Andrew David Johnson
From Our Contribution
BLSL PH 994 William & Andrew Johnson
|Date of Birth||21 Feb 1910|
|Place of Birth||Louden, Western Australia|
|Death||22 Jul 1988|
|Place of Death||Gosnells, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||30 years. 2 months|
|Description||5'7" (1.70m) tall ; ; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair ; Scar on left knee|
|Religion||Chuch of England|
|Address||Seventh road, Armadale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Mother , Mrs Laura Bishop|
|Date of Enlistment||4 Mar 1940|
|Unit/Formation||2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion|
|1st Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||20 Apr 1940 ‒ 19 May 1940|
|Transport Details||HMT Y3 Nevasa Fremantle to Kantara, Egypt|
|Journey Dates||10 Apr 1941 ‒ 12 APr 1941|
|Transport Details||SS Pennland Alexandria, Egypt to Pireaus, Greece|
|Journey Dates||25 Apr 1941 ‒ 26 Apr 1941|
|Transport Details||SS Thurland Castle Megra, Greece to Suda, Crete|
|Return to Australia|
|Journey Dates||18 Jun 1945 ‒ 21 Sep 1945|
|Transport Details||HMT J11 England to Sydney|
|Post War Details|
WIA 4 Jun 1941 Greece |
POW 4 Jun 1941 Crete
Returned to Australia
|External Monument(s)||The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria|
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Greek Commemorative War Medal 1940-41
Enlisted at Nicholson road, Subiaco on 4 Mar 1940 and was allocated to General Reinforcements at Northam Camp. On 3 Apr 1940 Andrew was posted to the 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion, an on 8 Apr 1940 behan pre-embarkation leave, returning to the battalion on 15 Apr 1940. On 20 Apr 1940 , along with the rest of the battalion he boarded HMT Y3 Nevasa in Fremantle for Kantana in Egypt where they disembarked on 19 May 1940.
In Palestine the battalion completed its training, and saw action for the first time at Bardia on 5 Jan 1941. As part of the Allied advance into Italian-occupied Libya, they fought at Tobruk on 21-22 Jan 1941, and they secured Derna airfield on 25 Jan 1941. The battalion was advancing to the south of Benghazi when the Italians surrendered on 7th February.
In early April 1941 the 2/11th were deployed from Alexandria on 10th April to assist in the defence of Greece from the invading German forces who had come to retrieve the situation from their Italian allies. Arriving at Athens on 12th April aboard SS Pennland, they moved to Larissa where they were to hold the line. However, by the 18th, the Allied forces were unable to hold the Germans back, and the 2/11th withdrew from its initial positions west of Kalabaka and remained on the move until it occupied rearguard positions at Brallos Pass a week later. It fought a fighting retreat through the pass, slowing the Germans there on 24 April before continuing its withdrawal to Megara on the coast. They were evacuated during the night of 25 Apr 1941 aboard SS Thurland Castle to Crete and deployed to defend Retimo airfield. Following 10 days of heavy fighting many of the battalion were forced to surrender at the end of May, Andrew included.
Notified as Missing on 4 Jun 1941, he wasn't officially confirmed as being a POW until 14 Jul 1941 when it was noted that he had been wounded in action (left knee) prior to his capture. Reported to have been captured on 28 May 1941, he was evacuated from Crete on 1 Jun 1941 to the Greek Mainland where he was treated during July 1941 at a POAW Camp hospital facility. Given the POW Number 92296 in Apr 1943 he was interned in Stalag VIII B by April 1943. We lack details of his movements between April 1943 and his arrival by plane in the UK on 11 May 1945 and lodgement with the 1st AIF Transit Camp UK the same day.
On 18 Jun 1945 Andrew boarded HMT J11 in England for Sydney where he disembarked on 24 Jul 1945
Discharged 31 Aug 1945
During 1945 Andrew married Nellie Hilda Lowe.
Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1980 at 42 Seventh road, Armadale, road board employee;