BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Australian High Commission and US Embassy on Wednesday commemorated the 75th anniversary of Operation OBOE VI, the landing of Allied Forces at Muara Beach during World War II.
“Over 75,000 Australians participated in the OBOE campaign to liberate Borneo towards the end of the Second World War,” said Australian High Commissioner Nicola Rosenblum.
“On the anniversary of Operation OBOE VI, we remember and commemorate the service and sacrifice of all those who lost their lives in Brunei during the war, including 110 Australians.”
Australian forces landed on Muara Beach on June 10 1945, leading the Allied forces’ campaign to liberate Brunei and North Borneo from Japanese occupation. In 2008, a memorial was erected to mark the landing site of the Australian ninth division.
“Today is also an opportunity to reflect on the close bonds of friendship that have evolved since the Australian troops landed on Pantai Muara 75 years ago. Together, Australia and Brunei have built an effective defence partnership which contributes to the security and prosperity of our region,’ Rosenblum said.
This film from the Australian War Memorial shows troops on board HMAS Kanimbla as they land in Brunei to begin Operation Oboe IV:
More than 28,000 American soldiers, sailors and marines also supported the Borneo campaign in the weeks leading up to the landing, providing aerial bombardment and minesweepers to clear the path for Australian soldiers.
“Forty-two American sailors and soldiers died in the liberation of Brunei – 16 during Operation OBOE VI, and a further 26 aviators who were killed in action in operations over Brunei Bay in the preceding months,” said Scott Woodard, charge d’affaires at the US Embassy.
“Other downed American airmen were bravely rescued and protected by locals and evacuated with great ingenuity by Australian flyers. Today we commemorate the contribution of all of those who served and sacrificed during World War II.”
The memorial service was also attended by Royal Brunei Armed Forces Commander Major General Pg Dato Paduka Seri Aminan Pg Hj Mahmud.