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Z Force Roll of Honour

Roll of Honour - Z SPECIAL UNIT. S.O.A.

HOUGHTON R G444165-AKS182WOIIDied - Beriberi disease20/04/45BalikpapanBorneo
MYERSE H616204-AKS176SglExecuted - Samurai08/07/45Mt MentawirBorneo
McMILLAN L T64785-AK258CaptLost-Presumed drowned20/03/45BalikpapanBorneo
STOTT D J20681-AK257MajLost-presumed drowned20/03/45BalikpapanBorneo
From the ground there blossoms red
life that shall endless be
they shall call us to dedicate ourselves afresh
unfinished task of peace, least their sacrifice be in vain

They shall grow not old as we who are left grow old
Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them


During the southern winter of 1944, twenty-two New Zealand soldiers, based at Trentham Military Camp, 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of Wellington, New Zealand were sent to train with Z Special Unit in Melbourne, Australia. They were then sent to Fraser Commando School, on Fraser Island, Queensland, to be trained in using parachutes, unarmed combat, explosives and the Malay language.
Four New Zealanders were killed during operations in Borneo.

Major Stott and Captain McMillan were both presumed drowned in heavy seas while going ashore in a rubber boat from the submarine USS Perch in Balikpapan Bay on 20 March 1945. Their bodies were never found.
Warrant Officer Houghton made it to shore in a second boat but was captured ten days later and languished in Balikpapan Prison where he died of beriberi about 20 April 1945.
Signalman Ernie Myers parachuted into enemy-held territory near Mount Mentawir on 30 March 1945, but landed with two other operatives inside a Japanese camp area. They resisted strongly, but the Australian in the party was killed and Myers was captured along with the Malay interpreter of the group. Both men were tortured for three days, before being beheaded. Their bodies were recovered soon after the Japanese surrender when Lieutenant Bob Tapper, another New Zealander who was working with the War Graves Commission, discovered their remains. Evidence given to the commission by native witnesses ensured that the Japanese involved paid the penalty for this atrocity.