A fine and scarce Second World War Pacific New Britain Operations Mentioned in Despatches group awarded to Lieutenant J.A.S. Price, 16th Battalion, Australian Forces, who served as the Intelligence Officer on operations from November 1944, and in ‘close contact with the enemy he rendered valuable and important service in both intelligence and reconnaissance’.
1939-45 Star; Pacific Star; Defence Medal; War Medal with Mentioned in Despatches Oakleaf; Australia Service Medal 1939-45; all named in officially impressed early 1950’s Australian issue ‘small capitals style; (WX32980 J.A.S PRICE),
Please note that the recipient claimed a replacement set in 1969, however these will be named in the later style, hence this is the original set of medals issued to Price.
John Archibald Stuart Price was born on 22nd May 1922, and came from Cottesloe in Western Australia, being educated at Geraldton in WA, with the outbreak of the Second World War he enlisted into the Commonwealth Military Forces on 4th November 1940, and initially saw sevice as a Sergeant (No.WA32980) and Section Commander with the 16th Battalion, serving on garrison duties in Western Australia as part of the 13th Brigade, he then went forward for a commission, and passed out of the Officer Training School at Bonegilla, and having been commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, then saw service as an Instructor at the Guerilla Warfare School in Foster, Victoria. Price returned to the 16th Battalion in April 1942, and served as a Platoon Commander, being then appointed Intelligence Officer in August 1942 and promoted to Lieutenant. He served as the Intelligence Officer of the 16th Battalion for the remainder of the war, being deployed to the Northern Territory in 1943, and then on operations in New Britain from November 1944. It was for his service including his time spent fighting the Japanese that Price was Mentioned in Despatches for gallant and distinguished services.
The original recommendation reads as follows: ‘Lieutenant Price enlisted in the CMF on 4th November 1940 at the age of 18 years and made application fro enlistment in the AIF, which was granted on 1st September 1942. During the early years of his Army career he served as an Infantry Section Leader and Intelligence Sergeant. In January 1941 as a Private he obtained first place in Western Command Training School Sections Leaders Course and again was placed first in the Western Command Junior Leaders Course in December 1941 and recommended for the Officer Training School. January 1942 he attended OTS Bonegilla and passed out as a Lieutenant Instructor to Guerilla Warfare School – Foster Victoria. In April 1942 he resumed regimental duties and as platoon commander and in August 1942 was appointed unit Intelligence Officer and has served in this capacity since his appointment. In September 1942 he, with his Intelligence Section, won first place in the 3rd Australian Corps Intelligence Competition. During his service as IO he has performed his duties in a most efficient and conscientious manner and his work in reconnaissance in the Northern Territories and New Britain has been of the utmost value to the unit. On occasions he has able filled the appointment of Assistant Adjutant in conjunction with his Intelligence duties, and all tasks allotted to him have been performed in a meritorious manner. During the periods of the units close contact with the enemy he rendered valuable and important service in both intelligence and reconnaissance and his active patrol work set a standard for the Battalion to follow.’ Price, who had originally been recommended for an appointment to be a Member of the Order of the British Empire, had his Mention in Despatches passed through the Divisional recommendation on 15th October 1945. Price returned to Australia in 1945, and was discharged in April 1946 at Perth. Two photographs of him exist on the Australian War Memorial site.