Known Unto God
$15 (*Film Block)
Schindler Films Pty Ltd
During the Pacific War, American Lt General Willoughby was Commander in Chief of a highly secretive special operations group based in Australia known as AIB (Allied Intelligence Bureau) The men who fought under the AIB banner had the highly secret code name of Z Special Unit. They were selected from the Australian Army, Navy and Air force. These men knew nothing about the nature of what they were volunteering for. All they knew was that it was highly dangerous. They were ordered not to discuss their activities to anyone – not even close family. They were told that they should never expect to be given any recognition nor any bravery medals indeed they were told that the only thing they could be promised was “a wooden cross”. The men of Z Special unit were indeed the selfless “bravest of the brave”. These men were truly the unsung heroes of the Pacific War and to this day many still lie in graves with headstones inscribed KNOWN UNTO GOD. In 2007 our producer, a former Australian Surf Lifesaver, decided to try to discover the fate of one such Z Special unit operative – a fellow Australian Surf Lifesaver John “Spike” Whitworth whose remains seemed lost forever. This documentary was produced as a tribute to those allies whose remains were never found. After exhaustive detective work by an American Naval Officer and a decorated Australian SAS Officer we can reveal the circumstances surrounding Spike’s loss and his bravery while trying to save the lives of an American bomber crew who were trying to avoid capture deep in enemy territory.
John Schindler – Director
John Schindler was Director/Producer/ Narrator/ Writer and on screen talent (Radio Announcer in the opening scene) of KNOWN UNTO GOD. John has been producing award winning International release documentaries since 1988 following a successful career as a radio announcer and television newsreader in various parts of Australia. Prior to this John was an active Surf Lifesaver at Coogee beach in Sydney from 1962 to 1972. John’s first documentary in 1988 was the award-winning STORY OF THE KRAIT which told the previously unknown story of a very successful and audacious Z Special unit mission in the Pacific War when a handful of very brave men travelled to Japanese occupied Singapore harbour in a small fishing boat and sank 6 Japanese ships with limpet mines. One of these brave veterans Horrie Young became a dear friend and this ongoing friendship over the years proved invaluable in 2007 when John learned that a Coogee Surf Lifesaver had been lost in 1945 as a member of Z Special unit.
Initial enquiries proved fruitless because not even this 20 year old man’s family could could ascertain his fate nor the whereabouts of his remains. KNOWN UNTO GOD was finished in 2015 after 8 years. In the meantime John has produced the multi award winning THE MOTH LOVES DOODIE and other stories mainly centred on the brave deeds of ordinary people who performed extraordinary acts. Another Pacific War documentary produced in 2009 has never been seen outside Australia and tells the story of the sinking of a Japanese prison ship with the loss of over 1,000 Australian prisoners locked in the hold. It was Australia’s greatest ever matime tragedy and yet hardly anyone in Australia knew of the MONTEVIDEO MARU – they do now.