The last I heard – today you became a lady of leisure. You won’t know how it feels until tomorrow, I suspect, this being Sunday. Gee, I hope you manage to stay busy and not too bored, darling.
Last nite, Saturday, I had Dave Ennis over to have dinner or supper with us. It so happened that two other of our officers happened to run into fellows from their home towns – and they came up too – so we had a sort of reunion dinner. Naturally we had a couple of drinks – but it didn’t amount to much. Don’t worry, sweetheart – despite everything, I do not like drinking!
No letters from you yesterday – darn it – but maybe today. There’s so much I’m waiting to hear, dear – particularly your reaction to the news that I’m not on my way home yet. Oh how I wish I were!! I love you so much, darling, and this writing is so difficult!! All for now, dear – love to the folks – and
|Main Island of Borneo|
The plans for the Allied attacks were known collectively as Operation Oboe. The invasion of Borneo was the second stage of Operation Montclair, which was aimed at destroying Japanese forces in, and re-occupying the Netherlands East Indies, the southern Philippines, Sarawak and British Borneo. Borneo in particular was considered at the time a strategic location for its natural resources, oil.
Although the Borneo campaign was criticized in Australia at the time and in subsequent years, as pointless or a "waste" of the lives of soldiers, it did achieve a number of objectives, such as increasing the isolation of significant Japanese forces occupying the main part of the Dutch East Indies, capturing major oil supplies and freeing Allied prisoners of war, who were being held in increasingly worse conditions. The Sandakan Death Marches and the Batu Lintang Camp are but two examples.
The initial Allied plan comprised six stages:
Oboe 1 was to be an attack on Tarakan;
Oboe 2 against Balikpapan;
Oboe 3 against Banjermasin;
Oboe 4 against Surabaya or Batavia (Jakarta);
Oboe 5 against the eastern Netherlands East Indies; and
Oboe 6 against British Borneo (Sabah).
|Borneo Campaign 1945|
In the end only the operations against Tarakan, Balikpapan and British Borneo—at Labuan and Brunei Bay—took place. The campaign opened with Oboe 1, with a landing on the small island of Tarakan, off the north east coast on 1 May 1945. This was followed on 10 June 1945 by Oboe 6: simultaneous assaults on the island of Labuan and the coast of Brunei, in the north west of Borneo. A week later, the Australians followed up with attacks on Japanese positions around Weston on the north-eastern part of Brunei Bay. The attention of the Allies then switched back to the central east coast, with Oboe 2, the last major amphibious assault of World War II, at Balikpapan on 1 July 1945. These operations ultimately constituted the last campaigns of Australian forces in the war against Japan.