Porteous, James Keith (Corporal, b.1922 - d.2009)

Accession Number PR04762
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Diary
Maker Porteous, James Keith
Place made Australia, Malaya, Netherlands East Indies, Philippines, Singapore
Date made 1941-1945
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the Second World War service of 20017 Corporal James Keith 'Jim' Porteous, 453 Squadron and 61 Operational Base Unit, Royal Australian Air Force, Australia, Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies, and the Philippines, 1941-1945.

Wallet 1 of 1 – Contains one memoir and one diary of Corporal James Keith Porteous, consisting of loose handwritten pages.

Corporal Porteous’ memoir covers the period between April 1941 and March 1942, while he was serving with 453 Squadron in Malaya and Singapore. In his memoir, Corporal Porteous writes about his experiences of service, including pre-embarkation leave, embarkation, arriving in Singapore, settling in to a Sembawang Royal Air Force station, training with new aircraft and equipment, seeing Japanese reconnaissance aircraft, his first air raid, defending against Japanese aircraft formations, the fates of fellow airmen, meeting old friends, the destruction of the station caused by enemy bombs, being on a search and rescue party, repairing the aerodrome, continual air raids, being caught between Japanese and Allied artillery, evacuating from Singapore by boat, hearing of the fall of Singapore on the radio, and returning to Australia via Batavia and Colombo.

Corporal Porteous’ diary covers the period between 7 September 1944 and 21 December 1945, while he was serving with 61 Operational Base Unit in Australia, the Netherlands East Indies and the Philippines. In his diary, Corporal Porteous writes about travelling to North Queensland, settling in a camp in Townsville, participating in training drills, feeling unwell, being on regular parades, going to local social dances, being on guard duty, attending mass, seeing films, meeting friends, travelling to Morotai, rainy weather, hearing news of the war, working alongside American servicemen, spending recreational time at the beach, air raids, cleaning up the camp in preparation to move, transporting a truck to Tarakan, being targeted by enemy snipers and artillery, settling into the camp, serving for several weeks in the Philippines, preparing for a large operation, being in hospital while ill, working to keep the aircraft well maintained and safe, celebrations for the end of the war, preparing for repatriation, meeting ex-prisoners of war, and returning to Australia. Corporal Porteous also regularly mentions the movements of various squadrons and personnel in the areas of his service. The last several diary pages include notes added by Corporal Porteous after the war.