TRAGIC LOSS: Hugh McBroom, Peter McDermott, Jeff Jarvis, Ted Sorensen, John Holmes, Geoff Harper and Belinda McBroom at the Operation Rimau service at the Krait Memorial.
TRAGIC LOSS: Hugh McBroom, Peter McDermott, Jeff Jarvis, Ted Sorensen, John Holmes, Geoff Harper and Belinda McBroom at the Operation Rimau service at the Krait Memorial. Cody Fox

TRAGEDY: Hervey Bay service honours doomed WWII raiders

IN OCTOBER 1944, 23 men would board a vessel to launch an attack on Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour.

None would return home.

On the weekend those brave operatives from the Z Special Unit were remembered during a service at the Krait Memorial in Hervey Bay.

Every year the Hervey Bay RSL Sub-Branch holds the memorial to the men who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II.

Hervey Bay Vietnam veteran and military historian Bob Taylor said the majority of the Z Special Unit operatives were sourced from the Fraser Island commando school, which trained more than 900 soldiers between 1943 and 1945.

The mission, known as Operation Rimau, was aborted just before the planned attack.

Thirteen of the men were killed in action, while the 10 others were captured and executed by the Japanese in 1945.

Operation Rimau was planned in the wake of the successful Operation Jaywick, in which 14 Allied soldiers took part in a raid on Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour, sinking six ships.

All 14 of the men returned home safely and planning began to repeat the mission.

Six of the men who took part in Operation Jaywick took part in Operation Rimau, but did not survive.