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Dad and I went back to Milne  Bay in Papua New Guinea in 2000 where he had served with E Battery Australian Heavy Artillery in 1942. It was a memorable trip, especially for Dad, as we were the first non-locals to visit the isolated spot on the  southern arm of Milne Bay where he and his mates had installed their 155mm gun, and were left to live on hope and bananas (according to Dad).

This story first appeared in The Age in September 2006.

The water is transparently deep: porpoises play around the bow, flying fishes skim metres ahead of the sturdy Masurina workboat rumbling close to the southern arm of Milne Bay. This is the eastern tip of Papua New Guinea, where the last ridges of the Owen Stanley’s subside into the Coral Sea. If the island of New Guinea is shaped like a great bird of paradise, Dad and I are sailing among the tail feathers, searching for the place where he did his bit in World War Two. Read the rest of this entry »