Re: GARFISH and GATO subs AUSSIE COASTWATCHERS group M SPECIAL. SYDNEY STONEHOUSE
U.S.S.GARFISH AND U.S.S. GATO SUBS WW2
my p.o.box is now P.O.BOX 8288 WARNBRO 6169.
My father SYDNEY STONEHOUSE wx5361 was in the 2/11th battalion in Syria and the Middle East before being withdrawn and sent on a convoy to Singapore.
When Singapore fell before they could arrive, the convoy was told to scatter and head for home as best they could.
He was then put into the Coastwatchers-M Special group and sent to Bouganville, Guadalcanal, and the Solomon Islands to do reconnaissance behind the enemy lines.
General Blamey seems to have been in charge, when my Grandmother Mrs Wm G. Stonehouse of Bluff Point West Australia, wrote to enquire about my father, General Blamey wrote back to her personally.
Unfortunately my Mother loant General Blamey's letter to an author who was writing about the WW2, and they never returned the letter, so a valuable family memento was lost forever.
General Blamey wrote to tell my Grandmother that Sydney was on manouvers in the N.W. of West Australia (when in actual fact he was on a top secret mission behind enemy lines in the Solomon Islands reporting on Japanese movements and strength)
The USS subs used to drop off, and pick up the men from pre-arranged sites on the coast of the areas they were sent to do recon work.
The men in my father's group wore the insignia of double green diamonds on a grey background.
However when the Americans collected them from their last mission, they wore long hair and beards and sub machine guns only, as their clothing had rotted away in the tropic weather.
They had to be on the move most of the time due to Japanese patrols seeking them. They had no medical suplies and no food other than what they could forage to eat from the local vegetation that was edible.
On their last mission,they moved constantly around the island with their guns and radio, just one step ahead of the hunting patrols for most of the 3 months they were on the island.
This was after their campsite on top of a mountain was betrayed by one of the local people who led a Japanese party through a swamp to attack their camp from the rear.
There was only one trail that was carefully guarded, so the surprise attack by the Japanese hit the men hard.
I cant remember the name but my father and his group were taken to a USS base somewhere near or on Portugese Timor after being transferred by PT boat and submarine.