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Capt. Rolf Baldwin VX50054 - 2/2 Independent Company

(Filmed September 1992)

Here is the complete interview that the Australian War Memorial conducted with former A Platoon Commander in the No.2 (2/2) Independent Company, who fought on Timor.

Grant McLachlan filmed Rolf at his home in Geelong in 2005 for Sparrow after watching this interview.

As the AWM caption describes:

"The 2/2nd Independent Company was commanded by two quite different men; Major [Alexander] Spence and Major Bernard Callinan. Both were successful; Spence in training, deploying and originally fighting the Company; Callinan in continuing the fight under adverse conditions. The aim of the accompanying oral history is to examine the leadership qualities of Spence and Callinan and to discuss command issues perculiar to the Independent Company in order to draw lessons applicable to training today's leaders for tommorrow's conflicts. Both Spence and Callinan were served by a fiercely loyal and capable subordinate, Captain Rolf Baldwin. He is the interlocutor for this study. Prior to the war Baldwin had been a Master at Melbourne Grammar. An experienced militia officer, he was not released from his reserve occupation until 1941. Upon enlistment at the relatively senior age of 30, he went directly to new commando stlye training centre at Wilson's Promontory. At the Promontory a cadre of British officers trained Australian's in what is today known as special forces techniques. Graduates of this tough school were then formed into independent companies and after a period of collective training were ready for operational employment. It was at Wilson's Promontory that Spence, Callinan and Baldwin became acquainted. Spence was appointed the first Commanding Officer of the 2/2nd Independent Company, Callinan was his second-in-command and Baldwin commanded "A" Platoon. This relationship was to continue on arrival at Timor. When Spence assumed command of Sparrow Force, Callinan assumed command of the Independent Company and Baldwin became the second-in-command."

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