Leonard Siffleet was an Australian Special Forces radio operator, sent to Papua New Guinea to establish a coast watching site monitoring the movements of Japanese forces. He and two others were discovered and detained by local tribesmen loyal to the Japanese. They were interrogated for two weeks before all three were beheaded on Aitape Beach on 24th October 1943 by Japanese officer Yasuno Chikao.
A Japanese soldier, Yasuno Chikao, prepares to behead Australian Sergeant Leonard G. Siffleet at Aitape in New Guinea. The Australian commando from "M" Special Unit was captured while his small patrol was operating deep behind enemy lines. 1943. The photograph was discovered on the body of a dead Japanese major near Hollandia by American troops in April 1944.
This is how I prefer to remember Leonard Siffleet (1916-1943). He joined the Australian forces and reached the rank of sergeant. Posted to the M Special Unit, Siffleet was on a mission in Papua, New Guinea when he and two Ambonese companions were captured by tribesmen and handed over to the Japanese. All three men were interrogated, tortured and later beheaded at Aitape Beach on March 29, 1943. A picture of Siffleet's impending execution became a disturbing but enduring image of the war.
Japanese officer Yasuno Chikao frozen forever in the act of executing Australian commando Leonard Siffleet on Aitape Beach, 24 October 1943. the photo was found by American troops on the body of a dead Japanese soldier in April 1944 and was published in an Australian magazine and in Life. magazine in the US