecedents, Casula, NSW: Garnet Dredge, [c.1997].

      2nd Australian Ambulance Car Company, 1942–1946, n.p.: 2nd Australian Ambulance Car Company Association, n.d.


      General hospitals

      Simpson, Sheila, Medical pathfinders, Sydney: 2/1 Australian General Hospital Association, 1990.

      Goodman, Rupert, A hospital at war: the story of the 2/4 Australian General Hospital 1940–1945, Brisbane: Boolarong Publications, 1983.

      Wilkinson, T., History of 2/6th Australian General Hospital 1940–1946, Sydney: Devil Printers, 1978.

      2/7th Australian General Hospital Association silver jubilee, 1965, Victoria: 2/7th Australian General Hospital Association, 1965.

      Crouch, Joan, A special kind of service: the story of the 2/9 Australian General Hospital, 1940–46, Chippendale NSW: Alternative Publishing Co-operative, 1986.

      Field ambulances

      Tann, Lloyd, Unit history: 2/5th Australian Field Ambulance 1940–1945, Forster, NSW: 2/5th Australian Field Ambulance Association, 1987.

      Connolly, Ray, and Bob Wilson, Medical soldiers: 2/10 Australian Field Ambulance 8 Div. 1940–45, Kingsgrove, NSW: 2/10 Australian Field Ambulance Association, 1985.

      McCarthy, Len, Medics at war: an abridged history and anecdotes of the 2/13th Field Ambulance (AIF) 1940–1945, Fremantle: Nam Publications, 1995.

      Raxworthy, Richard (ed.), Soldiering on in Papua New Guinea: 9th Australian Field Ambulance (AIF) 1939–45: an oral history, Haymarket, NSW: 9th Australian Field Ambulance Committee, 1993.

      Australian Casualty Clearing Station

      Hamilton, Thomas, Soldier surgeon in Malaya [2/4th ACCS], Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1957.


      Torres Strait Force

      Ball, Reg, Torres Strait Force 1942–1945: Cape York–Torres Strait and Merauke in Dutch New Guinea, Loftus, NSW: Australian Military History Publications, 1996.

      North Australian Observers Unit

      Walker, Richard, Curtin’s cowboys: Australia’s secret bush commandos, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1986.

      Special units

      Connell, Brian, Return of the tiger, London: Evans Brothers, 1960.
      R940.5486 C752r
      1 copy

      Long, Bob, “Z” Special Unit’s secret war: Operation Semut 1: soldiering with the headhunters of Borneo, Hornsby, NSW: Transpareon Press, 1989.



      History of No. 2 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, 1916–1952, Melbourne: Specialty Press, n.d.

      Bennett, John, Highest traditions: the history of No. 2 Squadron, RAAF, Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1995.
      Although only part of the book refers to the Pacific war, it is an excellent account of the squadron’s war service, with the author deftly combining personal accounts and primary archival sources.

      Graham, Cec, Co-operate to conquer: activities of No. 4 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force, World Wars I & II, n.p., n.d.

      No. 6 Squadron 50th anniversary, 1939–1989: history booklet, Amberley, Qld: No. 6 Squadron, 1989.

      Grantham, Sid, The 13 Squadron story, Dee Why, NSW: S.R. Grantham for the 13 Squadron Story Book Fund, 1991.
      A diary-like account interspersed with anecdotes. Includes a number of short biographies of squadron personnel. Profusely illustrated.

      Wallace, Gordon, Are you there Don R.? Being the true story of the 18 Squadron NEI–RAAF forces from 1942–1950, Surrey Hills, Vic.: Gordon Wallace, 1983.

      Brook, W.H., Demon to vampire: the story of No. 21 (City of Melbourne) Squadron, Glen Waverly, Vic.: Demonvamp Publications, 1986.
      Well-written, well-sourced account of the squadron’s history, including its involvement in the Pacific war as a fighter, dive bomber and heavy bomber unit. Especially interesting account of the squadron’s service in the Malayan campaign.

      Rice, Bert, 22 Squadron RAAF, Mt Waverley, Vic.: 22 Squadron Association of Victoria, 1987.
      Unpaginated, with no illustrations or maps, but with much useful information on the operation of Boston and Beaufighter aircraft. The author has some interesting comments on the sale of liquor by servicemen in the light of the Barry Royal Commission.

      Newbury, George A., No. 24 (City of Adelaide) Squadron jubilee 1940–1990: Squadron history, Adelaide: No. 24 Squadron, 1990.

