Geoff Chapman - Attack on pill-boxes and 'Banzai' charges

Running time
3 min 18 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


"I can remember going up and I can remember my section actually, which was only 10 or 12 men and we went round and Diver said, suggested to us, he said "See what the defences are like up there" And we went up and we got right up to a track which ran on top of Freda which the Japs were using to move from one post to another and we worked out that we were between two of their pill-boxes.

We went back and it was very quickly organised and the next minute my platoon, we had to lead them up there and that's when the fighting started.

We got up there and we were behind the first pill-box, of course, and that was easy and then we had to get the second one and that was a bit harder but was successful and we didn't have a lot of casualties, I mean we had a few more than that the whole action because we did have a few casualties earlier.

It took us about 4 or 5 days. We kept getting orders from our stupid commander, battalion commander, telling us that the job had to be done today regardless of casualties.

We didn't do it. We found our way in, when we did, at night.

I got shot at the finish there and that night the Japanese counterattacked about 3 or 4 o'clock and there were four banzai attacks. They were pretty savage and the Japs were beaten back every time.

The next morning we were just about out of ammunition and I had been carted back to hospital by then or CCS.

I didn't know Diver had actually been hit.

I was taken out long before he was shot and they were out of ammunition and the battalion commander said withdraw so we withdraw.

Withdrew I suppose I should say and I got back in the hospital and I was in bed there and the next minute all the platoon are walking in.

I was the only bed patient in the walking wounded ward. All the platoon walked in. I couldn't believe it and anyway the next day Don Company went in and took Freda and I don't think they had, very little opposition."

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