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USS Bluegill (SS-242) WW2
Sixth War Patrol:  Occupy Pratas Reef

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WWII Odyssey

Sixth War Patrol:  Occupy Pratas Reef

Z-Force Patch Z-Force Patch
Patch of Australian Z-Force. Courtesy of Audrey Anderson.

Lieutenant Cliff Owens and Captain Cecil Harry Anderson of the Australian "Z" Special Force were the first two men to step foot on Pratas ("Bluegill") Island on 29 May 1945 (during Bluegill's sixth war patrol). Both were sent by Captain Barr to reconnoiter the island.

Captain Anderson's memoirs read: "Cliff and I returned to where we had left our folboat and rowed it down to the jetty, pulled it onto the beach and got out our explosives ready to do some demolishing when the Bluegill [shore] party arrived. The Bluegill party came ashore, full of aggression and armed with all sorts of submachine guns and pistols. It was led by Lieutenant "Igloo" Folter, gunnery officer. We took them up the path toward the dummy gun and huts. The Japanese had done a good job, they had left nothing of value. As the sailors watched, Cliff and I blew the towers. There was nothing to do after that so we all went back to the Bluegill, it was late afternoon and we had all had a pleasant day on the beach."

"As the "Z" Special Forces were covert operators they did not have a uniform . They all came from a regiment, my husband's was the Australian 2/2." Courtesy of Audrey Anderson.

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