37/52nd Australian Infantry Battalion (Henty Regiment)

From Our Contribution

37-52 Battalion.jpg
Solders from, A Company crossing a river in the Open bay area of New Britain, May 1945 - AWM photo 092342
37-52 Battalion patch.jpg

Brief History

The two battalions were amalgamated with re-organisation of the Militia in 1930. The 37th Australian Infantry Battalion was mobilised at Seymour, Victoria in December 1941 as part of the 10th Infantry Brigade Group, which also included the 52nd Australian Infantry Battalion. They trained in northern Victoria until they moved to Bonegilla in March 1942. In late May they were moved to Queensland where they were took up positions to defend the Gold Coast. In July the Brigade moved to Oakhurst, and in the September 1942 re-arrangement of units the Brigade was reduced from four Infantry Battalions to three, with the 37th and the 52nd amalgamating and moving to the 4th Infantry Brigade. In December 1942 the 37/52nd Battalion moved to Buderim, until March 1943 when it was deployed to Milne Bay in Papua. There it underwent further training, while also serving as garrison troops and providing labour to unload ships.

Detached to the 9th Division to provide support during the Huon Peninsula campaign, in early September 1943 they defended Red Beach and supported the capture of Lae. Between December 1943 and April 1944 they carried out long range patrols. They played a role in the capture of Fortification Point and landed on Karkar Island before going on to garrison Madang from April until August 1944. In September they were withdrawn to Australia for rest and re-building.

Following training they were deployed to New Britain in January 1945 initially tasked with holding existing territory, before moving to Open Bay where they engaged in combat with Japanese forces. With the end of the war the battalion moved to Rabaul to guard Japanese prisoners. Demobilisation reduced the battalion to the point that on 12 Jun 1946 the battalion was disbanded. During service with the battalion, 30 men had lost their lives and a further 35 were wounded.

Battalion Personnel

Battle Honours

  • Capture of Lae
  • South West Pacific 1942 - 1945
  • Liberation of Australian New Guinea
  • Gusika-Fortification Point

Individual Honours

  • 1 x Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • 1 x Military Medal
  • 10 x Mentioned in Despatches


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