On this day: Australians in Borneo

Australian_2-31_Bn_parading_through_Bandjermasin_17th September_1945 Enthusiastic welcome after Japanese occupation. Second World War Two..

17th September 1945: Soldiers of the Australian 2/31st Battalion pass through Bandjermasin in Borneo as they take responsibility for the island after the surrender of Japan in the Second World War. It was reported they were given an enthusiastic welcome by the locals.

The island of Borneo was under Japanese occupation from the end of 1941. Bandjermasin is now part of Indonesia.

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

On this day: War in the Pacific

D Day on the beach at Balikpapan with Australian soldiers from a unit of the 7th Infantry Division carrying a wounded soldier on a stretcher along the beach.

1st July 1945: Australians carry a wounded soldier along the beach at Balikpapan, Borneo. Smoke billows from burning oil tanks bombed by the Japanese.

The Borneo Campaign ran from the 1st of May until Japan’s surrender on the 15th of August, and succeeded in pushing the Japanese further from Australia. However, Japan’s inhumane treatment of Allied prisoners of war became infamous, and included sex slavery and death marches.

On this day: the bombing of the Kashmir Princess

The Kashmir Princess was a chartered Lockheed L-749A Constellation aircraft owned by Air India. On 11 April 1955, it was damaged in midair by a bomb explosion and crashed into the South China Sea.

The Kashmir Princess, an aircraft operated by Air India, was bombed and sank into the South China Sea on the 11th of April, 1955.

Of the nineteen people on board, sixteen died.

Zhou_Enlai_MeiyuanXincun17_Nanjing_1946Zhou Enlai (Chinese 周恩来; Wade–Giles Chou En-lai 5 March 1898 – 8 January 1976) was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China

Zhou Enlai in 1946

It emerged that the target of the bombing was China’s first Premier, Zhou Enlai, though he was not on the flight. More recently it has emerged that he might have known about the assassination attempt and so did not board the plane, even though he claimed to have been delayed due to surgery.

The aeroplane was supposed to have travelled from Bombay, India to Hong Kong and then on to Jakarta, Indonesia.

While China accused the United States’ CIA for the bombing, America has always denied the claims. Evidence points to Kremlin-backed Chinese nationalist party Kuomintang as the likely bombers.