British Commonwealth Occupation Forces Plaque
Bronze plaque dedicated to the memory of those from the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces (BCOF) Australian Contingent, who served and died by example in occupation of Japan between 1945 and 1952. The plaque recognises the four services who participated and displays the BCOF insignia.
BRITISH COMMONWEALTH OCCUPATION FORCES
[RAAF] [MERCHANT NAVY]
WE SERVED BY EXAMPLE
OCCUPATION OF JAPAN
1945 - 1952
OF OUR COMRADES
THE SUPREME SACRIFICE
TO DEMONSTRATE THE MEANING
OF PEACE TO THE WORLD
- Conflicts commemorated
- Second World War, 1939–1945
- Unit memorials
- Memorial type
- Commemorative services held
- The Shrine is utilised for commemroative events.
- Additional information
Participation in the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) marked the first time that Australians were involved in the military occupation of a sovereign nation which it had defeated in war. BCOF participation in the Allied occupation force was announced on 31 January 1946, though planning and negotiations had been in progress since the end of the war. The main body of Australian troops arrived in Japan on 21 February.
The entire BCOF force totalled 45,000, from Britain, India, New Zealand, and Australia. About 16,000 Australians served in BCOF, including an infantry contingent of 4,700, base units consisting of 5,300, an air force wing of 2,200, and 130 from the Australian General Hospital. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) also had a presence in the region as part of the British Pacific Fleet. For two-thirds of the period of occupation the Commonwealth was represented solely by Australians, and throughout its existence BCOF was always commanded by an Australian officer.
The primary objective of BCOF was to enforce the terms of the unconditional surrender that had ended the war the previous September. The task of exercising military government over Japan was the responsibility of the United States forces. BCOF was required to maintain military control and to supervise the demilitarisation and disposal of the remnants of Japan's war-making capacity.
(Source: Australian War Memorial www.awm.gov.au)
- Recorded by
- QLD War Memorial Register
- Date recorded
- 14 April 2009
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