2/9 Cavalry Commando Squadron
|The first independent company was formed in June 1941 and by July 1942 another seven were raised. Following a reorganisation of the independent companies and the 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions' cavalry regiments, these divisions raised cavalry (commando) regiments to administer the independent companies. The names of the independent companies were consequently changed to cavalry (commando) squadrons and then just to commando squadrons. |
In January 1944, the 6th Division raised the 2/6th Cavalry (Commando) Regiment, consisting of the 2/7th and the newly raised 2/9th and 2/10th Commando Squadrons. Throughout the year, the regiment trained together on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, before sailing to New Guniea, to support the 6th Division's Aitape-Wewak campaign.
In October and November Australian forces began relieving the American garrison at Aitape. At the end of October The 2/9th Commando Squadron took over the American observation posts at Palauru, Kamti and Aiterap, and the commandos frequently patrolled across the Torricellis Ranges.
While in support of the 2/8th Infantry Battalion in January 1945 the 2/9th patrolled the hills south of the Danmap River and made contact with the 2/7th Squadron at Walum. Thereafter the commandos crossed the Torricelli Ranges and moved down its southern slopes in to the foothills. The regiment as a whole was particularly active at this time patrolling the many villages in the area. At the end of February the 2/9th was placed under the command of the 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion, and together they cleared the Japanese from Anumb and maintained posts at Walum, Aboama and Malin. In March the commandos and a company from the machine gunners advanced to Arohemi. After six days of fighting, on 9 March, Arohemi was captured with the Australians having cleared the Japanese west of the Anumb River. With Arohemi's capture the commandos returned to Aitape for a rest.
In May the 2/9th was once again in the forefront of operations, when the regiment made an amphibious landing at Dove Bay, east of Wewak, as part of Farida Force. The 2/9th and 2/10th come ashore in the first waves to establish the beachhead. The 2/10th was given the task of defending the perimeter, while the next day the 2/9th patrolled west along the coast towards Mandi.
Later in May and into June, the regiment was attached to the 19th Brigade, which was responsible for the area between Wewak and Mandi, and defended the Mandi-Brandi area. The regiment's task was to hold the Brandi Plantation and the cross roads at Mandi.
Thereafter the 2/9th had a comparatively quiet time. After the war it returned to Australia at the end the year and the 2/9th Commando Squadron was subsequently disbanded.
|References||AWM52/2/2/61: 2/9 cavalry (Commando) Squadron war diary|
|Related place||Danmap River|
|Related conflicts||Second World War, 1939-1945|
|Related events||Aitape-Wewak Campaign|
|Commanding officers||Nisbet, Thomas Granger|
|Decorations||1 MC; 1 MM; 5 MID|