Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for June 28 - July 4, 1945
FUTURE OF WAR PLANTS
An official announcement on which war factories would be available for private enterprise and for joint private and Government control after the war was sought by Mr. Morgan (Lab, NSW) in the House of Representatives.
The Minister for Postwar Reconstruction (Mr Dedman), said he would consider making a statement. It was difficult to ensure that surplus Government factories were disposed of at the best price. Another objection to making a statement was that firms did not like their competitors to know they were negotiating for new factories.
MAY RELEASE 8TH DIVISION
Following the activities of Allied forces in areas where the men were interned, he hoped a majority of 8th Division men in Japanese hands would be released soon, said Acting Prime Minister (Mr Forde). He was replying in the House of Representatives to Mr Corser (CP, Qld), but added that he could not make a definite statement.
AIF MEN NOW IN JAPAN
Cards now being received from Australian prisoners of war show that the Japanese have evacuated them from Thailand to Japan.
"Most of the cards sent from Zentsuji Camp, Japan, were from men previously at No. 4 Camp, Thailand," said Mr Sydney Smith, Honorary Secretary of the Prisoners of War Relatives' Association. "They indicate that the men are in good health and receiving mail from home."
Future announcements of the arrival of mail from prisoners of war in Japanese hands may be deferred by the Federal Government until all cards have been distributed. This will avoid creating unnecessary hope among those who do not receive cards.
NEWCASTLE WAR PRISONERS
A card which Mr and Mrs N.Bennett, of Thomas Street, Wallsend, received from their son, Private David Bennett, assured them that he was safe and well at Zentsuji Japanese war prisoner camp. "Last time I saw Spencer Burns, he was in the best of health, so was Sid Wansey, from Newcastle," Pte. Bennett said in his message.
In the 2/20th Battalion of the ill-fated Eighth Division of the AIF, Pte. Bennett, who is now 23, was, with other soldiers of the Newcastle district, taken prisoner after the fall of Malaya. A brother, Pte. Colin Bennett, is in the AIF Ninth Division. Spencer Burns is the youngest of the soldier sons of Mr and Mrs W.A. Burns, of Irving Street, Wallsend. His home is near Pte. Bennett's. Some time ago his parents had advice that he was at work in Borneo as a prisoner. Mr E.E. Jeater, of Woodstock Street, Mayfield, has received a card from his son, Lieut.-Colonel W.D. Jeater, who was captured by the Japanese when Singapore fell. Colonel Jeater mentioned Lieut.-Colonel F. Galleghan, who some years ago was employed in the Customs House in Newcastle.
VDC PARADE ON SUNDAY
31st Battalion, Volunteer Defence Corps will hold a parade at Adamstown rifle range at 9.30am on Sunday. Personnel will provide own lunch. Hot water will be available. A further series of rifle practices will be held. Members not attending reserve parades are asked to return to battalion headquarters all arms and equipment in their possession on or before June 30. Clothing must be retained. Personnel discharged before December 1944 can obtain certificates of discharge at headquarters.
RELEASE 64,000 MEN
The Commonwealth Government has decided to release an additional 10,000 men from the services, on occupational grounds, irrespective of service, between July and December. This will bring the total service releases in the period to 64,000, instead of 50,000 as originally intended. Releases to operate from July 1 will now be: 35,000 long service men, comprising 29,000 from the Army and 6000 from the Air Force; 6000 repatriated prisoners of war, of whom 5200 are Army personnel and 800 Air Force; 13,000 surplus air crew and air crew trainees; 10,000 from the Army and Air Force, irrespective of service.
The Acting Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) said releases of long service men would be determined by: 1. Amount of operational service. 2. Length of service, age and dependency.
Mr Chifley said the recruitment would be continued to maintain strengths to meet military commitments. Monthly intake from July 1 would be reduced from 2800 to 2000 men, and from 700 women to 550.
DRIVE NEARS BALIKPAPAN
Five thousand Australian troops, who landed at Klandasan, two miles south-east of Balikpapan, on Sunday morning, had advanced 600 yards by late afternoon, when they had won the last ridge overlooking the town. The Australians, members of the veteran Seventh Division, landed on a beachhead of 2000 yards. They found that the Japanese had been blasted from the area by the greatest bombardment in South-west Pacific operations. From daybreak ships of the US Seventh Fleet and the Royal Australian Navy maintained an intense barrage, tons of explosives ripping into the coastal area. A few minutes before the first wave of troops landed, rocket-firing craft pushed into the beach, ejecting a hail of 10,000 rockets. Meanwhile, land-based aircraft cascaded bombs into the invasion area and strafed all points of enemy resistance. General MacArthur, under whose personal command the invasion was made, issued a communique stating that the operation had virtually completed our tactical control of the entire South-west Pacific. The doom of the Japanese at Balikpapan was sealed in the first two hours of the operation.
AIR FORCE'S ROLE
Cooperating closely with the other services, the RAAF participated in strength in the Balikpapan landings, said the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Forde). He added that Liberator bombers, Beaufighters, Spitfires, and Kittyhawks played a vital role in ensuring the success of the ground troops' action. RAAF ground force specialists in various branches of technical warfare were among the first assault troops to go ashore. For many months RAAF heavy bombers had given special attention to Balikpapan, attacking it relentlessly. "The enemy has learned a hard lesson from the RAAF, and has come to treat it with very great respect," Mr Forde added.
