The Covert Life of Sgt Leonard George Siffleet


24-OCTOBER-1943 While Serving with M Special Unit, Special Operations Australia, 2 Australian Imperial Force, Sergeant Leonard George Siffleet was part of a multi-national team trekking through Japanese-occupied New Guinea to set up a Coastwatch position over the recently captured town of Hollandia when his team would be ambushed and captured by a party of Japanese troops and local New Guineans sympathetic to the Imperial Japanese Navy. After two weeks of interrogation, Lenoard would be executed at the hands of the Japanese in potentially the only execution of a western soldier at the hands of the Japanese to be photographed in the act. The subsequent war crimes investigations after the war would be all the surviving Japanese sailors involved to justice, though the man who delivered the killing stroke on Leonard would be killed during the closing stages of the New Guinea Campaign.

Len’s body would never be recovered.

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