The 2/33rd Battalion formed in the United Kingdom in June 1940. It was made up of Australian personnel that had arrived in Britain, and would go on to see action in North Africa and the Pacific. The battalion took part in the fighting on the Kokoda Trail, and acted as the rearguard in the Australian retreat to Imita Ridge. They then took part in the fight to drive the Japanese back to the north coast of Papua New Guinea.
On 7 September 1943, the 2/33rd Battalion were waiting at Jackson's Airfield, Port Moresby when a fully-loaded Liberator bomber crashed among the trucks carrying the battalion. 59 men were killed and 92 were injured. This was a third of the battalion's deaths for the entire war. This service occurs on a Sunday close to 7 September each year to remember that tragedy.
- Shrine Governor Air Commodore Rowan Story AM RFD (Retd)
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Reviewed 08 August 2023