Landing on Mono Island under fire

Landing on Mono Island under fire

Charging off an LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) onto a Mono Island beach under fire.


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Alastair PAUL MacDonald

Posted: 09 Nov 2017

My father Alastair Ian MacDonald (Gore) and his later to be Best Man Jack Wilson (Brydon) landed on Mono Island as part of the Army Service Corp. I have found part of the story of this landing and what took place but I have some further detail which has never been recorded but first hand information from Dad he recounted to me one ANZAC day.

The landing craft they were on had a bulldozer at the front followed by Dad and Jack in their respective trucks. When the front of the craft was lowered they came under machine gun fire from a pillbox at the back of the beach. The dozer driver lifted his blade and drove up the beach and onto the pillbox. He then screwed the dozer around crushing all inside and stopped the machine gun fire. This part of the story has been recorded but the bit that is missing is that the hot weather and the smell of rotting bodies in the pillbox forced the Kiwis to dig out the pillbox so the bodies could be buried. To their amazement they discovered a reciprocating pom pom gun in the wreckage which for some reason the Japs had dismantled. Dad said had this gun been in working order the carnage on board their landing craft would have been terrible.

The other part of this story which was recorded is that on landing on the beach they came under a mortar barrage. Dad and Jack exited their trucks to take cover. When the barrage lifted it turned out Jack's truck was carrying munitions. There was a crater in the beach where it was parked and most of it was missing apart from a mudguard wrapped around a palm tree nearby.