Operation Semet – meaning Ant. The Z Special Unit men are at Labuan in October 1945.
Operation Semet – meaning Ant. The Z Special Unit men are at Labuan in October 1945. Courtesy Daniel Hultgren

Z Special Unit members to reunite

AUSTRALIA’S secret elite World War II commando force, Z Special Unit, is coming home to Fraser Island.

“We’re holding a three-day reunion on Fraser in August,” said Daniel Hultgren, founder of the Australian Bunker and Military Museum.

“This will be the most significant reunion of its kind in Australian military history. We have 28 ex-Z Special Unit members coming so far, including the only two married couples who were part of the unit during the war.”

The reunion – 65 years after the special force commandos said goodbye to war and to each other – is planned for Kingfisher Bay Resort from August 13 to 15.

Fraser Island is where most of the diggers trained before accepting top secret missions behind enemy lines. Many never returned from these missions and are still listed MIA.

The photos on this page were only recently handed over to Mr Hultgren, stored for decades in a confidential file in WA.

“Surviving members of this elite and highly secretive unit are preparing for their final mission and are ‘rapt the Australian Bunker and Military Museum is organising this reunion for them’,” organiser Lionel Aitken said.

“Also included in the mix are former members of 200 Flight who were assigned the perilous task of flying the Z operatives behind enemy lines and of dropping supplies,” “We’re still contacting former Z members across Australia and overseas and expect the number of them attending the event to rise.

“We’re interested in tracking down members of M Unit, which was attached to Z.” Mr Aitken said he was trying to find a major sponsor for the event.

“We need to get some rather hefty financial support to complete the task we’ve undertaken, to give the diggers the recognition and thank you they never received.”

The reunion will include a formal dinner, dawn service, dedication of an honour roll and memorial plaque, a visit to the former training camp and a military fly past. A display of WWII uniforms and equipment used by the men will also be on display.



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