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Sgt Leonard George Siffleet
Birth: Jan. 14, 1916
Gunnedah
New South Wales, Australia
Death: Oct. 24, 1943, Papua New Guinea

Australian Army Sergeant. Executed by the Japanese during World War II, the photo of his beheading gave allied soldiers an understanding of the brutality of the enemy they were fighting. Born at Gunnedah, New South Wales, Australia, "Len" was called up during World War II to serve in a searchlight unit of the Australian militia, in August 1940. Serving only three months at Richmond Air Force Base, he was soon released and returned to civilian life. In July 1941, he enlisted into the Australian Army, and was assigned to the 1st Division Signal Section at Ingleburn. On October 12, 1942, he volunteered for commando duties and joined Z Special Force, after completing the specialist signals course (radio operator). On May 5, 1943, he was promoted to Sergeant after completing his training, and in September 1943, his patrol was sent to Japanese held New Guinea, to recon the Japanese forces stationed there. Siffleet and two other Australian soldiers were captured by local natives friendly to the Japanese and turned over to the Japanese, where they were tortured and questioned for three days. Siffleet and his two fellow soldiers were then executed by beheading at Aitape Beach, New Guinea. A Japanese officer took a photograph of Siffleet's execution by Lieutenant Yasuno Chikao, the head of the Minseibu (a component of the Japanese Navy). The photograph was later found on the body of a Japanese officer killed at Hollandia, New Guinea, in April 1944. It was widely published in many allied magazines, including "Life" magazine, to show the horror and brutality of the Japanese military. Siffleet's body and those of his two comrades were destroyed by the Japanese. He is honored at the Australian War Memorial in Campbell, Canberra, Australia. At the end of the war, Chikao was captured, tried for war crimes and sentenced to be hanged; his sentence was commuted to ten years imprisonment, and upon completion of his sentence, he returned to Japan. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Burial:
Australian War Memorial *
Canberra
Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Plot: Commemorative Area, Panel 11
*Cenotaph [?]
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Record added: Feb 24, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18050712
Sgt Leonard George Siffleet
Added by: Anonymous
 
Sgt Leonard George Siffleet
Added by: Kit and Morgan Benson
 
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- sjm
 Added: Oct. 24, 2014

- Mike
 Added: Oct. 24, 2014

- Lazer
 Added: Oct. 24, 2014
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