The Purple Devils: A History of 2/6 Australian Commando Squadron

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Media: BOOK - hardcover, 324 pages
Author: S. Trigellis-Smith
Year: 2008
ISBN: 9780646071251
Other: b&w photos, maps, appendixes, bibliog, index
Publisher: Australian Military History Publications

Raised in May 1942, 2/6 Independent Company trained at the Guerrilla Warfare School on Wilson's Promontory, Victoria. Allotted the distinctive Double Diamond colour patch of all Independent Companies, its unit colour was purple, hence the title "The Purple Devils".

In 1943 the name was changed to Cavalry Commando Squadron and coon after to Commando Squadron.

As well as being a highly efficient fighting unit, the men were experts in long-range patrolling and reconnaissance and spent much of their time in small groups operating in territory effectively under enemy control.

Four major campaigns were undertaken between 1942 and 1945: operating on the flanks of the Kokoda Track, at Buna with the Americans, in the Markham-Ramu Valleys with 7 Division and finally at Balikpapan in Borneo.

Not only did the men have to contend with the enemy forces and the inhospitable country, but also the lack of supplies and the isolation, much of the time out of touch with main forces and entirely dependent on their own resources. This them, is their story ...

1. From the beginning to battle: Australia-New Guinea, May-September 1942
2. Into the wild blue yonder: A Patrol, September-December 1942
3. Hardly a holiday: D Patrol, September-November 1942
4. To guard the tracks: B and C Patrols, September-October 1942
5. Watching for the enemy: F Patrol, 13 September-7 October 1942
6. Just a hard slog: E Patrol, Engineers, Honner Force, September 1942
7. Scrub-bashing: Wanigela to Buna, 14 October-20 November 1942
8. Into the jaws of death: Buna, November-December 1942
9. Interlude: Soputa-Port Moresby, December 1942
10. All on their own: Bena Bena Patrol, January-July 1943
11. At last a respite: Australia, January-September 1943
12. Fighting as a squadron: Markham, Kaiapit, Ramu, September 1943-March 1944
13. Waiting for what?: Australia-Morotai, May 1944-June 1945
14. Same war - new country: Borneo, July-November 1945
Appendix A
Appendix B
Honour Roll Alphabetical
Honours and Awards
Wounded Alphabetical
Nominal Roll
List of Subscribers

1 Review
  • Great history

    Posted by Tanya Blundell on 29th Oct 2020

    I purchased 3 books for gifts. Great story and such brave men. Rip Dad xxx

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