Fred Sharon - Tarakan

Running time
1 min 29 sec

Fred Sharon was a member of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He participated in the first landings in Borneo at Tarakan. He went ashore as part of the RAAF’s ground troops sent in to support the operation. He recalled the confusion involved in the landing.

Transcript

Tarakan was the first all-Australian landing, sort of thing. And what impressed me was it didn't matter whether you was army, navy or air force, everyone was all just all in together.

There was no, I'm this, I'm that or anything else like, which we were led to believe happened but it didn't and I was quite pleased and surprised about that but there was a big blue on someone's part about the landing at Tarakan because we sailed from Morotai and we saw all the bombardment and all that and then it was the time for LSTs to go in and they just charged in but it was all mud, it was just mud and I've got photos there of just the steering wheels of trucks pulled off, the cabs gone off and all that sort of thing and here in mud and all that trying to make it to shore and they're building barges to try and drive the equipment on to the beach.

It was just a mess and we were supposed to be on the airstrip in ten days. They never got control of the airstrip until after ten days, you know. It was just one big mess.

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