In 2014 we ran 2 tours that explored the events and actions of the Australian commandos in Timor during 1942. The tour leader was Paul Cleary journalist and author of The Men Who Came out of the Ground, a history of Australia’s commando campaign on Timor in 1942.
We do not have a Timor 1942 tour planned in 2016
About Australia’s first commando campaign:
A small contingent of Australian commandos launched relentless hit and run raids on far superior Japanese forces in East Timor for most of 1942.
These Australians were the men of the 2/2nd Australian Independent Company. Stranded without radio contact and declared bearded warrior outlaws by the Japanese the men of the 2/2 lived with the threat of execution if captured. Chosen for their ability to operate independently and survive in hostile territory, with the aid of young Timorese men, the 2/2 fought an epic guerrilla war forging long lasting ties between the two countries.
This Newsreel titled “The men of Timor” was produced by Damian Parer in September 1942
Paul Cleary is a senior writer with The Australian newspaper and the author of four highly acclaimed books, including The Men Who Came out of the Ground, a history of Australia’s commando campaign on Timor in 1942. This book has been praised by historians and family members alike as an authoritative, detailed and very readable account of the guerilla war fought by the ragged men of the 2nd and 4th Independent Companies. Cleary interviewed more than 30 of the last-surviving Australian veterans in every state, and he travelled extensively around Timor-Leste to interview Timorese criados who fought alongside the Australians. Fluent in Tetum, the main language of Timor-Leste, Cleary also brings to these tours the detailed knowledge he gained working as an adviser to the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste after the country became independent. His book based on his time as an adviser, Shakedown—Australia’s grab for Timor oil, topped Lonely Planet’s list for recommended reading on Timor-Leste.
Here is an interview with Paul Cleary talking about his book The Men Who Came out of the Ground and the events of 1942
Additional resources about Timor 1942
Despite the actions of these Australian soldiers being less well known than those of Kokoda there are still some excellent resources available
The Australian War Memorial photo essay titled Fighting in Timor 1942
The West Australian Museum held an exhibition titled Debt of Honour
The 2/2 commando Association has website called Double Reds