Missing Patrolmen Found After 44 Years

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16th March 2010, 05:40pm - Views: 516





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THE HON. GREG COMBET MP

Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science




Tuesday, 16 March 2010

031/2010


Missing Patrolmen Found After 44 Years


The remains of two Australian servicemen missing in action in Indonesia since

1966, have been found and positively identified. 


“Special Air Service (SAS) patrolmen Lieutenant Kenneth Hudson and Private

Robert Moncrieff were part of an SAS patrol and were conducting border

security operations during the Indonesia Confrontation between the

Federation of Malaysia and Indonesia,” Greg Combet, Minister for Defence

Personnel, Materiel and Science said.


“Lieutenant Hudson and Private Moncrieff were separated from the rest of

their patrol during a river crossing in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, on 21

March 1966.


"When the two men failed to failed to rendezvous with their patrol as planned,

the patrol returned to its base in Sarawak. Despite extensive searches to

locate the patrolmen at the time, they were not found,” Mr Combet said.


In 2008, Army commenced an investigation to try and locate the human

remains of the two men. The Army immediately asked for assistance from the

Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI). Agreement was received in 2009, along with

the offer of direct assistance from officers of TNI to form a joint investigation

and research team.  

 

“I would like to recognise and praise the efforts of the official Australian Army

investigation team, and express gratitude for the support of the TNI during the

investigation,” Mr Combet said. 


“Due to this great level of cooperation and assistance provided by the

Indonesian Government and the TNI, the Army will be able to bring the

remains of Kenneth Hudson and Robert Moncrieff home to their families.


“In particular I would like to acknowledge the assistance of the residents of

Sanggau province, who offered the recovery team significant assistance. The

team discovered that at the time of the disappearance it was local

Indonesians who had found the bodies of the two men and recovered them

and gave them respectful burials. It was the same Indonesians who helped

the joint team locate the burial sites and recover the remains.


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“I would also like to express my sincere thanks to many within the ex-serving

and serving SAS community for their role in the recovery of the remains which

were recovered from two burial sites, six kilometres apart.


“The perseverance and determined efforts of the ex-serving and serving SAS

community have contributed to the final success to locate and recover the

remains of the two missing soldiers.


“Planning is now well underway to repatriate the remains of Lieutenant

Hudson and Private Moncrieff to Australia. The date for repatriation will be

advised when known.


“Their families have awaited their return for 44 years. They will now be able to

bring their loved ones home and lay them to rest with proper military honours,”

Mr Combet said. 


The official Army investigation report and findings have been presented to and

accepted by the West Australian Coroner. 


In 1965-66 the Australian Army was involved in border security operations

during the Indonesia Confrontation between the Federation of Malaysia and

Indonesia. This included cross border operations of Special Air Service

Regiment (SASR) patrols, part of the Australian Forces stationed in the

Malaysian state of Sarawak. 


Media Note:

The families of the Lieutenant Hudson and Private Moncrieff have requested

privacy and will not be conducting media interviews at this present time. 


Imagery is available at:



Biographies for Lieutenant Hudson and Private Moncrieff are available at:



Media contacts:

Rod Hilton (Mr Combet)

02 6277 7620 or 0458 276 619

Defence Media Liaison 

02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664







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