Keith Lowe

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Keith Lowe


This is the story of Keith Lowe.

Keith Lowe SX21282

Keith was born on March 29,1923, died on September 9, 2020 and served as part of the 74th  AA Battery Battalion.

He joined while home on leave in WW2 in October 1944. On returning to the war in New Guinea and the surrounding islands Keith recounts an interesting story relating to the surrender of Japanese force on Morotai.

Keith reported that a friend of his, a pilot of a DC3 Aeroplane by the name of Fred, approached him and said he was in need of four guys with guns to accompany him on his plane to pick up these Nips {Japanese} and bring them back to Morotai.

When Fred and his cargoes of Nips returned along with the gun party it was discovered that it was the commanding Officer of the Japanese forces in the Pacific and his second in command. When they alighted from the aircraft they had to pass a squad of specially selected Australian troops especially selected all  being over 6 foot 2 inches in height , towering over the Japanese as they approached the commanding officer of the Australians to sign the surrender document . Keith reports that Fred was quite a character and that they both returned to Mannum at the end of the War he also has the photos of the event.


The battle of Morotai, part of the Pacific War, began on 15th of September 1944 , and continued until the end of the War in August 1945

The fighting started when the United States and Australian Forces landed on the south west corner of Morotai , a small island in the Netherlands East Indies (NE) which the Allies needed as a base to support the liberation of the Philippines later that year. The invading forces greatly outnumbered the islands Japanese defenders and secured their objective in two weeks. Japanese reinforcements landed on the island between September and November, but lacked the supplies needed to effectively attack the allied defensive perimeter. Intermittent fighting continued until the end of the war, with the Japanese suffering heavy loss of life from disease and starvation.

Morotais development into allied airbases began shortly after the landing and two major airfields were ready for use in October 1944. These and other base facilities played an important role in the liberation of the Philippines during 1944 and 1945

Keith was involved with the Scouts as a young boy and continued after WW2 with the Scouts and Girl Guides.

He was a Vice President, organised the speed boat club to have competitions in Mannum. His garage was used for Annual Dinners. He secured the site from the boy scouts for the only RSL building owned by the Mannum RSL.

Keith was a JP in Mannum and also acted as the local Magistrate.


Keith’s story was collected by the Mannum RSL to preserve the history of people in their local community.