Remembering heroic deeds 75 years on

Izah Azahari

The Australian High Commission in Brunei Darussalam and United States Embassy in Brunei Darussalam commemorated the 75th Anniversary of Operation OBOE VI – the landing of Allied forces in Brunei during the World War II at Muara Beach yesterday.

Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Major General Pengiran Dato Paduka Seri Aminan bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud attended the event at the Brunei-Australia Memorial.

The memorial marks the spot where Australian troops, with US support, landed on June 10, 1945.

The Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Nicola Rosenblum spoke of the importance of commemorating OBOE VI. “Over 75,000 Australians participated in the OBOE campaign to liberate Borneo towards the end of the World War II,” said the high commissioner. “On the anniversary of Operation OBOE VI, we remember and commemorate the service and sacrifice of all those who lost their lives in Brunei during the war, including 110 Australians.”

The high commissioner added that the event is also an opportunity to reflect on the close bonds of friendship that have evolved since the Australian troops landed on Muara Beach 75 years ago, and together, Australia and Brunei have built an effective defence partnership which contributes to the security and prosperity of the region.

The US Embassy’s Charge d’Affaires Scott Woodard shared a few words on America’s role in Operation OBOE VI, which involved more than 28,000 sailors, soldiers and marines. Forty-two American sailors and soldiers died in the liberation of Brunei, 16 of which during Operation OBOE VI, and 26 aviators were killed in action in operations over Brunei Bay in the preceding months.

“Other downed American airmen were bravely rescued and protected by locals and evacuated with great ingenuity by Australian flyers,” said Woodard. “Today we commemorate the contribution of all of those who served and sacrificed during World War II.”

The event also saw a wreath laying by those in attendance.

ABOVE & BELOW: Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Major General Pengiran Dato Paduka Seri Aminan bin Pengiran Haji Mahmud, Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Nicola Rosenblum and United States Embassy’s Charge d’Affaires Scott Woodard laying wreaths at Brunei-Australia Memorial. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Commander of the RBAF receives a memento from Australian High Commissioner