RAN BEACH COMMANDOS Morris, Bernard James Briant

John Robertson

Staff member
Bernard James Briant
  • UNIT
Beach Commando (R.A.N.V.R.)
  • RANK
Lieutenant Commander
Bronze Star (US)
Balikpapan 1945
born 21.10.1905 Dover,Tasmania
next of kin Susie Morris
enlisted 18.8.1941 Hobart,Tasmania
discharged 18.12.1945 (Lt,HMAS Huon)
Bernard James Briant Morris V.R.D.
Number: -
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
D.O.B.: 21st October 1905, Dover, Tasmania
Service History
03.12.29 ? 02.12.35 Served as a Sergeant in the Militia Artillery
18.08.41 Enlisted as a Sub Lieutenant, HMAS Derwent
30.08.41 Posted to HMAS Cerberus
29.09.41 Passge to United Kingdom per ?Columbia Star?
04.10.41 London Depot
03.12.41 Posted to HMS King Alfred and promoted to Lieutenant
10.02.42 Posted to HMS Quebec ? Combined Training Centre for Tank
Landing Craft
01.04.42 Posted to HMS Dinosaur
06.02.43 Awarded restricted Watch Keepers Certificate for Landing Craft
Tanks only
01.05.43 Posted to HMS Hamicar
16.07.43 HMS Hamicar, Tunisia
01.03.44 Returned to Australia and posted to HMAS Huon
30.04.44 Posted to HMAS Lonsdale
21.05.44 Posted to HMAS Assault
26.07.44 Posted to HMAS Huon
14.08.44 Posted to Kuranda as Deputy Principal Beachmaster, Naval Beach
Commando ?B?
Nov. 1944 Appointed Principal Beachmaster, Naval Beach Commando ?B?
11.02.45 Posted to HMAS Magnetic as Principal Beachmaster, Naval Beach
Commando ?B? and promoted to Acting Lieutenant Commander
16.04.45 Posted to HMAS Madang ? Naval Beach Commando, Borneo
May 1945 Tarakan Landings
31.05.45 Attended conference H.Q. 7th Australian Division, Morotai
June 1945 Extract taken from 1 Australian Combined Ops Section Diary.
LCDR B.J.B. Morris RANVR carried out duties of Principal Beach
Master and Port Director until relieved by a Port Director USN on
P/16 (May 17th, 1945). It has been fully recognised by all
concerned, that this officer, assisted by his Beach Parties and
Signals, handled a most difficult task in a very able manner.
01.07.45 Landed Green Beach, Balikpapan Landings at 0935 from control
July 1945 Was recommended to be made an Officer of the Order of the
British Empire for his work during the Borneo Landings.
?For devotion to duty, endurance, cool judgement and leadership
which enabled all shipping to be safely beached under most
difficult conditions at Tarakan May 1945.
Lieutenant Commander Morris, Principal Beachmaster for the
Tarakan operation took over his command shortly before leaving
the mainland. His enthusiasm raised the standard of the unit and his
signal section so that throughout the operation he had full control
of the beaches and signal communication to seaward never failed
24 hours a day and was invaluable. His planning of the work of his
unit with US Navy ensured a smooth operation and a letter from
Captain Sinclair, Commander L.S.T. Task Unit dated 6 may 1945
states ?It is my pleasure to bring to your attention the highly
satisfactory manner in which LCDR Morris has carried out his
duties as Principal Beachmaster during the assault phase of OBE
ONE. Without his cheerful persevering efforts and excellent
cooperation it would have been impossible to complete the
unloading of the assault echelon of the LST?s.?
This recommendation seems to have gotten lost in the paperwork
trail, and Morris was not decorated for this action.
11.10.45 Appointed to duty with Naval Officer in Charge, Moluccas
01.12.45 Returned to Australia and posted to HMAS Huon
18.12.45 Demobilised
19.12.45 Appointed Lieutenant, RANVR
14.03.46 Granted War Service Rank of Lieutenant Commander
19.01.50 Commonwealth of Australia Gazette ? award of United States
Bronze Star.
?For distinguishing himself by meritorious achievement as the
principal Beachmaster and the Commanding Officer of the Royal
Australian Naval Beach Commandos during the operation for the
recapture of Balikpapan, Borneo from 1 to 3 July, 1945. His task
included the orderly landing and unloading of large quantities of
troops, equipment and stores on the Klandasan Beaches near
Balikpapan. His initiative, keen judgement and intrepidity made a
distinct contribution to the success of the landing operation.?
30.06.50 Promoted to Lieutenant Commander, RANVR
03.08.51 Appointed Lieutenant Commander RANR
19.08.51 Posted to HMAS Cerberus for Gunnery Course
28.09.51 Posted to HMAS Huon
01.12.52 Posted to Cowra for training
26.08.54 Posted to HMAS Lonsdale for DEMS Course
09.08.56 Posted to HMAS Cerberus as Senior Officer DEMS Gunnery
28.10.57 Appointed Lieutenant Commander RANVR
31.10.57 Posted to HMAS Huon in command for training
07.08.58 Posted to HMAS Cerberus for Advanced Gunnery Course
02.09.61 Posted to HMAS Huon
30.08.62 Officer in Charge of Sea Cadet Camp
21.10.63 Transferred to the Retired List
Date unknown but was awarded RAN Volunteer Reserve Decoration (V.R.D.).
The award of the U.S. Bronze Star to LCDR Morris was the only award to a serving member of the Royal Australian Naval Commando.
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Sailor And Commando
By A.E. Jones