Maurie Deed's story
Allan Morris 'Maurie' Deed enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on 9 May 1940. He served as an aircraft hand and later as a motorcyclist and a fitter.
Maurie was sent to Singapore in late August 1940. Nos 1, 2 and 12 Squadron of the RAAF were based at the Sembewang airfield, which was part of the British naval base complex. Maurie was attached to the transport section and he drove a crash tender (fire truck), which he remembered as being totally obsolete.
As the Japanese forces closed in on Singapore during the Malayan peninsula campaign, Maurie and others were transferred to Palembang in Sumatra, which had an airfield and was the site of Netherlands oil refineries. Maurie recalled being sent out to defend the road to the airfields while demotion works were carried out.
From Palembang, Maurie was moved to Batavia (Jakarta) in Java, where he arrived on 8 February 1942. Two days after the fall of Singapore, Maurie was evacuated by ship to Australia, sailing through the Sunda Strait and arriving in Fremantle on 4 March.
Maurie discharged from the RAAF on 31 January 1946.