Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks   Donate Now  
Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA)
 
    Dili  Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor)

Click For Enlargement
AWM Sept 23, 1945

Click For Enlargement
AWM Dec 24, 1945

Click For Enlargement
AWM Jan 20, 1946

Location
Lat 8° 33' 0S Long 125° 34' 0E  Located on the northern coast of Timor Island, the largest city in the country. Pronounced "Dil-e". Located to the north is Dili Harbor.

Wartime History
On December 17, 1941 the Díli sector was assigned to 7th Section of C Platoon of the 2/2nd Australian Independent Company "The Double Reds" led by Lt. Archie Campbell and comprised of eighteen men. It comprised of 18 men, the unit was led by Lt. Archie Campbell.

During the night of February 20, 1942 the Japanese landed near Dili. Shortly after daybreak, the enemy ambushed, captured and executed twelve of Campbell's men and two others. One commando escaped playing dead and was rescued by a Timorese native. Another, spared for interrogation, became a Prisoner Of War. The remainder of C Platoon dispersed into the mountains and regrouped. Díli was sacked by the Japanese, who found the city almost uninhabited.

Veteran Harry Nelson 22nd BG, 408th BS adds:
"I was a photo-gunner on a B-26 with the 408th Bomb Sq., 22nd BG on a mission to bomb Dilli in 1942. I believe the mission was sometime in July. We were told that the target was a hospital with a large red cross painted on the roof which the Aussie troops still on the island had informed headquarters in Australia was actually an ammunition dump."

American missions against Dili
June 30, 1942 - August 17, 1944

During the middle of 1942 until the middle of 1944, Dili was bombed by Allied aircraft and largely reduced to rubble. Occupied by the Japanese for the duration of the war.

In accordance with the terms of surrender, over five hundred vehicles, motorcycles, light tanks and guns were assembled at a park at Taibesi near Dili. According to the Japanese, a "grass fire" destroyed most of the equipment, likely the fire was deliberately started by the Japanese to avoid surrendering the material.

Postwar
The Japanese forces at Dili officially surrender on September 11, 1945. A small Australian Army force led by Brigadier L. G. H. Dyke Dso arrived on September 23, 1945 were welcomed by Dili's governor, Senhor Manuel Ferreirade Carvalho. Postwar, Portuguese colonial rule was reinstated.

Today
During 1974, abandoned as a colony, causing a civil war between factions. Independence was unilaterally declared on November 28, 1975. Neighboring Indonesia launched an invasion of East Timor during December 1975 and declared East Timor as its 27th province on July 17, 1976.

After the September 1999 election when the East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia, the pro-Indonesian militia launched a campaign of arson, murder and destruction in Dili.

On September, 20, 1999 the first Australian troops were deployed to Dili as part of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET), to bring peace to East Timor under by a United Nations mandate. Peacekeeping forces occupied the airport and used the area as a base.

Dili Airfield
Locate at Dili

Dili Seaplane Base
Locate at Dili

Nanyei Maru
Towed into Dili Harbor and sunk

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

Map
Map

Photos
Photo Archive
    All rights reserved.  
  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram
 
Forum Updates People Museums Reviews Submit Info How You Can Help