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Malaya Historical Group :: MHG
Aviation and Military Archaeology may cover almost any form of research into or collecting of artifacts connected with the history of aviation and military relics.

If you have any information about any war relics and air wrecks in our country, please send an email to me malayahg@gmail


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WW2 Places

Yong Peng Bridge looking west to Muar. After remnants of 2/19th Infantry Battalion and 2/29th Infantry Battalion had crossed on the bridge on the night of 23rd January 1942, it was destroyed by sappers of 2/30th Infantry Battalion.
Johor Batu Anam

It was defended by 9th Indian Division which attached to 2nd Battalion Loyals. The 2/30 Battalion of 27th Infantry Brigade of Australian Imperial Force ( AIF ) took position north of Gemas which later retreated to Batu Anam after a successful ambushed the Japanese at Gemencheh Bridge and destroyed 6 tanks on the following battle 3 miles north of Gemas.

A quiet Batu Anam Town

Buloh Kasap

When British and Australian retreat south, some of the important bridges were demolished to hamper Japanese advance down to Singapore. But Japanese were quickly repaired the bridge.

An important bridge at Buloh Kasap town were demolished at one of her section.  A magnificent bridge built by Sultan of Johore expenses spanned  over Muar River and was contructed in late 1930's. It was never repaired by Japanese since they constructed another new bridge nearby. After war, it was never been repaired by British and abandoned until now. People living nearby called it "Jambatan Putus".


Element of Union Jack


Immediately after arrived in Singapore in early 1941, 2/18th Battalion were moved to Mersing. They constructed well prepared defences position around Mersing but in 17th January 1941, they were ordered to withdrawal to Jemaluang further south leaving the well prepared defences at Mersing after Japanese which already captured most of west coast of Johore threatening to outflank the forces at the east coast.

The battalion took 3 companies supported by 2 batteries of 2/10 Field Regiment,  sprang an ambush at Nithsdale Estate in the early hours of 27th January. Japanese forces which landed earlier at Endau were caught by surprise inflicting heavy casualites on their side. This action prevented Japanese to push south using the east coast road and forcing them to move inland.


Tebrau Airfield

No.1 Aerodrome Construction Squadron from New Zealand responsible to construct military airfield in Malaya at that time. Started work on October 27, 1941, the area which covered with rubber trees were quickly removed and work planned to build bomber aerodrome. Construction still on the way when war broke out on December 8 1941. Workers watched clearly as Japanese bombers flew above Singapore Island. During mid of December, some of the construction parties were sent to Bekok to construct a new fighter airfield. Some were send to Seletar and Sembawang to repair damaged airfield. When it was fully functional, it was used by light aircraft from Malayan Volunteers Air Force.

During mid of January 1942, a detachment which send to Singapore were called back to continue their work at Tebrau. Also Bekok parties were recalled when the airstrip was ready. During January 15 when Japanese troops were north of Johore, orders were received to demolish any equipment and runway were prepared for demolitions and planted with mines. On January 27, all personnel from Tebrau were evacuated and slowing coming down to Singapore.

During Japanese occupation, it was repaired and used as fighter strip. Used also as emergency airstrip and most of the obsolete fighter planes were stationed there to protect southern Johore and  northern Singapore from increasing threat from long range B-24 and PB4Y bombers flying reconnaissance mission.

Wartime Tebrau Airfield used by Japanese

After Japanese surrender, most of Japanese air force and Navy planes were flown to Tebrau for evaluation. British markings with the aconym ATAIU-SEA were painted on the aircraft. Due to limit spaces only handful of planes were send to UK. Rest of the planes were scrapped.

Tebrau airfield was abondened. An "U" shape dispersal area were missing and some of the airfield military based were turned into permanent army camp. The runway shape still can be recognised and more buildings like factories were built.


45th Indian Brigade which supported by Australian 2/19 Battalion defended the lines at Muar. On January 15, Japanese Imperial Guards managed to cross the river and push the defenders out from the town where the surviving unit of the 45th Brigade together with 2/19 Australian and 2/29 Battalion as a reinforcement were ordered to re-capture Muar. They rallied near the Bakri crossroads with anti-tanks and mortar emplacements  where 45th Brigade planned 3 pronged advance to re-capture Muar. However they were ambushed by the Japanese and scrapped the plan. Later the Japanese with the supported of the tanks, attacked the Australian at the crossroads. 8 Japanese Type 95 tanks under Captain Shiegeo Gotanda without the support of the infantry, attacked the Australian and were wiped out.

Then after a series of flanking maneuvers, the Japanese managed to establish series of roadblocks and cut the two battalion which forced them to retreat back to Parit Sulong. By that time, Lieutenant John Robertson commanding officer of 2/29 Battalion was killed during the battle. Brigadier Duncan who commanding the 45th Brigade also was killed when leading  an attack to recover lost vehicles. With Duncan and Robertson dead, Colonel Anderson took command of the 45th Brigade and other units around Bakri. They were ordered to break trough the roadblock to Yong Peng. A series of roadblocks were created by the Japanese for the retreating Brigade.

