Memory and Meaning – Timbered Knoll 70 Years On.

I don’t know where this commemorative plaque (pictured) is now, but in 2008 I placed it in a grassed clearing on an obscure ridge in the vicinity of Salamaua, Papua New Guinea. I was guided there by an Australian who, like me, had been researching the military history of the area, but whom I have since fallen out

The First Casualty.

It was five minutes prior to noon on Wednesday the 21st of January 1942, and Kevin Parer, the owner and pilot of an air freighting business, was sitting in the cockpit of his aircraft on the ‘drome just outside the busy coastal township of Salamaua in what was then known as the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. Without

“The Armourer” – My Bookshelf Part II.

Along with books, as I have mentioned previously, magazines are another item that I have difficulty resisting. Given that like most people, my budget does not stretch as far as my desires, I limit myself to purchasing only several magazines on a regular basis, one of which is the English title “The Armourer Militaria Magazine.” As its name

Death Far from the ‘Front Line.’

It is universally acknowledged that those who go to war risk injury or death as a consequence, however what is often overlooked is that the same life-altering consequences can also occur away from the ‘battle areas’, albeit at a lesser frequency. In a six week period during late 1942, three Australian soldiers lost their lives in South East

Structure of a World War Two Australian Independent Company.

“Each independent company began its life with the training of a cadre of officers and NCOs, for a period of six weeks, after which they themselves would train their private soldiers for a similar period. Each soldier had already undergone basic infantry training, and had thus volunteered a second time to be a member of an independent company. The

A Plea to Amateur Historians.

The photograph featured is courtesy of a lady by the name of Mavis Shortland. However, aside from the fact that one of the men in the photo is her father, who served in the 1st A.I.F., I can tell you nothing more. When Mavis forwarded me this and several other images, I was focused on the events of

Iraqi Hamburger – A War Story.

Katie H.* served in Iraq in intelligence and following is one of the few stories she can publicly tell of her experiences: [Warning: Language alert]. “Just to warn you… this was one of the worst things that happened to me…. well, in a way, one of them. And I will never forgive them for this. But the cool

The U.S. 162nd Infantry R.C.T. at Nassau Bay – The Wau-Salamaua Campaign Part I.

In the first minutes of the 30th of June, 1943, seventy years ago today, men from the 1st Battalion of the United States’ 162nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team stumbled ashore through heavy surf at a place called Nassau Bay in the then Australian Mandated Territory of New Guinea. Guided in to their objective by a platoon from the

“Commando Kayak” by John Hoehn – An Extract.*

“During subsequent meetings at Victoria Barracks, the two got around to talking about the demise of ISD, as it would affect both of them, but in different ways. It was obvious that the US brass did not like the London based SOE exercising control over clandestine operations in the Pacific theatre through their Australian operating arm. Mott had

Leadership and Landscape – My Book Collection Part I.

“Hi, my name is Darren, and I’m a book addict.” There, I admitted it. I don’t intend to diminish the experiences of anyone who is or has been truly addicted to a substance, but rather to state that books are one of the very few material items that I have difficulty resisting. Some years ago I decided that
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