McDonald, Stuart (Major General), CBE, MC, ED

Place Oceania: Pacific Islands, Solomon Islands, Bougainville, South Bougainville, Mivo River Area
Accession Number PR03298
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1cm
Object type Papers
Maker 3rd Division Head Quarters, Australian Army
Place made Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands, Bougainville, South Bougainville, Mivo River Area
Date made 1945
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection relating to Captain (later Major General) Stuart McDonald, 47 Battalion, 1945. It comprises a message from 3 Division Head Quarters delivered by plane to D Company, 47 Battalion, giving the time and location of a supply drop during the Bougainville campaign in the Second World War.

History / Summary

On 2 July 1945 McDonald was ordered to move with his company to Mivo River to establish a base and construct a dropping zone from which the battalion could operate. They struck an enemy force of about 100 on their first day. Initially they weren't sure if they were enemy or not because of the thick jungle so they called out the names of the Victorian Football League teams. There was no reply so they knew it was Japanese. D Company couldn't get out of their position as the Japanese fired whenever they tried to break free and their communication lines were cut so they couldn't contact battalion HQ. On day three they decided to release the two pigeons they had with them. McDonald wrote a message asking for fire in five hours. The pigeons got through and the Japanese were shelled. The following day an observation aircraft spotted D Company and the pilot wrote the message in this collection detailing when and where they would receive supplies. For his action at the Mivo River from 2-5 July 1945, Captain McDonald was awarded the Military Cross.