Title: NTSRU 1941 – 1943 Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit – Text and photographs from the report of SQN Leader Donald Thomson

Author: Thomson, Donald

Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1992

ISBN: 0864093055

Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 30 pages

Comments:  The history of a small and not very well known Australian Special Forces unit – the Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit .

Squadron Leader Donald Ferguson Thomson was seconded from the RAAF to the Australian Army to train a special task force of about fifty tribal Yolngu men from East Arnhem Land to defend the coastline of northern Australia from Japanese attack during World War 2.

They were called the Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit (NTSRU). They covered the territory north of the area patrolled by the Knackeroos. Their role was to provide Darwin with an early warning of a Japanese attack through East Arnhem Land. They were each paid 3 sticks of tobacco per week. If the Japanese had landed they were to carry on with a guerrilla war against the Japanese using their traditional weapons. Some of these tribal men had been jailed before the war for killing Japanese pearlers.

Squadron Leader Donald Thomson,  made the first of several visits to Arnhem Land in 1935 where he travelled extensively to study the wildlife, people and customs of the area. He had lived with Djapu people for two years before the war and had gained their trust. He had a strong belief these men would make a valuable contribution to the defence of Australia.

Previous owner’s stamp on the reverse of the front cover and the title page else a very good copy of a now scarce book.