Z Force Canoe

Date of Event: NA

Vessel type: Folding Canoe

Location: Brisbane

Suggested title: I held the detonator in my teeth!


The Queensland Maritime Museum is custodian of two very significant artefacts, canvas folding canoes used by the legendary ‘Z-Force’. These canoes were used by the Z-Force operatives in their famous attack on Singapore Harbour from the Krait in 1943.

The Museum was fortunate to have one of the original ‘Z Special Unit’ members as a member and volunteer. George Buckingham served in Borneo behind enemy lines in occupied territory, travelling by foot or kayak, working with the locals to gain intelligence about the movements of the Japanese military. This clandestine work was extremely dangerous but saved countless Allied lives.

At 98, George still donned his beret, marched in ANZAC Day parades and was available to assist with oral history and Museum visits. But sadly George ‘crossed the bar’ in August 2019.

An ordinary young man doing extraordinary things for his country that Australians are famous for in times of trouble

Interesting anecdote

He was recently a gardener at his retirement village, sweeping up the leaves quietly, no doubt passed by visitors who had no idea of his achievements.



Please briefly note any objects (artefacts, images or other collection items) associated with the story

Ship model, photographs, banners from ANMM, virtual reality goggles, folding canoes

Name of person submitting the story

Jayne Keogh


AMMC Member Institution

Queensland Maritime Museum

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