SX10437 Lieutenant William (Bill) Powell GOODE
William Powell GOODE was born at Port Pirie on 9 July 1913, the younger of two children of Dr Matthew Edward GOODE and Mrs Ethel May GOODE (nee PRIMLOTT). Bill, as he was known, was 27 years old, single and an engineering student when he enlisted in the 2nd AIF on 27 November 1940.
On 30 November 1940, Bill reported for duty at the Regimental Recruit Depot, Wayville and with just five days basic training he was posted to 28th Battery of the newly formed 2/14th Field Regiment, an artillery unit at Woodside. The Battery continued individual and collective training for the remainder of the year and Bill was rewarded with a promotion to lance-bombardier on 15 January 1941.
The Headquarters of the 2/14 Field Regiment was established at Puckapunyal, Victoria, as was one of its two batteries, the 27th Battery, which was raised from personnel drawn from Victoria. The majority of the officers and non-commissioned officers were drawn from the ranks of the militia or had previously served with other army units.
Bill’s service records show on 6 February 1941 he was placed on report:
Charge – He neglects to obey general orders
Award – Severely admonished
On 21 February 1941, all elements of 28th Battery was entrained at Woodside and two days later joined the 27th Battery at Puckapunyal; by now the Regiment consisted of 38 officers and 621 other ranks. With the Regiment now concentrated at Puckapunyal, collective training was undertaken as well as technical and specialist training on Ordnance QF 18-pounder and 4.5-inch howitzer artillery equipment.
In early March 1941, Bill was promoted to acting bombardier. The following month he was appointed lance-sergeant and attended a five day course at the 19th Reserve Motor Transport Company in Melbourne.
In June 1941, Lieutenant Colonel William Christie took over command of the Regiment and the following month it was moved by rail through Adelaide to Alice Springs, then by road to Darwin, to the Winnellie Camp. The following notice appeared in The Advertiser, July 7, 1941:-
EDWARDS – GOODE: The wedding was quietly celebrated on Saturday afternoon at St Columba’s Church, Hawthorn of Miss Yvonne Edwards, younger daughter of Mr A. C. Edwards, of Hyde Park, and the late Mrs Edwards, with Lce. Sgt. William Powell Goode (AIF), only son of Dr. and Mrs. M. E. Goode of Brighton.
At Winnellie, the Regiment joined the 23rd Brigade, which at that time was the only part of the 8th Division that remained in Australia. Two brigades had already been deployed to Malaya for garrison duties and it was believed the Regiment would be soon deployed and their arrival in Darwin was initially treated as a period of acclimatisation. Shortly after, the Brigade’s three infantry battalions were deployed to the islands north of Australia.
A week after arriving in Darwin, Bill was again placed on report:
Crime – Being in camp found beyond limits fixed without a pass or written leave from C.O.”
Award – Severe reprimand.
In late September 1941, Bill was admitted to 119th Australian General Hospital with a leg infection and was not discharged until the end of October. In early May 1942, he was admitted to the 17th Field Ambulance Hospital with infected tropical sores and received treatment over a two week period.
Despite his tendency to disregard orders, Bill exhibited leadership qualities and at the end of January 1942 he was promoted to Acting Sergeant and on 6 July 1942, he was appointed to the rank of Lieutenant.
In March 1942, Lieutenant-Colonel Ronald Hone took command of the Regiment; the 2/14th was then expanded to three batteries with the raising of the 64th Battery. The 2/14th remained in Darwin for the next year and-a-half undertaking training and garrison duties; during this time it was subjected to the initial and subsequent Japanese air raids over the Darwin area commencing on 19 February 1942.
Bill was enrolled at the LHQ 2nd Australian Army Training School (Field and Medical Wing) to attend No. 2 Refresher Course at Seymour, Victoria from 20 September to 31 October 1942.
On 27 January 1943, the Regiment entrained to Loftus, 25 kilometres south of Sydney, and once established, the men were given a period of leave. On return from leave the Regiment was progressively re-equipped with the Ordnance OF 25-pounder gun and undertook familiarisation training leading toward two exercises in June and July 1943. During this time Bill attended intensive training courses. Firstly, he was detached to Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) 1 Division Observation of Fire Course No. 3 for one week and then detached to 2nd Australian Army O.P.O.’s Course No. 6 for one week. On 23 May 1943, he received his Certificate of Commission.
September 1943 saw the Regiment re-organised, in line with the newly formulated Australian Army jungle establishment, and issued with 81 jeeps and 63 four-wheel drive vehicles. The following month the Regiment was redesignated the 2/14th Australian Field Regiment (Jungle Division) and moved north to Kalinga, Queensland, to prepare for embarkation overseas.
An advance party from headquarters and the 64th Battery, which included Bill, embarked from Cairns on the Bontekoe and disembarked in Lae on 19 November 1943. In December, the remainder of the 64th Battery moved on eight LCM’s (Landing Craft Mechanised) to Finschhafen, where it joined the 9th Division. In January 1944, the 27th and 28th Batteries embarked on the USS Stephen Girard at Townsville and joined the 64th Battery in New Guinea. Once re-established at Kelanoa, the Regiment relieved the 2/12th Field Regiment, and acquired a number of Ordnance QF 25-pounder Short artillery pieces.
On 15 April 1944, Bill was evacuated to the 2/15th Australian Field Ambulance suffering from acute appendicitis, he was then transferred to the 106th Australian Casualty Clearing Station, and later that day relocated to the 18th Australian Field Ambulance for an appendectomy. Following his recovery, Bill suffered successive bouts of follicular tonsillitis, otitis and sinusitis which eventually resulted in hospitalisation in Lae and his return to the unit at the end of May 1944.
With reduced fighting on the Huon Peninsula, the 9th Division handed over to the 5th Division, which was given the task of finalising the clearing of the Peninsula. The Regiment supported the 4th Infantry Brigade around Madang and the Alexishafen, where it remained until December 1944, until the 5th Division was dispatched to secure New Britain.
The 5th Divisions campaign was limited to containing the large Japanese force, up to 100,000 men, on the Gazelle Peninsula and prior to its departure, the 64th Battery had replaced its Short 25-pounders with standard guns. By January 1945, the Regiment had landed at Jacquinot Bay and over the course of the next eight months was heavily involved in supporting the 6th Infantry Brigade’s operation around Waitavlo and Tol. During the course of the campaign, a total of about 16,000 rounds were fired from the Regiment’s guns during which it suffered casualties amounting to two killed and five wounded.
After the Japanese surrender in August 1945, the Regiment moved to Rabaul where it remained until its return to Australia at the end of 1945; the 2/14th Regiment was and disbanded on 17 January 1946. Bill was demobilised on 3 December 1945 and later took up farming in the Waitpinga area. There were two children of the marriage; Bill died at Victor Harbor on 26 December 1975, age 62.
Service file of SX10437 William Powell GOODE purchased from the National Archives of Australia. The purchase of the service files of men and women listed on the Waitpinga Honour Roll Boards was made possible through a grant from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (www.naa.gov.au ).
Australian War Memorial Collection database ( www.awm.gov.au ).
Wikipedia – 2/14th Field Regiment (Australia) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2/14th_Field_Regiment_(Australia)
Compiled by the Victor Harbor RSL History Research Team, February 2013.