The 2/3rd Australian Light Anti Aircraft Regiment was initially raised in Melbourne on 1 July 1940, trained at Werribee Race Course 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, with Battle Honours from Tobruk, Crete, the Western Desert, Syria, Port Moresby, Milne Bay, Lae, Buna and Borneo.
Members of the Regiment were drawn primarily from Victoria (1,372), but also from New South Wales (427), Queensland (50), South Australia (47), Western Australia (32), Darwin (3) and New Guinea (1). 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 1987, 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 Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment.
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 (8 Battery), Les Harris (7 Battery) and Cec Rae (9 Battery) in 1987.
The Constitution of the Association was amended in 2008 to allow the descendants of the original members to become members of the Association. Whilst the descendants are generally referred to as the ‘Remembrance Group’, they are full members of the Association.
Members voted unanimously to incorporate the Association at the Annual General Meeting held on 24 April 2021 in order to allow the Association to secure and to continue to register its Domain Name – antiaircraft.org.au
It is the descendants of the original members who are responsible for the current carriage of the Association, and who will be responsible for 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 Anti-Aircraft Regiment in particular and the role of Anti-Aircraft units in general through the development of this website and its associated links.