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Blamey was sure that the unit would be captured and shot, but he authorised the operation, and issued Carey carte blanche authority to perform whatever actions he deemed necessary during the planning of the proposed operation, which was codenamed Operation Scorpion. The group, commanded by Ivan Lyon, dyed their skin brown and hair black (the skin dye later caused many skin problems for the members of the team, including irritation and reactions in adverse amounts of sunlight). Sgt P. J. Boyle, Sgt W. J. [22], Of the eight men, only one survived. DIGITALLY ENHANCED FOR ENHANCED QUALITY PICTURE AND SOUND. [32], Signalman Ernie Myers, a trained Z Special Unit operative in Platypus VII, parachuted into enemy-held territory near Semoi on 30 June 1945, but landed with two other operatives inside a Japanese camp area. To ensure that their stores would remain undiscovered by the natives one of the officers from the Porpoise, Lieutenant Walter Carey, remained on Merapas as a guard. Over the course of 1944–45 SRD took control of four 66 feet (20 m) trawlers that were constructed at the naval dockyard in Williamstown, Victoria. After training on Fraser Island in 1943, “M” Special soon deployed where they operated in both the Solomon Islands and New Guinea conducting intelligence operations against the Japanese. A.I.F. [30], During the southern winter of 1944, twenty-two New Zealand soldiers,[31] based at Trentham Military Camp, 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of Wellington, New Zealand were sent to train with Z Special Unit in Melbourne, Australia. Such was the administrative power of Z Special Unit. Members of Z Special Unit at their base at East Arm, near Darwin. Both men were tortured for three days, before being beheaded. [43] Commemorative plaques to Z Special Unit have been placed on each lamp post on the new jetty at Rockingham, Western Australia, and the activities of Z Special Unit have been depicted in several Australian films, TV series, and documentaries including Attack Force Z, The Highest Honor, The Heroes, Heroes II: The Return, and Australia's Secret Heroes. In 1943, the official name of Special Operation Australia was changed to the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD.) The monument commemorates the Western Australian members of Z Special Unit which served in World War Two.. Z Special Unit (also known as Special Operations Executive (SOE), Special Operations Australia (SOA) or the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) was a joint Allied special forces unit formed during World War Two to operate behind Japanese lines in South East Asia.

… This included Operation Python which took place from 1943 to 1944. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Army (AIF) with service number NX73110 at Elizabeth Bay, NSW. Z Special Unit does not appear on the service records of RAAF, RAN or British, NZ, Canadian or South African personnel assigned to ISD or SRD, since they weren’t enlisted in the Australian Army. [12], Lyon led a Services Reconnaissance Department party of twenty-two men. This page refers to the Australian Z Force (more correctly called "Z" Special Unit), which was a specially recruited and trained group of saboteurs who operated behind enemy lines. Credits: Australian War Memorial. [10], Carey was arrested, and despite producing Blamey's letter and earnest assurances that the mines were dummies, they refused to allow him to leave or to allow the removal of the mines, which the RAN feared were real and might accidentally detonate. [44], Australian Commando raids of the Second World War, Courtney 1993, p. 14 and Horton 1983, p. 150. [3], The Inter-Allied Services Department (IASD), was an Allied military intelligence unit, established in March 1942. Later, two more were built but they were not completed in time to see service during the war. The mines sank or seriously damaged four Japanese ships, amounting to over 39,000 tons. The unit was created at the suggestion of the commander of Allied land forces in the South West Pacific area, General Thomas Blamey, and was modelled on the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) in London. On the night of 11 April 1945, eight operatives were landed near Muschu Island by HDML patrol boat. Entries such as ‘posted to Z Special Unit/ transferred to M Special Unit’, recorded on army service dossiers in the interests of protecting the identit… On the night of 26 September, using folboats the party paddled into the harbour and placed limpet mines on several Japanese ships. [24] The information he returned with proved vital to keeping the guns out of action and in preventing the Japanese from using the island as a launching point for attacks against the Australian forces during the Wewak landings a month later. The vessel is part of the Australian War Memorial's collection, on loan to the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney. [4], It contained several British SOE officers who had escaped from Singapore, and they formed the nucleus of the Inter-Allied Services Department (ISD) which was based in Melbourne. [11], Operation Rimau was a follow-up to the successful Operation Jaywick, which had taken place in 1943, being a further attack on Japanese shipping at Singapore Harbour. One of the Borneo campaign's few survivors and featured in the TV documentary is former Z unit sergeant Jack Tredrea, now aged 94 years. 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