Birth date: 2 February 1913
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Death date: 20 July 1995
Final rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Service number: 382001 - Period 1930-1939
VX50081 - Second World War, 1939-1945
  • 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 2nd Independent Company

Rolls and Awards

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Cross

  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Military Cross

  • Unit: 2nd Independent Company
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 2nd Independent Company
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Manuscript (2)

Callinan (Sir) Bernard, CBE DSO MC MSS0876

Callinan, Sir Bernard MSS1129

Private Record (1)

Callinan, Bernard (Lieutenant Colonel, DSO, MC, 2/2nd Independent Company, 26th Bn, AIF b: 1913) PR82/090


Callinan (Sir) Bernard, CBE DSO MC

Handwritten and typescript drafts of Callinan's manuscript detailing the activities of the Australian independent companies in Timor 1941 to 1943. Includes a preface, introductory notes, gazetteer of towns and villages in Portuguese Timor, plus author's alterations and comments on Chapter 14 "The...


Callinan, Sir Bernard

Talk presented by Sir Bernard Callinan to the United Services Institute of Victoria in June 1986 about "Independent Company Operations in Timor World War II". Discusses his own and others involvement in the 2/2 Independent Company. Mentions the Japanese invasion, the capture and execution of...


Private Record

Callinan, Bernard (Lieutenant Colonel, DSO, MC, 2/2nd Independent Company, 26th Bn, AIF b: 1913)





Lieutenant Colonel B J Callinan, Commanding Officer 26th Infantry Battalion (right), and Major H J Berry, Officer Commanding 11th Battery, 4th Field Regiment (left), taken during a tour of the area by Lieutenant General V A H Sturdee, general officer commanding first army.



Date of birth 1913-02-02 Melbourne, VIC
Date commissioned 1940-06-05
Career summary 1 1940-07-05 lieutenant Reserve of Officers (Engrs)
Career summary 3 1940-07-05 Engr Training Centre (28th Engr Training Depot)
Career summary 4 1940-10-15 Citizens Military Force Royal Australian Engineers (Fd)
Career summary 5 1941-03-03 seconded & enlisted 2AIF
Career summary 6 1941-03-03 instructor Demolitions Wing, 101 British Military Mission, 7th Infantry Training Centre
Career summary 7 1941-07-05 captain 2iC 2/2nd Indep Company
Career summary 8 1941-12-12 arrived Timor
Career summary 9 1942-02-22 missing in action (reported)
Career summary 10 1942-05-24 officer commanding 2/2nd Indep Company
Career summary 11 1942-07-04 temporary major commanding officer Australian Troops Sparrow Force
Career summary 12 1942-11-11 commanding officer Sparrow Force
Career summary 13 1943-01-10 Returned to Australia (Darwin)
Career summary 15 1943-02-02 major (bd 1 Sep 4
Career summary 14 1943-02-06 MARRIED
Career summary 16 1943-03-31 general service officer grade 2 (ops) Headquarters FAA
Career summary 17 1943-05-02 - 1943-07-09 course Jnr Staff S
Career summary 18 1943-05-29 Mention in Despatches (7 Dec 41-30 Sep 42)
Career summary 19 1943-08-30 arrived Merauke
Career summary 20 1943-11-05 2iC 31/51st battalion
Career summary 21 1943-11-21 Returned to Australia (Townsville )
Career summary 22 1943-11-21 attached Special Duty
Career summary 24 1943-11-21 arrived Merauke
Career summary 23 1943-12-23 Military Cross
Career summary 25 1944-04-20 Returned to Australia (Townsville )
Career summary 26 1944-04-22 - 1944-06-03 course Land Headquarters Tactical School senior offi
Career summary 27 1944-07-05 arrived Merauke
Career summary 28 1944-08-08 Returned to Australia (Townsville )
Career summary 29 1944-12-08 arrived Bougainville
Career summary 30 1945-01-30 - 1945-02-08 attached 26th batta
Career summary 31 1945-02-08 temporary lieutenant colonel, commanding officer 26th battalion
Appointment 1945-02-08 - 1945-12-14 Battalion: 26th; Rank on appointment: major, temporary lieutenant colonel ; Appointed from: 2iC 31/52nd battalion ; Reason for end of appointment: demobilised
Career summary 33 1945-07-08 Returned to Australia (Melb) ex Bougainville
Career summary 34 1945-08-04 arrived Bougainville
Career summary 32 1945-09 administering command 11th Brigade
Career summary 36 1945-09-17 arrived Rabaul
Career summary 37 1945-12-14 relinquished command 26th battalion (demob)
Career summary 35 1946-01-03 lieutenant colonel (bd 8 Feb 45) gazetted
Career summary 38 1946-01-18 Returned to Australia (Syd)
Career summary 39 1946-02-06 Reserve of Officers
Date of death 1995-07-20
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 3 March 1941
Date of discharge 5 February 1946
Career summary 2 course #12 SMiddle East (Casula) Jun-Sep 40 [from Callinan's own correspondence]
Career summary 40 ***POST WAR***
Citations 10 On 5 Mar 45 he successfully cleared SAPOSA ISLAND of the enemy, ensuring the protection of his flank and later occupied TAIOF Island.
Citations 11 Despite considerable enemy artillery activity, Lt-Col. CALLINAN was constantly moving amongst his men, exposing himself to enemy fire whilst carrying out personal reconnaisances of enemy positions to plan further attacks. His cheerful disposition and skilful leadership was outstanding and was instrumental in maintaining a very high morale in the Unit, making possible the success of all the actions the Unit was engaged in, despite the determination of the enemy to hold SORAKEN PENINSULA at all costs.'
Citations 2 'For outstanding courage, skill and leadership while serving with 2/2 Aust Indep Coy and LANCER FORCE in Portuguese TIMOR between Feb 42 and Jan 43. Always cheerful, cool and clear-thinking, this Officer was an inspiration to his men during nearly twelve months of guerilla fighting against vastly superior numbers of Japanese an hostile natives. His personal recces through enemy-occupied country, the valuable information he brought back and his skilful handling first of the Coy and then of the Force enabled severe casualties to be inflicted on the enemy and our resistance to be maintained for the maximum practicable period.
Citations 3 When the Force was ordered to evacuate, he skilfully disengaged it from contact with the enemy, led it for three days over the mountains, across rivers and through swamps and embarked it without loss of personnel. he personally organized the final details of the evacuation and remained on the beach until the last boat left. Before commencing this evacuation he volunteered to remain on TIMOR to organize native resistance but was not permitted to do so.'
Citations 5 'REF Map TAIOF ISLAND 1 in to 1 ml. For outstanding courage and devotion to duty.
Citations 6 As commanding officer of 26 Aust Inf Bn (AIF) Lt-Col CALLINAN was responsible for clearing the enemy and gaining control of the North West coast of Bougainville.
Citations 7 On 26 Feb 45 the unit commenced to advance from the GILLMAN River meeting stubborn opposition from strong enemy pockets.
Citations 8 Lt-Col CALLINAN destroyed a number of enemy positions by sound planning and able leadership. The enemy made a strong stand at the COMPTON River and subjected the unit to constant artillery fire.
Citations 9 Lt-Col. CALLINAN then planned the capture of SORAKEN Plantation by a series of night landings (the first taking place on night 11 Mar 45 ) behind the enemy forward positions, which had the effect of completely disorganising the enemy resistance and allowing the SORAKEN Peninsula to be captured with practically no casualties to his own men.