Len McLeod Part 2: WW2 Veteran – From Aussie Infantry to US Army Small Ships

Posted on: Mon 22 Apr 2019

WW2 Veteran 93yo Len McLeod – Part 2 –  New Guinea: Infantry, Dakota DC3s; Discharged Medically unfit.  US Army Small Ships New Guinea to Shangai via Philippines and Japan

We take up Len’s story in Japan a few days before Japan signed the surrender document.   Len’s ship the concrete hulled SS Armand Considere was among the many Allied ships in Tokyo Bay. Len had taken an unofficially sanctioned trip ashore and caught a train into Tokyo itself.   On his return to the ship, the Captain called him in….

  • Tokyo; Shanghai; War’s end; Reminiscing about boyhood with mates on street corners, annoying the local police – all of the lads went on to serve during the war; Len’s part in creating the eternal flame for the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne; Talking in more detail about the 9 Dakota ‘biscuit bombers’ in New Guinea, and the perhaps officially unknown reason why one  crashed killing all on board during a supply drop to troops fighting in the jungle.
  • People didn’t understand… so Len stopped talking about his experiences for decades.
  • Contacted by the US Army Small Ships Association in 2018 and walking through the doors of The Grace Hotel in Sydney 75 years after he had walked through them into the U.S. Army’s Australian headquarters to sign on with The US Army Small Ships.

US Army Small Ships Association Inc

Main Photo:   Surrender of Japan, 2 September 1945: U.S. Navy carrier planes fly in formation over the U.S. and Allied fleets in Tokyo Bay during surrender ceremonies. The battleship USS Missouri where the ceremonies took place, is at left. Wikimedia commons


Dakota DC3s on a supply dropping mission in New Guinea WW2   AWM Public Domain

All other photos provided by US Army Small Ships Association and McLeod family, and used with permission

Len McLeod (centre) Billy Reeves from NZ (right)

Len McLeod circa 1944



Len McLeod (left) with deckhand aboard the SS Armand Considere circa 1945

All that remains of the SS Armand Considere 2018

Len McLeod at the airport 2018 on his way to the US Army Small Ships Reunion at the Grace Hotel Sydney.  The Grace Hotel was the Australian Headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur during WW2, and was where Len signed on to serve in The US Army Small Ships.

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