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O'Malley, John Aubrey

Private John O'Malley served in the 17th Brigade of the 6th Division with the 2/11 Infantry Battalion, Service No. WX663, POW No. 5580.

From the AWM website: In early April 1941 the 2/11th were deployed to assist in the defence of Greece. The Allied forces, however, were unable to hold back the attacking Germans. The 2/11th withdrew from its initial positions at Kalabaka and remained on the move until it occupied rearguard positions at Brallos Pass a week later. It fought and slowed the Germans there on 24 April and then continued its withdrawal to Megara, where it was evacuated by sea on the night of 25 April. The battalion landed on Crete the next day. It was subsequently deployed with the 2/1st Battalion to defend Retimo airfield, which was held tenaciously for ten days following the landing of German paratroops on 20 May. German successes elsewhere on Crete, however, made surrender inevitable. Many 2/11th soldiers attempted to escape from Crete but only a relatively small number ultimately succeeded; most were taken prisoner.

John was born in Geraldton, Western Australia on 16 Jun 1916. He died there on the 10 Oct 1980 aged 64 (Geraldton Cemetery records).

AWM Nominal Roll

John O'Malley (right)

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