2/24th Battalion (Australia)

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For other uses, see 24th Battalion (Australia).
2/24th Battalion
AWM 060576 2 24th Battalion around Sattelberg 15 November 1943.jpeg
Soldiers from the 2/24th prepare for a patrol around Sattelberg, November 1943
Active 1940–46
Country  Australia
Branch Australian Army
Type Infantry
Size ~800–900 personnel[Note 1]
Part of 26th Brigade, 7th Division
26th Brigade, 9th Division
Nickname "Wangaratta's Own"

World War II

Unit Colour Patch 2 24th Battalion Australia Unit Colour Patch.PNG

The 2/24th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army, which served during the Second World War. A unit of the all-volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF), it was formed in July 1940 from primarily Victorian volunteers and was known as "Wangaratta's Own" because of the time the battalion spent in the town during its formative period prior to deployment overseas. It served in North Africa in 1941–42 as part of the 26th Brigade, which was assigned to the 7th Division, before being reassigned to the 9th Division. In early 1943, the battalion returned to Australia and later took part in campaigns against the Japanese in New Guinea in 1943–44 and Borneo in 1945, before being disbanded in 1946.[1][2] The 2/24th suffered the highest number of casualties of any 2nd AIF unit.[3]

Troops from the 2/24th fighting on Tarakan, 1945

Battle honours[edit]

The 2/24th Battalion received the following battle honours:

  • Busu River, Sattelberg, Wareo, Wareo-Lakona, Tarakan, Tell el Eisa, North Africa 1941–42, Defence of Tobruk, The Salient 1941, Defence of Alamein Line, El Alamein, South-West Pacific 1943–45, Lae-Nadzab, Finschhafen, Liberation of Australian New Guinea and Borneo.[1]

Commanding officers[edit]

The following officers served as commanding officer of the 2/24th:[1]

  • Charles Hector Finlay;
  • Andrew Basil Gillespie;
  • Allan Spowers; and
  • George Radford Warfe.


  1. ^ By the start of World War II, the authorised strength of an Australian infantry battalion was 910 men all ranks, however, later in the war it fell to 803.[4]
  1. ^ a b c "2/24th Battalion". Second World War, 1939–1945 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Serle 1963, p. 1.
  3. ^ "The Story of the 2/24th Battalion". 2/24th Battalion Association. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Palazzo 2004, p. 94.