42nd Australian Infantry Battalion (Capricornia Regiment)

From Our Contribution

42nd Battalion badge.jpg
Collar badge AWM REL39043
42nd Bn Bougainville.jpg
A 42nd Battalion patrol on Bougainville

Brief History

Formed in 1921 at Rockhampton as part of the 11th Infantry Brigade, it was mobilised at Yeppoon in December 1941 with the role of preventing a landing between Yeppoon and Gladstone, and to protect Rockhampton. In March they moved to Tiaro to join the 29th Infantry Brigade Group, and then relocating to Townsville in early May to assist with the development of an inner ring defence around Townsville. The 42nd Infantry battalion was located near Nome covering the coast near Alligator Creek and the road and rail connection south to Ayr. In early June the battalion moved to Julago, and then in July to Mt Louisa, before moving again to Althus Creek in August.

In January 1943 the battalion moved with the brigade to reserve positions at Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea, and once acclimatised they took up forward positions along the shores of Milne Bay during February, with the 42nd Australian Infantry Battalion in the Rabi Sector. In July the moved to Buna to join the 11th Australian Infantry Division, and were placed at Boreo. In August they occupied Davidson Ridge during the last stage of the battle for Mt Tambu. The battalion advanced to and through Salamaua, before enjoying a period of rest. In October they moved to Kunda Bridge at Lae from where they carried out mopping up patrols from company bases at Hopoi, Musom and Markham Point until they were relieved in May 1944, and sent back to Australia.

Following leave the unit reassembled at Strathpine where they trained until December before moving to Torokina on Bougainville. In April they had moved to Toko and in July were across the Mivo River, subsequently establishing patrol bases on the Mivo, reaching the Oamai River by the end of July. Hostilities came to an end in August following the Japanese surrender and the demobilisation process began. The 42nd Battalion was disbanded on 7 May 1946. The battalion lost a total of 27 killed and 55 wounded.

Battalion Personnel

Battle Honours

  • South West Pacific 1943-45
  • Mount Tambu
  • Tambu Bay
  • Komiatum
  • Liberation of Australian New Guinea
  • Mawaraka
  • Mivo Ford

Individual Honours


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