TONGS, Bede George Donald

  1. Service Details
  2. Personal Details
  3. Unit and Rank Details
  4. Awards and Honours
  5. Notes
  6. Sources

Service Details

Branch of Service
Army
Conflict
Korean War
Date of Discharge
26/05/1953

Personal Details

Gender
Male
Date of Birth
27/06/1920
Place of Birth
Narranderra NSW
Address (at enlistment)
Williams Street, Oaks Estate ACT
Occupation
Carpenter
Next of Kin
Joan Tongs (wife), William Street, Oaks Estate ACT

Unit and Rank Details

Service Number
252109
Final Rank
Captain
Final Unit
Australian Ancillary Unit Korea

Awards and Honours

Military Medal (World War 2) for "conspicuous leadership and energy" on 17 October 1942 at Templeton's Crossing on the Kokoda Track.

Notes

Bede Tongs was living in Queanbeyan at the start of World War 2. He belonged to the 3rd Battalion (militia) which fought the Japanese along the Kokoda Track in 1942 from Ioribaiwa and Imita Ridge through Menari and Efogi. By October they had forced the Japanese back to Templetons Crossing on Eora Creek where, according to Captain Stan Atkinson, "they (the 3rd Battalion) had first to dispose of a machine gun and Tongs did it. He crawled up to a fire lane, under fire, and tossed a grenade which lobbed right in the pit. The two Japs in the pit were blown clean out and sprawled one on top of the other - dead. That started the ball rolling. The men got excited and began yelling and whooping." The 3rd Battalion entered Kokoda on 2 November 1942 and joined with the 2/3 Battalion in fighting the Japanese at Oivi shortly after. The Japanese then retreated to their strongholds on the northern beaches of Papua. On 25 November 3rd Battalion and the 25th Brigade attacked Gona but the Japanese held on until 1 December 1942. In 1943 the 3rd Battalion was disbanded and Tongs joined the 2/3 Battalion rising to the rank of Captain. He served in Korea during 1953. Bede Tongs died on 14 January 2015 aged 94 years and is buried in the ex-services portion of Gungahlin Cemetery.

Sources

WWII Nominal Roll http://www.ww2roll.gov.au
Nominal Roll of Australian Veterans of the Korean War http://www.koreanroll.gov.au
Queanbeyan Roll of Honour, Ralph Clothier, 2006
AWM Honours & Awards
Colin Kennedy, 'Port Moresby to Gona Beach. 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion 1942', 1992
Bede Tongs, '3rd Battalion AMF 1942' (blog), http://3rdbattalion1942.com/
Lex McAulay, 'Blood and Iron', 1991
Stories from the ACT Memorial, 'Kokoda Campaign 3rd Battalion', 'Kokoda Campaign Templetons Crossing', 'Kokoda Campaign Ioribaiwa and Imita', ACT Heritage Library www.library.act.gov.au/find/history/stories_from_the_act_memorial
Queanbeyan Age - 3 June 2002, 21 October 2002

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