Hartley Roy PRESTON

PRESTON, Hartley Roy

Service Number: NX96055
Enlisted: 14 May 1942
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Cobargo, Bega Valley - New South Wales, Australia, 24 September 1942
Home Town: Bodalla, Eurobodalla, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Accidental (Injuries - aircraft crash/ explosion on takeoff), Near Jacksons Airfield, Port Moresby, New Guinea, 7 September 1943, aged 0 years
Cemetery: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea
C1. C. 11
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bodalla Honor Roll Board
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World War 2 Service

14 May 1942: Enlisted Private, NX96055, 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion
14 May 1942: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, NX96055, 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion
7 Sep 1943: Involvement Private, NX96055, 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion, New Guinea - Huon Peninsula / Markham and Ramu Valley /Finisterre Ranges Campaigns

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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