Rowan Waddy and his experience as a Semut Operative in Sarawak

Operation Semut was a series of reconnaissance operations that took place in Sarawak. It was carried out by Australia’s Z Special Unit in 1945 during the final days of World War II (WWII). Altogether, there were four operations were undertaken under Operation Semut. Their main objectives? To gather intelligence and to train the

The forgotten Malayan labourers of Burma Railway during WWII

The Burma Railway is infamously known as the Death Railway. It is because thousands of people died building it during World War II (WWII). The Empire of Japan built it from 1940-1944 to supply troops and weapons in the Burma campaign. The railway is 415-kilometres long connecting Ban Pong, Thailand and Thanbuzayat,

Pigs reared in Batu Lintang Camp had better food than the POWs

When Batu Lintang camp was liberated on Sept 11, 1945 by the Australian 9th Division, the camp population was 2,024. Overall, there were 1,392 prisoners of wars (POWs), 395 were male civilian internees and 237 were civilian women and children. There were two death orders found among the official Japanese papers at

The forgotten All Saints Chapel of Sandakan POW Camp

The ruins of huts in the prisoner of war camp, Sandakan, North Borneo, October 1945. Those who were too ill for the march were eventually murdered here. Credits: Public Domain (Copyright expired) Courtesy Australian War Memorial: 120457 Do you know there was an Anglican chapel at Sandakan prisoners of war

What happened to the 300 prisoners of Labuan POW camp during WW2?

Flying over the prisoner of war camp (POW) in Batu Lintang at a low height, RAAF Beaufighter pilots reported sighting white POWs, clad in khaki shorts, who excitedly waved as the RAAF aircraft flew over to drop leaflets announcing Japan's surrender. Credits: Public Domain (Copyright expired). https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C242106 When it comes to

John Skinner, the last man executed at Sandakan POW Camp

“In the Sandakan prisoners’ compound, Warrant Officer Hisao Murozumi had his sword raised. It would be the last atrocity in this camp in this backwater of war. Terrible things happen in battle. In the heat and smoke of it, morality enters a strange world. Killing is survival. What Murozumi was

Operation Kingfisher, the rescue mission that never took place

Do you know that there was a so-called rescue plan for the Sandakan Death Marches code-named Operation Kingfisher? The death march was a series of forced marches in Borneo from Sandakan to Ranau which resulted to the deaths of 1,047 prisoners-of-war (POWs). Meanwhile, the remaining 1,381 never left the Sandakan camp