Frederick Arnold Griffiths

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Frederick Arnold Griffiths
Griffiths Frederick Arnold.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 7 Jan 1917
Place of Birth Armadale, Western Australia
Death 12 Sep 1987, aged 70
Place of Death Joondanna, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 24 years, 3 months
Description 5'8" (1.713m) tall ; ; fair complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair ; appendix scar
Occupation Gas engine driver
Religion Church of England
Address Ora Banda, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr James Kenneally Griffiths
Military Information
Reg Number WX13310
Date of Enlistment 21 May 1941
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 2/2nd Australian Commando Squadron
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 8 Dec 1941 ‒ 12 Dec 1941
Transport Details SS Zealandia Darwin to Koepang, Timor
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 15 Jan 1943 ‒ 18 Jan 1943
Transport Details HNLMS Tjerk Hides East Timor to Darwin
2nd Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 16 Jun 1943 ‒ 20 Jun 1943
Transport Details HMT Duntroon Townsville to Port Moresby
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 3 Sep 1944 ‒ 8 Sep 1944
Transport Details HMT Taroona Lae New Guinea to Townsville
3rd Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 9 Apr 1945 ‒ Brisbane to Jacquinot Bay, New Britain
"Brisbane to Jacquinot Bay, New Britain" contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.
Transport Details HMT Taroona
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 11 Jan 1946 ‒ 17 Jan 1946
Transport Details SS Vito Rabual New Guinea to Brisbane
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia (x 3)
Medals 1939-45 Star
Pacific Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

War Service

Enlisted at Claremont and was two days later sent to the 3rd Training Battalion at the Northam camp. There, on 6 Jun 1941, he was allocated to the second reinforcements for the 2/28th Battalion. On 29 Jun 1941 this changed when he was transferred to the 7th Infantry Training Centre and was then sent to the 3rd Military District (Victoria). On arrival he was allocated to the 2/2nd Independent Company (later known as 2/2nd Australian Commando Squadron) and on 16 Sep 1941 they moved to South Australia and entrained for Darwin where they arrived on 26 Oct 1941.

On 8 Dec 1941 the unit embarked for Timor aboard the SS Zealandia in company with the SS Westralia, arriving there on 12 Dec 1941, they disembarked at Koepang. Following the Japanese invasion of Timor the unit was cut off, and trapped on the island, and thus on 22 Feb 1942 Fred was listed as "Missing". On 12 Jun 1942 this was changed to "With unit & well". Eventually, after months of guerilla fighting aided by the local Timorese, the unit was evacuated on 15 Jan 1943 aboard the Dutch destroyer HNLMS Tjerk Hides arriving in Darwin on 18 Jan 1943. Soon after the unit was moved to north Queensland where on 4 Jun 1943 Fred was appointed Lance Corporal.

On 16 Jun 1943 the unit boarded the HMT Duntroon in Townsville for Port Moresby where they disembarked on 20 Jun 1943. On 1 Jul 1943 Fred was advised that he now qualified for Proficiency Pay. Following a period of patrolling and jungle fighting with Japanese in the Lae area, on 3 Sep 1944 he embarked on the HMT Taroona in Lae for Townsville, arriving there on 8 Sep 1944.

On 9 Apr 1945 Fred was embarked on the HMT Taroona for Jacquinot Bay on the island of New Britain. There from 5 Jul until 9 Jul 1945 he participated in a flame thrower course run by the 2/28th Battalion. On 18 Sep 1945 Fred was promoted Acting Corporal and on 26 Dec 1945 his time with the 2/2nd Commando Squadron as the Independent Company had become, came to an end with a transfer to the 22nd Battalion (South Gippsland Regiment), a militia unit which had fought the Japanese on the Huon Peninsula and on New Britain. On 11 Jan 1946 at Rabaul Fred embarked on the SS Vito, disembarking in Brisbane on 16 Jan 1946. On 29 Jan 1946 he was back in Perth preparing for discharge on 5 Mar 1946.

Post War

In 1950 Fred married Beryl Davidson Harrison. Beryl died on 8 Jul 1991 aged 73 in Joondanna.

Electoral Roll entries:1949 at 9 Burke street, North Perth, labourer; 1958 at Kooline Lead Mines, Onslow, miner; 1958 - 1980 at 166 London street, Joondanna, miner.


For a more complete story see of Fred's unit see "A History of the 2nd Independent Company and 2/2 Commando Squadron" compiled by C.D. Doig, 2nd Edition Hesperian Press 2009.

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