The 2/4th Landing in East Timor, 1942

Leut. /Capt. Norman Nicolay (Nick) first came to East Timor in 1942 (15th September).

He came with his advance party of 2/4th Commandos, travelling on the HMAS Kalgoorlie. Their aim was to prepare for, and assist with, the arrival of the 400, 2/4th Commandos who had been sent to support and relieve 2/2nd forces already operating in East Timor.

HMAS Corvette & Voyager

The HMAS Kalgoorlie (left) and the HMAS Voyager (right).

This arrival (on the Voyager, 23rd Sept 1942) was successful in that soldiers and goods were unloaded safely, however the ship Voyager was ‘lost’. (The ship became beached, due to the choice made not to have disembarking soldiers killed by the propeller shift.)

HMAS Voyager 2

At 13:30, on 24 September, the beached Voyager was spotted by Japanese aircraft.

At 16:00 a flight of Japanese aircraft unsuccessfully attacked the ship and the beach.

By the time enemy planes spotted and attacked the ship, 2/4th Commandos were safely secreted into the various ‘safe’ villages around the Timor hinterland, assisted by 2/2nd Commandos. (In this bombing, during the unloading of the ship, they did however lose their supply of alcohol.)

Because the destroyer was damaged beyond recovery, the decision was made to destroy the disabled ship by demolition charges, after the ship’s crew was safely evacuated.

None of the ship’s company were severely injured. (4 crewmen received minor injuries.)

HMAS Voyager destroyed

The disabled HMAS Voyager.

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