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Operation Kingfisher – Speaker Gary Followill

February 21 @ 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

The cancelled rescue mission that sacrificed Sandakan POWs to the Death Marches.

Wednesday 21 February 2024 7:00PM-8:00PM (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)

The chain of events that led to the death of over 2,500 Prisoners of War – one of Australia’s worst wartime tragedies – the cancellation of the rescue mission Operation Kingfisher.
Finally, the true story of why the Sandakan POWs of World War II were not rescued despite a fully planned and resourced operation – including men, aircraft and naval vessels – all equipped to carry out the rescue mission.

There have been several published theories on Operation Kingfisher which explore if the plan really existed, why it was cancelled and who was to blame for its cancellation. For the first time, Operation Kingfisher analyses the effects government policy and the relationships of Churchill, Roosevelt and Curtin had on the mission and its final outcome.

Using recently released archival documents, the author uncovers the mistakes made by Allied governments and special forces in Borneo that triggered the Death Marches Number 2 and Number 3. It reveals the mistaken intelligence which caused the cancellation of the rescue mission of the POWs at the Sandakan POW camp – a decision that ultimately resulted in their deaths.

The author discloses the actual chain of events that led to the tragic sacrifice of all but six survivors of the Sandakan POW camp.



About the presenter
Gary Followill is a successful business owner of an international agricultural import/export company, turned military historian and writer.

He has a lifelong interest in history and, in 2010, commenced a Master of Art degree in Military History at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Operation Kingfisher follows years of research at archives in Australia, Great Britain, and the United States of America.

Gary uses previously unseen and recently released archival files to find the real story of the cancellation of the Sandakan POW rescue mission – Operation Kingfisher.

His findings are completely different from previous theories on the reason over 2,500 POWs lost their lives on the Death Marches. The key to his findings was a file contained in the UK Archives and released in 2016 – the information within gave him the ‘smoking gun’ to confirm his theory.






To purchase the book, scan this QR code.







February 21
7:00 am - 8:00 pm


Online via Zoom

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