Diary of George Davidson Mackie, November 1942 - November 1945

Accession Number AWM2019.22.41
Collection number AWM2016.141.2
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type Item
Item count 1
Object type Diary
Physical description 161 Image/s captured
Maker Mackie, George Davidson
Place made At sea, Australia, Netherlands East Indies
Date made 1942-1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Digital format and content protected by copyright.
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Diary relating to the Second World War service of NX22559 Gunner George Davidson Mackie, 2/1 Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Composite), 12 November 1942 - 22 November 1945.

In the second of two diaries, Mackie resumes documenting his active service at Batchelor Airfield in the Northern Territory after a period of leave. In similar fashion to his first diary Mackie chronicles his active service in great detail, albeit somewhat more sporadically. He pens descriptive accounts of Japanese air raids, dog fights and plane crashes, and details aspects of Allied operations devoted to the escalating air campaign in the South Pacific. He also writes in detail about anti-aircraft gun drills, day-to-day duties on the "drome" and a stint at an aircraft observation post during February and March 1943. During this period he notes growing frustration and fatigue in response to repeated routines and challenging conditions, and documents his departure from the Northern Territory during late June 1943 for a period of leave.

Mackie pens one entry in early July 1943 relating to his recent marriage, and lets three months lapse before returning to his diary. He recommences writing about his active service while based at Kalinga Camp in Brisbane by recalling events from the preceding period, and detailing preparations leading up to his next deployment overseas, train journey to Townsville and voyage to Papua New Guinea. After disembarking at Buna in late November 1943, he writes at length about his new surroundings and subsequent postings to Cape Endaiadere and Finschhafen through to May 1944. He describes the demands presented by "too much work in terrific heat", incessant rain, rat infestations and regular Japanese raids. Over the Christmas period he observes dengue fever ravage his unit, and subsequently outlines his own fight with the illness. During this period and the opening months of 1944, he also makes note of intensifying Allied operations with particular reference to American military activities.

After documenting his departure from Papua New Guinea during May 1944, Mackie returns to his diary in December while stationed at Mapee in Queensland. He continues to cover the last year of his active service with detailed but increasingly irregular entries, and includes revelations of a personal nature rarely found in the diary to this point, in large part due to becoming a father for the first time and fatigue from years of active service. He documents his voyage to the Netherlands East Indies during late May 1945, and pens detailed observations on the Battle of Balikpapan and subsequent activities while stationed on Borneo through to October 1945. Closing diary entries document his return voyage to Australia, disembarkation at Brisbane and welcome parade in the city.