Leslie John COOK

Poppy

COOK, Leslie John

Service Number: NX32179
Enlisted: 14 June 1940, Paddington, New South Wales
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Queen's Park, Western Australia, 11 June 1918
Home Town: Earlwood, Hurstville, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Accidental (plane crash), Port Moresby, PNG, 7 September 1943, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea
C1. E.16.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

14 Jun 1940: Enlisted Private, SN NX32179, Paddington, New South Wales
7 Sep 1943: Involvement Corporal, SN NX32179, 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion

Tragedy strikes 2nd/33rd Battalion while awaiting troop lift flight to Nadzab

The 2nd/33rd returned to Port Moresby in late July in preparation for the operations capture Lae, in New Guinea. On 7 September, while it waited near Jackson's Airfield at '7Mile' near Moresby to be flown to Nadzab, via Tsili Tsili, a fully fuelled and 'bombed up' US B-24 Liberator bomber crashed on take off among the trucks carrying the battalion. Sixty men, mainly from D Company, were killed and 92 injured. This represented a third of the battalion's fatal casualties for the entire war.

The remnants of the battalion were flown to Nadzab on 8 September and subsequently participated in the advance on Lae, which fell on 16 September.

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