Whittaker's bridge

Unit RAAF mobile works units
Place Oceania: New Guinea, Aitape
Accession Number ART23498
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 28.2 cm x 39.2 cm; Image: 20.2 cm x 33.6 cm
Object type Drawing
Physical description watercolour on paper
Maker Dargie, William
Place made New Guinea: Aitape
Date made 1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Dargie noted of this drawing: "Timber and piles having been procured from the sawmill, construction of the bridge was begun in 1944. On that day Corporal Whittaker, plant operator, began sounding the Raihu River for a fordable place for his bulldozer. He suddenly disappeared, believed drowned, and the bridge was named after him by the unit. The length of the bridge is 400 feet - a record for bridge construction by Royal Australian Air Force units. The sketch shows the bridge almost completed and one of the last piles being driven into the bed of the stream. The pile driver was converted from a ingenuity of the Australian at war. In the foreground, a typical works engineer sits on the coral rocks, a drawing of details of the project alongside him".