Platypus VIII

Date from 03 July 1945
Date to 12 August 1945
Category Operation
Alternative Names
  • Platypus 8

The Platypus series of missions were carried out during the Second World War by members of the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) to support Operation Oboe 2, the Allied landings at Balikpapan, Borneo. Platypus VIII mission was to provide observation and intelligence on the enemy line of withdrawal and reinforcements to the Samarinda – Balikpapan areas; to organise local resistance; set up escape routes for downed airmen in the Samarinda - Mahakam River Lakes area and cut off food supplies to the enemy in the area. The mission consisted of four parties led by Capt VD Prentice, Sgt AN Thompson, Lt C H Chalmers and WJ Martin. On the 24 June a pre-insertion reconnaissance was carried out by the party leader in a Catalina of 7 US Fleet. On 3 July 1945 sub-party 1 was inserted followed by the other parties throughout the month. The mission provided valuable intelligence on Japanese escape routes, air strikes destroyed enemy targets including the Headquarters of Admiral Saburo Nomiya, local food supplies were cut off to Japanese and valuable post war contacts with native chiefs were established. On 12 August the entire party was evacuated to Balikpapan in view of the imminent Japanese surrender.