AASC colour patch

Driver's badge

Penfui airport base

Local market in Koepang

Shops in Koepang

Supply of stores is paramount for all the services, particularly more critical when units are overseas and in a foreign environment. Service stores cover everything from ammunition to toothbrushes, uniforms to rations, kerosene to shovels and boots to hand grenades. For the food supply chain it required butchers and bakers, for vehicles they supplied gasoline and tyres, while for construction they provided steel, wood and nails. Therefore the AASC component required storemen, record keepers, accountants, drivers and local supply specialists.


In Darwin, supply was a problem for the increasing number of new units arriving from the south. Virtually all of the equipment, machinery, fuel, munitions and rations had to be trucked or shipped in. This became a Service Corps nightmare then and the AASC was at the centre if this problem as well.

Records indicate that only 36 AASC officers and men embarked on the HMAS Westralia on 10th December 1941 to arrive at Usapa Besar in Dutch West Timor two days later. The conglomeration of stores on the beach, many of which had been damaged or pilfered during the loading at Darwin, and more boxes broken during the hasty offloading and carriage onto the beach made this even more of a nightmare for the understrength stores personnel The AASC strength was increased with subsequent reinforcements. 


The A.S.C. contingent for Sparrow Force consisted of
     Officer in command - Captain Joseph F. Read
     2-i.c. Lieut. Ian S. Scott
              Lieut. Douglas H. Williams
              W/O Francis Reilly
There was a complement of 43 other ranks which makes a total of 46 AASC officers and men on Dutch West Timor


For the Other Ranks, nominal rolls list 1 warrant officer, 3 staff sergeants, 2 sergeants, 3 corporals and an acting corporal, and 3 lance corporals. Of the remaining Other Ranks, 6 were drivers and the rest were privates. With the move of headquarters and after the Japanese paratroops captured Babao, most of the AASC were at Champlong. Some of the drivers were in trucks with the main column at Airkom (Irekum) were surrendered by Lt.-Col. Leggatt on 23rd February. 

Those at Champlong departed with Brigadier Veale's party on 23rd February and eventually met up with the 2nd Independent Coy. on East Timor. As Service Corps personnel and with the commandos constantly on the move with Japanese patrols trying to locate them, the times were trying for both groups. Some were taken off with Veale while others evacuated during resupply missions to the southern coast of Portuguese East Timor.

This and more... DVD & Computer CD set                                                                        return topage

Copyright © 2012-2013
All rights reserved
Ian D. Skennerton

Please report any site problems/questions such as broken links here.