      Dick, George, Beaufighters over New Guinea: No. 30 Squadron RAAF 1942–1943, Point Cook, Vic.: RAAF Museum, 1993.

      Jillett, Leslie, Moresby’s few: being an account of the activities of No. 32 Squadron in New Guinea in 1942, Narrabri, NSW: North Western Courier, 1945.
      Contains some graphic accounts of air fighting.

      Randall, Alan, There and back: reminiscences, episodes, anecdotes and wartime exploits of the famous RAAF 36 (Transport Squadron), Armadale, Vic.: H.H. Stephenson, 1985.
      Part autobiographical and part unit history. Gives a good picture of the multifarious duties of a transport unit.

      Medew, Norm, Up north in fortythree: The story of a Spitfire squadron in the island war, Sale, Vic.: N.D. Medew, 1989.

      Harding, James H., It had to B.U.: the life story of 80 Squadron RAAF in the South-West Pacific area, Burwood, Vic.: Chandos Publishing, 1996.
      Highlights some strains in the relationship between officers and ground staff.

      Bennett, John, Defeat to victory: No. 453 Squadron RAAF, Point Cook, Vic.: RAAF Museum, 1994.
      A well-researched account of the squadron’s operations in Malaya. The second part of the book describes the squadron’s service in Europe in the latter part of the war.


      Smith, Norm, Secret action of 305: the story of RAAF Radar Station No. 305 in the war with Japan, Murwillumbah, NSW: W.N. Smith and F.P.J. Coghlan, 1987.

      Craig, A.C., Where birds of paradise fly [347 Radar Station], [Randwick, NSW]: A.C. Craig, 1994.


      Bleakley, Jack, The eavesdroppers, Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, c.1992.

      Jubbs, Leslie, Royal Australian Air Force Marine Section: the forgotten era of men and vessels, Kingsley, WA: L. Jubbs, 1997.


      Walker, Frank B., HMAS Armidale: the ship that had to die, Budgewoi, NSW: Kingfisher Press, 1990.
      A well-written account of the life and death of the ship, with a focus on the last heroic actions of Ordinary Seaman Teddy Sheean MID and the fate of the ship’s survivors. Analysis of Armidale’s last operation is spoilt by a dash of conspiracy theory hinted at by the book’s silly subtitle.

      Payne, M.A., HMAS Australia 1928–1955, Sydney: Naval Historical Society of Australia, 1971.
      A good basic account of the ship’s operational career. Includes plan showing basic features of the ship. No maps.

      Eves, Wally (comp.), HMAS Bendigo, Corvette, n.p., n.d.
      Compilation of memorabilia and short accounts by members of the ship’s company.

      Lind, L.J., and M.A. Payne, HMAS Hobart: The story of the 6-inch cruiser HMAS Hobart 1938–1962, Sydney: The Naval Historical Society of Australia, 1971.
      A short summary of the ship’s career. Includes plan showing basic features of the ship. No maps. Adequate account but adds little insight.

      Fox, J.R., HMAS Katoomba: a history, December 1941–March 1943, Frenchs Forest, NSW: Reynard, 1996.
      A short but useful account, full of anecdotes of the career of a busy corvette. It ends abruptly and without explanation as the ship goes into refit in March 1943.

      Brennan, Ronald F., HMAS Lismore: an Australian corvette, Chelsea, Vic.: R.F. Brennan, [1988].
      A short workmanlike account of the ship’s career is followed by three appendices covering the ship’s mascots, press articles and anecdotes. However, much of the ship’s service was outside the Pacific.

      Whiting, Brendan, Ship of courage: the epic story of HMAS Perth and her crew, St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1994.
      Written by the son of a sailor lost in Perth’s last battle, there is much of the author’s personal quest for his father.

      Nicholls, Stan, HMAS Shropshire, Sydney: Naval Historical Society of Australia, 1989.
      A well-illustrated history which provides an immense amount of information on the operation of a warship.

      Brooks, Geoff, “We lived with danger”: a history of the Australian corvette HMAS Stawell (J348) 1943–1945, Weston, ACT: G. Brooks, 1994.

      Whyte, S.T., HMAS Warramunga’s history, Earlwood, NSW: S.T. Whyte, 1990.
      Straightforward account drawn from official records.

      Parry, A.F., HMAS Yarra: the story of a gallant ship, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1946.
      Only a short section of the book concerns Yarra’s operations against the Japanese. The author was a member of the ship’s complement, and left the ship shortly before her loss.

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