Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the OBOE operations were the most complex amphibious assaults carried out by Australians during the Second World War.
“The Tarakan Island operation, OBOE I, was the first in a series of operations in and around Borneo, collectively known as OBOE. The second operation occurred at Labuan/Brunei Bay on 10 June 1945 and the final operation at Balikpapan on 1 July 1945,” Mr Chester said.
“The amphibious assault of OBOE I began on 1 May 1945 and was entrusted to the Australian troops of the 26th Infantry Brigade of the 9th Division, who were protected by American and Australian Navy and Air Force elements.
“The Japanese resistance was neutralised by heavy naval and air bombardment before the landing, and once ashore the 9th Division fought hard and, with support of the naval gunfire, successfully secured the area.”
“The landing was accomplished with marked success and local populations were liberated from Japanese control.
“On the anniversary of Operation OBOE I, we remember and commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who supported the OBOE operations, especially the some 600 Australians who paid the ultimate sacrifice and the many more who were wounded in ensuring the success of these operations.”
On 15 August 1945 the Japanese agreed to an unconditional surrender, which marked the end of the Second World War and Victory in the Pacific. This year we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of this, and remember the almost one million men and women who fought to protect the Australian way of life.