When they reached Parit Sulong 2 days later, the bridge was defended by well fortified Japanese machine-gun position. They failed to dislodge the Japanese who defended the bridge. They were pinned down by the Japanese on both sides and relief forces from Yong Peng failed to reach Parit Sulong. When the casualties were high, Bennett  signal to Anderson that the relief forces could not reach Parit Sulong on time which mean could not saved the trapped Brigade.  Anderson ordered all remaining vehicles, guns and equipments were destroyed leaving the wounded to the volunteers. Anderson and the remnants of the brigade then dispersed eastward through jungle and swamps to Yong Peng, leaving behind 150 wounded men at Parit Sulong.

Later all the wounded were herded into a small area and machinegun down by Japanese. Their remains were set ablaze in a shop ruins to remove any proof of the massacre. 3 of the wounded managed to escape and later being a witness to General Nishimura court of inquiry. He was guilty by Australian Military Court and hanged to death on Jun 11, 1951.


Parit Sulong Bridge
2017 Updates      

PWD Old Barracks
Parit Sulong Memorial

Bakri Tank Ambush Site

Remnants of Bakri Memorial

Kota Tinggi

Kota Tinggi area were chosen by the British during late 1930s to strengthen Singapore Fortress. A report from Major General William Dobbie which now was a General Officer in Command of Malaya and Singapore ordered an expansion of defences lines of Singapore Naval base. An outer defense lines at Kota Tinggi and Sedili were suitable to hold off any northward attacks if enemy successful landed at North Malaya. A large sums of budget were approved to build a defences lines consisted of pillboxes guarding trunk road from Mersing to Kota Tinggi and Singapore. Also a chains of pillboxes were built at the south banks of Kota Tinggi to protect from enemy river crossing while another sets of pillboxes also were built at Sedili river if enemy penetrated Kota Tinggi by river.

Mysteriously that the project were abandoned after Dobbie retirement and no major works were carried out to finish up the defence lines. Pillboxes which now nearly completed were abandoned. Most of the pillbox design were from Navy design which similarity to Singapore and Penang fortress.

During early months before World War 2, the Australians which based at Mersing were ordered to occupy the pillbox. Few of the pillboxes were not found due to overgrown and were forgotten. Later in the late stages of Malaya operation, the Australians and Indians were ordered retreat south and none of these defences lines were actually use during the war.

Some of these pillboxes which located at Sedili river and Kota Tinggi river were sunk into the river due to erosion and some still can be found at Kota Tinggi town and roadside towards Mersing. Few of the pillboxes around the town were refurbished, cleaned and given a new coat of paints by local council authority to boast tourist activities around the town.

 Kota Tinggi river pillboxes    

Currently Kota Tinggi City Council made their move to restore and refurbish the pillboxes at Kota Tinggi.


With General Wavell orders on January 28th, were issued by III Indian Corps for the withdrawal to the Singapore. Specified routes were chosen for the outline plan. Westforce, 11th Indian Division, 27th Brigade and 9th Indian Division would moved and embussing at 14th mile was to be completed on 31st January. After rearguard action at Kulai, Westforce were ordered to move back to Skudai where they found out that the Skudai bridge was demolished. By the situation, they need to cross and walked down to Causeway on foot. However, it was then discovered that the bridges on the loop road were intact. The movement continued, and Westforce ,with the aid of the 2/3rd Reserve Motor Transport Company completed it's crossing of the Causeway just before daylight



Disaster at Layang-Layang. On January 28th, 1942, General Barstow with his 2 senior administrative officer went forward to his 2 Brigades. After visited 8th Brigade, he was told that the rail bridge south of Layang-Layang has been demolished which cut off any communication between 8th Brigade and 22nd Brigade dug in north of Layang-Layang. The 3 officers continue their journey with trolley intending to visit 22nd Brigade. General Barstow then found 2/10 Baluch resting 1 mile south of the bridge and ordered them to occupy a ridge facing the bridge. He found out that the rail bridge still passable on foot. They crossed the bridge and walked towards Layang-Layang station. At 150 yards from the bridge, they were challenged and fired upon by Japanese soldiers who already infiltrated Layang-Layang town. By spontaneous for cover, the General went to the right of the embankment and 2 of the officers Colonel Trott and Major Moses went to left of the embankment. 2 officers tried to reach the General but they came under fire. They waded the river and reach the ridge where the Baluch should been there, only to find out it was occupied by Japanese. They finally reached the railway and where Moses remained with the Baluch thinking that General Barstow could be rescued if they managed to recapture the ridge. However they failed and were driven back under heavy fire. General Barstow's body was found by the Japanese at the foot of the embankment. He was listed missing and later commemorated at Kranji War Memorial Column 143.







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