Royal Australian Navy Beach Commandos
| Royal Australian Navy Beach Commandos ： ウィキペディア英語版|
During World War II the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) formed beach commando units to go ashore with the first wave of amphibious assaults. They would conduct local reconnaissance, signpost the beaches, control boat traffic, and communicate with the maritime forces. These were known as Royal Australian Navy Beach Commandos. They took part in the Borneo campaign.
An Amphibious Training Centre was commissioned as HMAS ''Assault'' at Port Stephens on 1 September 1942. The Amphibious Training Centre was commanded by Commander F. N. Cook, RAN, an officer who had won the DSC while serving with the Royal Navy during the Bruneval Raid. At the time he was recalled to Australia, Cook was in command of HMS ''Tormenter'', a Royal Navy Combined Operations School. The Port Stephens school trained beach parties and boat crews. Graduates were posted to the Australian landing ships ''Kanimbla'', ''Manoora'', and ''Westralia'', each of which had a beach party as part of its complement.
These beach parties saw little action, as the valuable landing ships were rarely risked in forward areas in 1943. An eight-man RAN Beach Party under the command of Lieutenant Commander J. M. Band, RANR participated in the Battle of Scarlet Beach. Band was fatally wounded in the fighting, and was awarded the US Navy Cross posthumously.
In October 1943, the Australian Army's Commander in Chief, General Sir Thomas Blamey, asked for the beach parties to be detached from their ships for training with the 6th Division and the 1st Beach Group at Cairns. Because United States Navy doctrine was that beach parties were a part of a ship's complement, Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barbey was reluctant to agree. Blamey suggested that a separate unit be raised for service with the Australian Army. A RAN Beach Commando was formed on 6 January 1944.
All RAN Beach Commando personnel were listed as part of the complement of HMAS ''Assault'', but formed a part of the 1st Beach Group. In early 1944, the Army raised a 2nd Beach Group, and another beach commando was formed for it. Following Royal Navy practice, the two units were designated Beach Commando A and Beach Commando B. Later, the Army requested two smaller commandos for subsidiary operations. These were formed as Beach Commandos C and D, and were organised similarly to A and B, but with only two beach parties, and no boat repair section. The four beach commandos were grouped administratively as the RAN Beach Unit (RANBU) under Commander R. S. Pearson, RAN as Senior Naval Officer Beach Units (SNOBU).
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