The Purple Devils
the 2/6 australian commando squadron
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305 pp - hardback - this reprint: 2008
Australia--------AUD$50 (Including postage in Australia)
PNG and NZ---------AUD$65 (including economy air mail)
north America--aud$70 (including economy air mail)
The World-----------AUD$80 (including economy air mail)
Raised in May 1942, 2/6 Independent Company trained at the Guerrilla Warfare School on Wilson's Promontory, Victoria. Allotted the distinctive Double Diamond Colour Patch of all Independent Companies, its unit colour was purple, hence the title "The Purple Devils". In 1943 the name was changed to Cavalry Commando Squadron and soon after to Commando Squadron.
As well as being a highly efficient fighting unit, the men were experts in long-range patrolling and reconnaissance and spent much of their time in small groups operating in territory effectively under enemy control.
Four major campaigns were undertaken between 1942 and 1945. Patrols operating on the flanks of the Kokoda Track, at Buna with the Americans, in the Markham-Ramu Valleys with 7 Division and finally at Balikpapan in Borneo.
Not only did the men have to contend with enemy forces and the inhospitable country, but also the lack of supplies and the isolation, much of the time out of touch with the main forces and entirely dependent on their own resources.
This, then, is their story ...