Harold Herman Hilbert

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Harold Herman Hilbert
Hilbert Harold Herman.jpg
1944 Marriage of Harold and Irene
Personal Information
Date of Birth 24 Apr 1907
Place of Birth Armadale, Western Australia
Death 26 Aug 1985
Place of Death Essendon, Victoria
Age at Enlistment 35 years, 6 months
Description 5'9½" (1.76m) tall ; ; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; dark hair
Occupation Electrician
Religion Roman Catholic
Address 270 Buckley street, Essendon, Victoria
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Margaret Johana Hilbert
Military Information
Reg Number VX117052
Date of Enlistment 1 Aug 1940
Rank Captain
Unit/Formation 58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion (Essendon, Coburg, Brunswick/Hume Regiment)
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 8 May 1943 ‒ 11 May 1943
Transport Details HMT Duntroon Townsville - Port Moresby
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 13 Mar 1944 ‒ 17 Mar 1944
Transport Details SS Canberra Port Moresby to Townsville
2nd Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 6 Jun 1944 ‒ 9 Jun 1944
Transport Details MS Taroona Townsville to Port Moresby
Journey Dates 24 Oct 1944
Transport Details plane Lae, New Guinea to Torokina, Bougainville
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 13 Feb 1945 ‒ 19 Feb 1945
Transport Details HMT Duntroon Torokina, Bougainville to Sydney
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia (twice)
Medals 1939-45 Star
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Electoral Roll entries: 1928 at 270 Buckley street, Essendon, Victoria, carpenter; 1931 - 1937 farmer.

Prior to joining the AIF on 17 Nov 1942, Harold had served in the Citizens Military Force's (Militia) 58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion (Essendon, Coburg, Brunswick/Hume Regiment) from 1 Aug 1940 until 16 Nov 1942 with Regimental No. V44029. He also held a B Grade Electrical Mechanics license.

War Service

As a member of the CMF, on 4 Nov 1940 Harold was promoted Probationary Lieutenant in the 58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion in Melbourne. On 31 Oct 1941 he commenced full time service with the battalion, and on 24 Nov 1941 he was detached to Southern Command's Training School Course No. 14, rejoining his unit on 14 Dec 1941. Detached again between 3 and 19 Jan 1942, this time to the 3rd Division AASC, before being detached to Southern Commands "Q" staff on 19 Jan 1942. On 6 Feb 1942 Harold was promoted Temporary Captain.

On paper he was transferred on 18 Sep 1942 from the 58th Battalion to the 58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion (Essendon, Coburg, Brunswick/Hume Regiment), while remaining seconded for duty to Southern Command Base HQ. He transferred from the CMF to the 2nd AIF on 17 Nov 1942, and on 30 Nov 1942 his secondment finished and he returned to his battalion. Between 17 Feb and 28 Mar 1943 Harold attended a LHQ Tactical School Junior Wing No 4 Course, resulting in an assessment of fair for both General Knowledge of all arms, and Tactical Knowledge all arms. On 8 May 1943 he boarded HMT Duntroon in Townsville for "Maple" (Port Moresby?). On 27 Jul 1943 Harold was admitted to the 2/2nd Australian Field Ambulance, which at that time had their Main Dressing Station at Wau, until 5 Aug 1943 when he was released to his unit. His promotion to Captain was confirmed on 12 Feb 1944.

On 23 Feb 1944 he was reallocated to the HQ Moresby Base Sub Area for return to Australia, and on 17 Mar 1944 he disembarked in Townsville from the SS Canberra. On 20 May 1944 he was transferred from the 19th Australian Personnel Staging Camp (6.403) to the 2/14th Australian General Hospital at Mundingburra near Townsville with suspected malaria, returning to the Staging Camp on 1 Jun 1944. On 6 Jun 1944 he re-embarked in Townsville on the HMT Taroona to return to Port Moresby. On 30 Aug 1944 his membership of the 58/59th Battalion ceased and he was posted as Staff Captain "Q" in the HQ Moresby Base Sub Area. On 23 Oct 1944 he was transferred to the HQ 4th Australian Base Sub Area, and the next day was flown from Lae to Bougainville. On 13 Feb 1945 he embarked at Torokina on the HMT Duntroon, disembarking in Sydney on 19 Feb 1945, and reporting for duty on 22 Mar 1945 as Staff Captain Maintenance of Q Branch. On 1 Sep 1945 he relinquished this role and on 19 Sep 1945 he was transferred to the R of O (Australian Infantry) in Victoria. Harold was discharged on 19 Sep 1945. His total service was 1419 days, with Active Service of 680 days served in Australia and 574 days overseas.

Post War

At discharge his address was the Royal Oak Hotel, Kilmore. Harold had married on 12 Apr 1944, Irene Sheelah Harrington in Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Harold and Iren had 6 children, five boys and one girl. The oldest two boys were Thomas Anthony (1947-2012) and Michael (1957 - 2000).

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1980 at 25 Hedderwick street, Essendon, Vic, contractor.


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