Australian casualties of World War II

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Over 27,000 Australians were killed and 23,000 wounded in action during World War II. In addition, hundreds more servicemen and women were killed and injured in accidents during the war.

An Australian soldier, Private George "Dick" Whittington, is aided by Papuan orderly Raphael Oimbari, near Buna on 25 December 1942. Whittington died in February 1943 from the effects of bush typhus. (Picture by George Silk)

Casualties by service[edit]

Australian and Dutch POWs at Tarsau, Thailand in 1943

The following table is taken from The Final Campaigns by Gavin Long. It excludes deaths and illnesses from natural causes, including disease.[1]

RAN Army RAAF Total
War against Germany
Killed in action 900 2610 5036 8546
Died of wounds 3 700 58 761
Died of wounds while POW 56 9 65
Died of sickness or injury while POW 95 95
Presumed died while POW 91 14 105
Total killed 903 3552 5117 9572
POW escaped, recovered or repatriated 25 6874 1020 7919
Wounded and injured in action (cases) 26 8925 529 9480
War against Japan
Killed in action 840 6294 1140 8274
Died of wounds 41 1090 65 1196
Died of wounds while POW 50 50
Died of sickness or injury while POW 5336 5336
Presumed died while POW 116 2391 138 2645
Total killed 997 15161 1343 17501
POW escaped, recovered or repatriated 238 13872 235 14345
Wounded and injured in action (cases) 553 13191 253 13997
All theatres of war
Killed in action 1740 8904 6176 16820
Died of wounds 44 1790 123 1957
Died of wounds while POW 0 106 9 115
Died of sickness or injury while POW 0 5431 0 5431
Presumed died while POW 116 2482 152 2750
Total killed 1900 18713 6460 27073
POW escaped, recovered or repatriated 263 20746 1255 22264
Wounded and injured in action (cases) 579 22116 782 23477

Non-battle casualties[edit]

The Australian Army suffered 1,165 killed and died of injuries in operational areas and a further 33,396 soldiers were wounded or injured. Casualties in non-operational areas were also significant, with 2,051 soldiers being killed or dying of injuries and 121,800 being wounded or injured. These figures also exclude deaths and illnesses from natural causes. The RAN suffered 177 non-battle casualties and the RAAF 6,271.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Long (1963), pg 633–634.
  2. ^ Long (1963), pg 635.

References[edit]