PACIFIC PEEP-SHOW, LONDON
The Australian Services' Exhibition, called "Pacific Peep-show," to bring the record of all the Australian fighting forces before the London public, has been opened in a central position in Piccadilly. Captured enemy equipment, relics, maps and photographs are displayed. Literature is distributed and films of the Pacific war are screened throughout the day.
CURTIN CAUSES WORRY
The condition of the Prime Minister (Mr Curtin) has deteriorated in the past two weeks. This was reported on Monday by the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Forde) on receipt of a bulletin from Mr Curtin's medical advisers. Mr Forde said he had received the following report from Dr J.Holt, the Prime Minister's medical adviser, and Dr Geoffrey A. Pennington, consultant physician and colonel in the Australian Army Medical Corps: "Since the last bulletin concerning the health of the Prime Minister (Mr Curtin) there has been unsatisfactory progress, and during the past two weeks deterioration in his condition has occurred. The illness is directly attributable to the illness Mr Curtin suffered in 1944, when his condition was serious."
The last bulletin was issued on June 12, reporting that Mr Curtin had suffered a slight recurrence of congestion of the lungs.
AUSTRALIANS REACH MIVO RIVER
Ploughing through swamps after a night's torrential rain, men of the Australian Third Division cleared the Buin road between the Mobiabi and Mivo Rivers, Southern Bougainville, and won control of an escarpment on the Mivo's western bank. Infantry moved on to the Buin road behind the greatest barrage of high explosives since the Australians went into action at Bougainville. Naval troops and infantry were rushed to stem the Australian advances in front of the Mivo River, but were hurled back across the river and they are digging in furiously along the eastern bank, with the Australians in complete control of two miles of the western bank.
RESISTANCE IN BALIKPAPAN
Troops of the Australian Seventh Division are encountering stiffening Japanese resistance as they fight toward Balikpapan and force their penetration inland from the landing beach. The importance of the campaign is emphasised by the fact that, for the first time in the Pacific Theatre, the Australians have support from US Navy carrier-based aircraft. The progress of the Australians has exceeded the most sanguine expectations. The campaign is well ahead of schedule. Already in possession of a three-mile stretch of beach east of Balikpapan, the Seventh Division is striking for the town's two airfields. These are military prizes which, when taken, will bare Japan's remaining East Indies positions. The capture of a 200ft. hill on the Australians' left flank removed a thorn from their side - accurate mortar and machine-gun fire with which the Japanese had been harassing them.
RAAF CASUALTIES 13,842
From the beginning of the war until the end of May, RAAF casualties in all theatres of war totalled 13,842. These figures include 6566 in Europe, 4745 in the South and South-west Pacific, and 1571 in the Middle East. The Minister for the Air (Mr Drakeford) said that casualties for May were lower than those for any month since the entry of Japan into the war. They totalled 133, including 20 in Europe.
AIR RAID SIRENS SHARK ALARMS
Life-saving clubs in NSW would receive free of cost a number of dismantled air-raid sirens for use as shark alarms, said the Acting Premier (Mr Baddeley). Mr Baddeley said distributions of the sirens would be made through councils, or, where necessary, the Surf Life-saving Association. The only condition was that the sirens must be taken from the storage depot and installed on the beaches free of cost to the State.
Alwyn Ellwood Adamthwaite, Merewether; Bruce Alfred Antney, Merewether; Betty Catherine Arnold, Hamilton North; Leslie Bland, Merewether; Lillias Marshall Blick, Islington; Bernard Francis Burke, Cessnock West; Mathew George Carnley, Newcastle; Evelyn Joyce Crossland, Lambton; Kevin Patrick Debnam, Mayfield East; Henry Cecil Dresser, Merewether; Jean Higgins, Mayfield; Henry Thomas Jefferson, New Lambton; Ronald Charles Knox, Largs; John Patrick Marshall, Singleton; Jack Owen Murnain, Wallsend; James Parker, Stockton; Harold James Urane, Mayfield; Basil Phillip Young, Hamilton; Jack Hawkins, Murrurundi; Belletta Winifred Buckland, Cardiff ; Mary Fairley Clark, Boolaroo; Elizabeth Virginia Taylor, Merriwa; Clarice Amy Tregaskis, Belmont; Arthur Edward Callister, Mayfield East; John Gerard Drinan, East Maitland; William Richard McTaggart, Mayfield; Herbert Lloyd Purnell, Belmont; Thomas Simpson, Merewether.
Private Donald McNaughton, Charlestown. POW; Corporal William John Nelson, Trevallyn; Sergeant Oliver Henry Blanch, Stratford; Lance Corporal James Douglas Gordon Hodges, Wyee. POW; Sapper John Bernard Weichert, Mayfield. Private Lawrence Maxwell George, Muswellbrook; Gunner Joseph Redvers Grimwood, Redhead. POW; Gunner Fred Percy Jackson, New Lambton. POW; Private Allan John Bartholomew Murdoch MID, Cooks Hill.