One of the last remaining veterans of a top-secret World War II unit has died on the eve of Anzac Day.

Joe Da Roza was an operative in the `Z' Special Unit and parachuted behind Japanese lines on the island of Borneo in 1945 to recruit and train native fighters to disrupt Japanese operations.

Following the war, he was the local doctor at Warren in western NSW, where he marched on Anzac Day wearing the black `Z' Special beret of his mate Johnny Whitworth, who was killed by the Japanese during a `Z' mission on Sulawesi.

Mr Da Roza passed away on Wednesday in Greenwich Hospital on Sydney's north shore, News Limited reports.

He is survived by his wife Joan and their six children.

 

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