TADJI, NORTH EAST NEW GUINEA. C. 1945-06. IN ONE OF THE MOST AUDACIOUS RESCUES EVER CARRIED OUT ...

Units
Places
Accession Number OG3078
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film original negative 3x4" safety base
Maker Harrison, John Thomas
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

TADJI, NORTH EAST NEW GUINEA. C. 1945-06. IN ONE OF THE MOST AUDACIOUS RESCUES EVER CARRIED OUT BY THE RAAF, LIEUTENANT (LT) J. P. CARTER, A TEXAS MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE, WAS RESCUED AFTER HAVING SPENT THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS WITHIN TEN MILES OF THE ENEMY. WHILE FLYING A LIGHTNING AIRCRAFT, HE WAS FORCED TO BALE OUT WHEN THE AIRCRAFT DEVELOPED ENGINE TROUBLE OVER ENEMY-OCCUPIED TERRITORY. THE ONLY PLACE ON WHICH A RESCUING AIRCRAFT COULD LAND WAS ON THE KERAWARI RIVER, ABOUT 250 YARDS FROM HIM. BAD WEATHER PREVENTED HIS RESCUE UNTIL THE FOURTH DAY, BUT HE LIVED ON A BLOCK OF CHOCOLATE AND A PINT OF WATER. EVENTUALLY, A PLODDING SUPERMARINE WALRUS AMPHIBIAN AIRCRAFT OF A RAAF AIR-SEA RESCUE FLIGHT LANDED ON THE RIVER, BRINGING TWO NATIVE POLICE BOYS. PADDLING SWIFTLY, THE NATIVES MADE FOR THE SHORE IN AN INFLATED DINGHY. THEY WORKED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF AN AUSTRALIAN NEW GUINEA ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT (ANGAU) REPRESENTATIVE, LIEUTENANT JOHNSTONE. SO THICK WAS THE KUNAI GRASS THAT IT TOOK THE NATIVES AN HOUR TO HACK THEIR WAY WITH MACHETES TO LT CARTER 250 YARDS AWAY AND BRING HIM BACK TO THE RESCUING AIRCRAFT AND SUBSEQUENT FLIGHT BACK TO BASE. PORTRAIT OF LT CARTER WITH THE TWO NATIVE POLICE BOYS FOR WHOM LT CARTER HAD "A SPECIAL WORD OF THANKS".