The battles on Timor, 20-23 February, 1942

Just before midnight on the night of 19/20 February elements of the Japanese 228th Regiment landed in Dili. The units from Sparrow Force had been expecting to be relieved by Portuguese colonial troops from Africa and assumed the troops landing were their replacements arriving unannounced. They received a very rude shock.

  • Roll of Honour talk, presented by Brad Manera from the Memorial's Military History Section, on Saturday 23 February 2002 (transcript and audio)

  • Items from the collection: Christmas card, 1944, from "Sparrow Force" to Lieutenant Colonel F. G. Galleghan, sketch maps of Timor, An overview of operations in Timor for the year 12 December 1941 - 12 December 1942.

Photos from the collection.

AWM 013771
9 December 1942, Timor - L/Sgt W Tomasetti 2/2 Independent Company leads creados and Timor ponies though the mountains of Timor
AWM 013771

AWM 116018
Koepang area, Timor. Memebers of Timforce paying their respects at the grave of Captain N. H. Roff, 2/40th Infantry Battalion who was killed in action on the 23 February 1942.
AWM 116018

AWM 013771
9 December 1942, Timor - L/Sgt W Tomasetti 2/2 Independent Company leads creados and Timor ponies though the mountains of Timor
AWM 013771

Further reading:

Fighting in Timor 1942 AWM encyclopedia entry

Callinan, B., Independent Company; the 2/2 and 2/4 Australian Independent Companies in Portugese Timor 1941–1943, William Heinemann Ltd, London. [1953]

Campbell, A., The double reds of Timor JBMA, Swanbourne. [1995]

Doig, C., A history of the 2nd Independent Company and 2/2 Commando Squadron, Self-published. [1986]

Wray, C., Timor 1942: Australian commandos at war with the Japanese, Hutchinson Australia, Melbourne. [1987]