|The 2/9th, the first
Queensland battalion of the Second AIF, assembled for the first time at
Redbank Camp in Brisbane on 13 November 1939. It became part of the 18th
Brigade of the 6th Australian Division. After training at Redbank, and
at Rutherford and Ingleburn in New South Wales, the 2/9th embarked with
the brigade for the Middle East on 5 May 1940.
En route to the Middle East, the 18th
Brigade was diverted to the United Kingdom to bolster its defences
following the fall of France. The 2/9th disembarked at Gourock in
Scotland on 18 June and was subsequently based at Lopcombe Corner, near
Salisbury, in England. The battalion relocated to Colchester in October
and left the United Kingdom on 17 November.
The 2/9th arrived in Egypt on 31
December 1940. In the United Kingdom, the 18th Brigade had become part
of the newly-formed 9th Australian Division, but in Egypt in February
1941 it was transferred to the 7th Division. On 21 March, the 2/9th
attacked the Italian outpost of Giarabub and in the first week of April
it moved, with the rest of the 18th Brigade, to reinforce Tobruk against
the German advance rapidly closing on it.
The battalion participated in the
defence of Tobruk until it was withdrawn at the end of August. After
Tobruk, the 2/9th trained in Palestine before joining the forces
garrisoning Syria in late September. After returning to Palestine in
early January 1942, the 2/9th sailed for Australia from Suez on 12
February, disembarking at Adelaide on 28 March.
Papua was the 2/9thís next
battleground. It fought in the desperate defence of Milne Bay between 2
and 9 September and, between 18 and 24 December, in the gruelling and
often ill-conceived slogging match that was the battle for Buna. The
2/9thís final engagement in Papua was at Sanananda between 12 and 24
January 1943. The horrendous impact of both the fighting and tropical
diseases in Papua was evident in the 2/9thís casualty statistics.
Prior to Buna it had numbered 666 all ranks. Despite receiving 300
reinforcements prior to Sanananda, only 89 remained standing when the
battalion was withdrawn to Port Moresby in the first week of February
The 2/9th returned home on 12 March
1943 but was back in Papua by early August. It trained around Port
Moresby and then deployed to the Finisterre Mountains in New Guinea on
31 December. There, between 2 January and 1 February 1944, it
participated in the operations to capture Shaggy Ridge, including, on 21
January, the second highest point in the Finisterres Ė Green
Arriving back in Australia on 20 May,
the 2/9th spent a year training before undertaking its final operation
of the war. On 1 July 1945 the battalion landed at Balikpapan in Borneo.
It was initially in reserve, but on 5 July commenced operations to clear
the Japanese from the western side of Balikpapan Bay; these were still
underway when the war ended on 15 August 1945. 2/9th personnel were
progressively returned to Australia for discharge and the battalion
disbanded at Balikpapan on 3 January 1946.
- 1 VC
- 1 CBE
- 4 DSO
- 1 MBE
- 9 MC
- 3 DCM
- 19 MM
- 68 MID