Maurie Deed - Defending Palembang

Running time
2 min 40 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We  were told one night what we're moving in the morning, and we had to be all ready, of course, and they took us into Singapore Harbour, which was being, obviously, it'd been bombed pretty heavily because you could, just the smell of the place could light a match.

They put us on one of the boats that were available that would float and took off. We didn't even know where we were going. But we ended up in Palembang which is the Dutch oil refineries where they ... and two or three days there and then we were taken out to a strip just off the highway. It was roughly about 40 miles out of Palembang I suppose.

And, you know, things have got a bit hazy after 75 years. But we operated there for a while with the Hudsons. I don't think any of the, well they had changed over to Brewster Buffalos at that stage for the fighter for 21 Squadron. But 8 and 1 were still using the Hudson, Lockheed Hudsons. And they just suddenly, they got a few of us together and said, "Pick up your rifles, get out on the road, you've gotta make a stand, while we sort of do all the demolition work on the drome before we leave."

Which was, so there was 27 of us out on the road with, and all we had was World War 1 Lee-Enfield rifles and one old Lewis machine gun which was renowned because it got only fired six shots before it jammed. So, that was it. So, I mean, they wouldn't have even changed step going past through us.

Was this page helpful?
We can't respond to comments or queries via this form. Please contact us with your query instead.