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New Members

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Three new members have joined the ranks of the Kenmore-Moggill Sub-Branch over the first few months of 2016.  The Committee and members welcome them and hope to see them the at the Anzac Day activities.

Mr Jarrett Bird – LCPL Bird (Retd) served for six years in the Australian Army, October 2008 to December 2014. During this time Mr Bird was deployed with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Afghanistan.
MAJ Christopher Moon – Major Moon has had an extensive career in the Australian Army (still serving) for 39 years, predominately with engineering and training units. He has served in several overseas locations including Namibia, Afghanistan, SE Asia and Fiji.

Mr Grant Young – Craftsman (Retd) served for six years with the Australian Army mainly with 17 Const Sqn Wksp. He is a returning member of the RSL previously a member in Lae, PNG. Grant is a Vietnam Veteran.

Please Sir, I Want Some More

The plight of boys starving and undernourished in the workhouses of 18th century England was made famous by this line in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist.  It certainly was a different time back then to the one experienced by most of us today in our own upbringing.  Vic Henderson a young Aussie navigator flying in Great Britain with Bomber Command in the Second World War however can certainly relate to the heartache of knowing people are suffering without food and supplies.

The momentous events of the Allied campaign in Europe; D-Day, the Dam Busters Raid and Operation Market Garden, the raid into Arnhem land designed to bring a rapid end to the war which many of us know as “A Bridge too Far” would be familiar and stand out as heroic activities.

Vic Henderson today is a quiet unassuming gentlemen and if you are at one of the many activities run by the sub-branch take a moment to say hello and chat with Vic and you will immediatley form the same opinion of this charming WWII veteran.   While Vic certainly did his “bit” flying bombing missions over the hostile skies of Germany and has many memories of their dreaded Messherschmidt ME109 fighter plane, it is the missions dropping food supplies to the Dutch towards the end of the war which mean the most to him

As the Allies pushed ahead with Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge developed in the Ardennes forest, the people of Holland were starving due to the Germans allocating all resources to their own people and war effort.  It was in this dark moment of the war that Vic took part in humanitarian “bombing” missions, dropping supplies to the Dutch to sustain them until the day they were able to be liberated.

On our website you will find a collection of videos and photos from ANZAC Day this year and among them an extraordinary interview with Vic, recounting his memories from that time

“Lest We Forget”

Thank You Neil Macdonald

The Museum of Military Intelligence is at Canungra on the Gold Coast Hinterland and Neil Macdonald, a member of the Kenmore-Moggill sub-branch has been a living a part of the history stored in the museum.  It is a long standing joke that the terms military and intelligence should not be used together in the one sentence, but the contribution made by Neil in the Second World War quickly dispel this as an urban myth.

Last month, the 19th of February was the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin, a time in history where more bombs were dropped on the capital of the Northern Territory than during the Japanese raid on the USA Fleet at Pearl Harbour.  Strategically, Darwin was an important port from where operations in Dutch East Indies and New Guinea could be supported.

It is against this backdrop that Neil, an Hon Captain served in the Australian Intelligence Corps during the war, operating in New Guinea and the Islands to the North.  Trained in Air Photo Analysis, the role of Air Photo Imagery Units was to interpret photographs taken by aircraft and pass on that information to Allied commanders planning operations in the area.

In Port Moresby, images from Japanese positions in occupied New Guinea, New Britain including Rabaul and New Ireland were identified with particularly important areas in Wewak and Boram which were used as main Japanese bases along with Salamaua and Lae.

Today’s battlefield images are beamed into our lounge rooms via satellite, back then conditions were remarkably different.  “Air photos were often damp, tables were made of drums and planks and lighting was by hurricane lamp making interpretation extremely difficult.”  “In spite of the conditions, the information was invaluable to both forward operating troops and the air force targeting enemy bases at dawn the following morning.”

The hardships endured by troops in the tropics was very real for Neil who had severe attacks of Dengue fever.  While recovering in the Advanced Medical Station at Wareo, some of the patients there were not as fortunate, failing to recover and it is the sacrifice of all these gallant men to whom we are indebted.

“Lest We Forget”