Meandering to Morotai

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August 18th 2014
Published: August 18th 2014
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RAAF ACS 14 MorotaiRAAF ACS 14 MorotaiRAAF ACS 14 Morotai

Servicemen and equipment crowded together on a Landing Ship Tank, whilst on their way to Morotai

August 18 2014

"All my bags are packed,

I'm ready to go.............

I'm leaving on a jetplane"

HaHa hope I don't have that song rattling around in my brain now! It was written by John Denver and recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary in 1967, becoming one of their greatest hits.

So... only 2 sleeps to go, my bags ARE packed, in Karen's teeny excess New York luggage, and I'm ready to go Sriwijaya Air. I hope it's just a glitch that I seem to be unable to retrieve our E-tickets for Jakarta-Ternate *shakes fist*. Luckily we have them printed out so if it's just a computer glitch then we are OK. If not and the flight has been changed then I await an email in trepidation as our hotels have been booked for corresponding dates. Oh well, it's just part of the adventure and I'm sure we will prevail.

Below is an extract of a report in The West Australian, November 17, 1945. It is a general report of the work done by all RAAF Airfield Constructions Squadrons, but indicates some of the really great achievements made by

RAAF ACS 14 MorotaiRAAF ACS 14 MorotaiRAAF ACS 14 Morotai

Makeshift tent on Landing Ship Tank on the way to Morotai.
these Servicemen.

"In between landings and rush air- field construction work the men of the A.C.S.'s had many duties to perform. Strips had to be maintained any many buildings erected. In Dutch New Guinea they set another record—4,000,000 super feet of timber produced from their own saw- mill in four months. They also built a 400ft bridge at Aitape. How well the men of the A.C.S.'s succeeded in their work was shown in the day-to-day communiques from General MacArthur's Head- quarters. Every month greater and greater bomb loads fell further and further inside what were once the boundaries of Japan's co-prosperity sphere. As the bombers and fighters reached out the foundations of their efforts were laid by the men of the R.A.A.F. A.C.S's. They worked and fought so that the crews might fly."


Reported in The Mercury (Hobart) February 12, 1947


Visitor Was "Third Man" At Contests

With arrival in Tasmania of the motor ship Empire Conifer, with Capt A. D. Barling in charge, has recalled to a number of Tasmanians that, as Lt-Commander Barling, he was the "third man" in the ring
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Building the boxing ring
at the spectacular boxing contests at Morotai in 1944-5. Capt Barling, former Australian welterweight champion, encouraged many of the men on the Australian ships, Swan, Carpunda and others, to participate in these bouts promoted by No. 14 Airfield Construction Squadron, RAAF, once a week at an elaborate open air stadium. These bouts needed a referee who knew the game and could exercise some control. For this Capt. Barling earned a high reputation. At the end of each bout thousands of guilders changed hands among the troops, who either supported their fancy or blindly backed a corner. American boxers, coloured and white, took part, and many recalled the difficulty experienced in getting opponents for a giant negro named Pugh who weighed well over 2001bs, and a slightly built, shuffling coloured man, Jim Tolliver, who was like greased lightning in the ring.


Additional photos below
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They even built themselves a working theatre!

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