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Between May and August 1945 Australian military forces fought to liberate the island of Borneo from more than three years of Japanese occupation.
In well-planned and co-ordinated seaborne assaults at; Tarakan, Brunei bay and Balikpapan, Australian soldiers overwhelmed and outfought determined and well-prepared Japanese defenders. Australian and American air and naval forces closely supported the Australian soldiers.

On 10 June 1945 Australian soldiers landed on Labuan island and Brunei bay. The objectives were; to clear the Japanese from the region, establish an advanced naval base and secure oil and rubber resources. In a well co-ordinated assault, the Australians greatly outnumbered the Japanese and within a week all major local resistance had been eliminated. The Australians rapidly advanced and secured Beaufort on 29 June and Kuala Belait, in Brunei, on 24 June.

During the Australian assault the local people rose up against the Japanese enhancing their defeat. A bond of mutual trust soon developed between the Australians and the local people. Working together civilian facilities and government were rapidly rebuilt and within weeks of liberation, military control was relinquished.

Since the war Malaysia and Australia have increased cultural, educational and economic exchanges. These countries now live in peace and their people will always remember those who gave their lives to achieve this goal.


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