2nd (Fremantle) VDC Battalion

From Our Contribution

VDC patch.jpg

Brief History

Volunteer defence Corps (VDC) Battalions were initially raised outside the military framework by the RSL who were keen to be involved in any defence of Australia. Formed in July 1940 they had no formal role, until they were taken over by the Army and incorporated in the CMF on 15 May 1941. Other civilian units included the Vulnerable Points Guard and teh Post Office Volunteer Corps. Once taken over they were tasked with being prepared to strengthen/reinforce Garrison Battalions who were formed to contribute to the defence of Australia; provide staff for internment camps; and guard vulnerable points. Original recruitment was men with previous Imperial Military Service, those under 60 being available for full time duties. In February 1940 4,464 men were enlisted in Western Australian VDC units. Australia wide there were 110 VDC Battalions in October 1942. Australia wide there were 49 fatalities amongst VDC personnel, with one in Western Australia.

When formed from the south western suburbs of Perth, its Headquarters were in South Perth. 'A' Company was drawn from Fremantle, East Fremantle and Spearwood; 'B' Company from Melville, South Perth and Victoria Park; 'C' Company from Belmont, Kalamunda, Cannington, and Gosnells; 'D' Company from Armadale, Mundijong and Kelmscott; 'E' Company (Signals, Trench Mortars, and Transport).

They established coast watch points at trig Point, Mt Flora, Mt Brown, Cape Peron, Becher Point and Stake Hill. They assisted with the preparation of defensive positions in the Kenwick area. On call out, their main role would be to form into platoons to provide active and passive defence of their area while manning road blocks, demolishing bridges and other areas if necessary and as a last resort to implement guerilla warfare if the area was overrun. When the troops returned from the Middle East, VDC units were provided with conventional training and in the new defence plan in August 1942 the 2nd VFC Battalion, on call out, was tasked with concentrating at Fremantle and defending the port and Arthur Battery. By August 1943 the various Anti-Aircraft and Searchlight Batteries had local members from the VDC Battalions attached. B Coy 2 VDC Battalion along with A & E Companies from 3 VDC Battalion formed the 29th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery (VDC). C Coy 2nd VDC Battalion joined C Coy from 1 VDC Battalion to form 660th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery (VDC). A Coy 2 DVC Battalion and E Coy 1 VDC Battalion formed 661st Light Anti Aircraft Battery (VDC). While E Coy 2nd VDC Battalion became Harbour Battery (VDC). These operated as 'shadow' units to their AMF units with which they worked. By early 1945 the threat was low enough that the VDC units were placed in reserve. Some VDC units continued to parade without military assistance, and they were not formally disbanded until mid-1946.

Members of the VDC were awarded the Australian Service Medal 1939-45 for three years part time service. Some who served full time qualified for the War Medal 1939-45.

Battalion Personnel


Content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 6 - The Australian Army 1939-1945 , pages 6.082 - 6.084 - Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018

External Links