Warrant Officer Class 1 Paul Yauwiga

Service number R416
Birth Date c. 1900
Death Date 1982
Also known as Yauwika, Yawiga
Final Rank Warrant Officer Class 1
Service Australian Army
Unit M Special Unit
Conflict/Operation Second World War, 1939-1945
Gazettes Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1947-03-06
Published in London Gazette in 1947-03-06

Sergeant Paul Yauwiga was from Kusaun village in the Kubiala region of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. During the Second World War he was a member of the Coastwatchers, part of the Allied Intelligence Bureau that reported on enemy positions and movements across Solomon Islands and Island New Guinea.

In November 1943 Yauwiga took part in the allied landings at Torokina, Bougainville.
In 1944, he travelled to Queensland to teach Australian troops jungle survival skills. In June 1945, while on Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands, Yauwiga suffered terrible injuries when a phosphorous grenade went off by accident. Yauwiga lost his left hand and his eyesight in the explosion. He was evacuated to Brisbane where he underwent a cornea transplant at Greenslopes hospital. One of the transplants was a success and Yauwiga was left with a blue eye. It was while he was recuperating at the hospital in Brisbane that his portrait (ART24397) was painted by George Aubrey-Crowe.

Yauwiga was awarded a Loyal Service Medal in 1943 and a Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1947.

Yawiga was a prominent figure in his Sepik community and many today remember him and stories of his wartime contributions. After the war, Yauwiga established a school at Boram, near Wewak in East Sepik Province. In 1982 Yauwiga was interviewed for the documentary Angels of War, about the Second World War in Papua new Guinea.


  • Honours and Awards:

    M Special Unit
    Second World War, 1939-1945
    Warrant Officer Class 1
    London Gazette
    06 March 1947 on page 1090 at position 10
    Commonwealth Gazette
    06 March 1947 on page 749 at position 92
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Second World War, 1939-1945


Date of death 1982
Date of birth c. 1900