Norman Lenard (Bob) Dunnell
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Revision as of 23:45, 19 May 2019 by Linton
|Date of Birth||11 Apr 1921|
|Place of Birth||Subiaco, Western Australia|
|Death||20 Jun 2013, aged 92|
|Place of Death||Rockingham, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||19 years, 7 months|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Kelmscott, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr Harry Dunnell|
|Date of Enlistment||10 Nov 1941|
|Unit/Formation||2nd/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion 'D' Company, 13 Platoon|
|Transport Details||PBY Catalina A24-377 Manila - Darwin - Perth|
|Post War Details|
POW Singapore 1942 |
Returned to Australia
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Enlisted on 10 Nov 1941. Bob was one of many reinforcements who had travelled by train from Northam Training Camp to join the 2/4th Battalion on the 15th January 1942 when the HMT Aquitania dropped anchor in Gage Roads. He had undergone about 2 months training! In another month, Bob aged 21 years would be facing the invading Japanese Army.
Given his lack of preparation No doubt Bob was one of the very lucky reinforcements to survive the battle. Taken on strength by the 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion in Fremantle on 16 Jan 1942, he was posted to 13th Platoon, D Company.
Captured Malaya (Singapore), he spent ime in the Selarang Camp Changi, the River Valey Road camp and the Selarang Barracks at Changi before being allocated to 'D' Force Thailand, V Battalion, with POW Number 3/7638. They left Singapore by train on 17 Mar 1943. This Battalion was to endure one of highest death rates of all Australian work parties on the Burma Railway. He was at Kinsaiyok Main camp 170.2K, Kuii Kui Yae camp 185.6k, and Brankassi Prang Kasi camp 208K in Thailand before Bob, along with many other POWs was sent to labour camps in Japan.
In his case as a member of the Aramis Party. On arrival he was sent to Fukuoka Sub camp No. 17-B at Omuta Miike, Japan from where he was eventually repatriated. He had first been identified as a POW by the Red Cross in Thailand, until then his wife and family were uncertain if he had survived the battles for Singapore.
Bob's journey home began in Nagasaki when he embarked on USS Haven for Okinawa. here he was flown to Manila by US military aircraft, and then from Manila to Darwin via Morotai on PBY Catalina A24-359. The last stage was Darwin to Perth, again by aircraft (unknown)
Discharged 29 Mar 1946.