2/24th Battalion (Australia)
Soldiers from the 2/24th prepare for a patrol around Sattelberg, November 1943
|Size||~800–900 personnel[Note 1]|
|Part of||26th Brigade, 7th Division
26th Brigade, 9th Division
|Unit Colour Patch|
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. The 2/24th suffered the highest number of casualties of any 2nd AIF unit.
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.
- Charles Hector Finlay;
- Andrew Basil Gillespie;
- Allan Spowers; and
- George Radford Warfe.
- 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.
- Palazzo, Albert (2004). "Organising for Jungle Warfare". In Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey. The Foundations of Victory: The Pacific War 1943–1944. Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Army History Unit. ISBN 978-0-646-43590-9.
- Serle, R. P, ed. (1963). The Second Twenty-Fourth: A History of the 2/24 Australian Infantry Battalion of the 9th Australian Division. Jacaranda Press with 2/24th Australian Infantry Battalion Association.