The 2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment was initially raised in Melbourne on 1 July 1940, trained at Werribee Racecourse and embarked for the Middle East in December 1940.
The Regiment was ultimately represented by a total of 1,935 servicemen who served with distinction in World War II, experiencing combat at Tobruk, Crete, the Western Desert, Syria, Port Moresby, Milne Bay, Lae, Buna and Borneo.
The Regiment experienced a high number of casualties through deaths, wounded and prisoners of war.
When formed, the Regiment consisted of:
Regimental H.Q. commanded by Lt. Col. John W Rhoden with Capt. AF Young as Adjutant, Capt. Alan Michaelis as Quartermaster and Capt. PG Hayes as RMO.
7th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery commanded by Major JA Hipworth
8th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery commanded by Major PW Stokes
9th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery commanded by Major CL Hughes-Hallett
2/3 Light Anti-Aircraft Signal Section commanded by Capt. NW Traynor, raised in New South Wales
2/3 Light Anti-Aircraft Workshop Section commanded by Capt. H Metzner
In 1945, and following the cessation of hostilities, the Regiment Association was formed to co-ordinate an Annual Reunion of original members, to conduct an Annual General Meeting, to assist former members in need of assistance, and since 1988, to produce the Association’s Annual Newsletter “Take Post”, which comprises stories and photos relating to the personnel, feats and history of the 2/3rd.
A detailed history of the Regiment entitled “On Target”, and detailing the raising of the Regiment, its training and its various operations in the Middle East and the Pacific, was produced by Ron Bryant (8th), Les Harris (7th) and Cec Rae (9th) in 1987.
Modern technology has enabled the Association to digitise ‘On Target’, which is now available for viewing and down loading from our website as either a whole book or in individual sections.
In recognition of the advancing age and dwindling numbers (less than 100) of the original members of the Association, the Constitution of the Association was amended in 2008 to allow the descendants of original members to become full members of the Association.
The Association has determined to entrust the descendants, also referred to as the ‘Remembrance Group’, with the future carriage of the Association.
The current Executive of the Association is actively seeking to broaden the awareness of the history and operational activities of the 2/3rd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment in particular, and the role of Australian WWII Anti-Aircraft units in general, through the development of this website and its associated links.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Association held on 24 April 2021, members unanimously voted to incorporate the Association and to adopt the proposed Rules of Association, and to register the incorporated Association with Consumer Affairs Victoria.
There are now no surviving original members of the Regiment, although a number of widows of former Regiment members continue to be members of the Association, and there are also almost 100 members of the ‘Remembrance Group’.