During the night of 11 April 1945, eight Australian Z Special commandos landed on Japanese-held Muschu Island, off the coast of New Guinea near Wewak. Their mission was to reconnoiter the island's defenses and confirm the location of two concealed naval guns that commanded the approaches to Wewak Harbour. This was vital to ensure the security of the coming landings by the Australians in one of their final major actions of WW2.
The eight Australians were dropped from their patrol boat - HDML 1321 - just on midnight, five miles north east of Muschu. They began the long paddle to the island in four kayaks but within an hour they found that unexpected ocean currents were pushing them south of their objective.
Exhausted, hours later they reached Muschu, however the mission then went horribly wrong. Unknown to them, their presence had been discovered soon after they landed.
With no means of escape, the island became a killing ground, with the Australians being hunted relentlessly by the Japanese garrison. Four of the patrol went missing during an attempt to escape by sea, and three others were captured, tortured and executed by the Japanese.
Nine days later, after fighting his way off the island, swimming the shark infested waters of the Muschu Straight to the mainland, then fighting through more Japanese patrols, the only survivor reached the Australian lines north of Wewak. The information he carried allowed the guns to be put out of action and casualties in the subsequent landings at Wewak were minimised.
This is the remarkable but true story of the only survivor.
Taken from the survivor's own diary, interviews with Australian and Japanese military personnel of the era plus Australian Army war archives, the author faithfully reconstructs the events leading up to, during and after that fateful mission.
Available in e-book and paperback
"Your detail of the operation is incredible. There are times when reading I would swear you 'd been sitting alongside me in the radio cabin of the patrol boat during our five day vigil."
Radio Operator 1321
"I was able to visualise the descriptions of the
bush and terrain, hills and rivers, as I myself have crawled through
the jungle in those exact locations..."
"Thank you for writing the book and informing the rest of Australia of the deeds carried out by our forebears."
Located in Darwin
SINKS at MOORING!
HDML 1321, the patrol boat skippered by Lieutenant Ernie Palmer, RAN, that inserted the Z Special Patrol off Muschu Island and then assisted with the search for the lost patrol, has been located in Darwin, refitted as an adventure-dive boat and renamed MV Rushcutter.
It is hoped to raise funds to move the vessel to Sydney and restore it to its wartime configuration. An ambitious plan certainly, however HDML1321 was the first Australian built version (Featherstone's shipyards in Hobart,1943) and its war record of supporting Z Special and independent operations against the Japanese in New Guinea so impressive, makes it worthy of preservation either as a floating memorial or on permanent display.
19 October 2016
After years of searching and negotiation, HDML1321 suddenly sank at its mooring during the night of 19th October.
A crowd funding campaign had just commenced and for a time it was assumed all was lost, however examination of the hull indicates that the sinking may have been due to a corroded sea cock.
The Darwin Harbor authority plan to raise the vessel next week and place it on hard standing. From there an assessment can be made of its condition. Preliminary examination though indicates that no major damage has been done, and provided care is taken during its raising, 1321 should still be able to be restored and returned to wartime condition.
To assist funding the raising and later restoration a new crowd funding campaign has been authorised by the owners. For information follow the links below:
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PROJECT BLACK MAGIC
The odds were against them
You’re the pilot of a World War Two B-17 bomber. Your mission is to fly from your base in England and bomb a target inside Germany. It’s an eight hundred mile round trip as the crow flies, but you won’t fly a direct route – instead you’ll divert over the North Sea in a feint to keep the enemy guessing. Because of this you’ll cover almost twelve hundred miles.
During the flight you’ll face swarms of German fighters and intense flak. If you manage to find the target and drop your bombs, you’ll confront the same enemy defences on the way home.
After more than six hours flying, with heavy battle damage, most of your radios shot out, fuel tanks near empty and wounded on board, you finally approach England. You’re now descending from 20,000 feet, but the weather has closed in and the cloud cover totally obscures the countryside ahead.
You have to get your aircraft down through the murk, find an airfield and land before you run out of fuel or the wounded on board die for want of medical attention. If you can’t find a break in the weather, you may have to abandon your wounded and bail out.
So what would you do?
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TThe GREAT SPACE RACE
Now complete with Book Two - The Race to the Moon.
Did you know that the US Government intentionally prevented Wernher von Braun from launching a satellite a year before Sputnik? Or that one of his engineers had a satellite hidden in the trunk of his car, just waiting for an opportunity? That mousetrap springs were used in the Vanguard rocket to save costs?
Approx 1100 Kindle pages, including more than 250 color photos and diagrams plus links to more than 10 hours of videos on a supporting website formatted for tablet and phone screens, this e-book takes full advantage of the multimedia capability of the new generation of e-readers and tablets. For those with e-readers not having video capability, codes are provided to enable viewing on PC, mobile phone or other tablet devices.
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GREAT SPACE RACE VIDEOS
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February 1968. The TET Offensive
Exploding flags that attack helicopters, a sergeant who smuggles bar girls into an American field hospital, a one eyed Quartermaster who talks like a pirate, an Australian soldier who is accidentally awarded the Purple Heart and a paranoid ball bearing clicking staff officer who thinks he's Napoleon, make up just some of the characters and events in this true story.
There's even a plot to kidnap a visiting Australian politician, strip him naked and leave him in a rice field out in the boondocks - such were the sentiments towards those who were supposed to be looking out for the soldiers' welfare.
Ironically years later the same politician was found wandering in a daze, trouser-less in a Memphis hotel.
Available in e-book and in paperback (Paperback AMAZON ONLY)
Click the cover to read the first chapter of VIETNAM DIARY on AMAZON
View a movie filmed in 1967 by the author from one of the squadron's aircraft
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Big Ugly Fat Fella
The B-52 is a remarkable aircraft. First flown in 1952 as a nuclear bomber, in 1965 B-52s were modified to carry more than 60,000lbs of conventional bombs.
In the Vietnam War, using a combination of ground and airborne radar to guide formations over the target, B-52 “Arc Light” strikes were directed at VC base camps located underground and in thick jungle.
These strikes were deadly accurate, eliminating entire regiments of North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops, despite propaganda to the contrary.
This is the story about one such Arc Light Strike.
One that almost went terribly wrong.
This story is now also included as Part 2 of Vietnam War Diary February '68
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Do you believe in the supernatural?
Sometimes things happen that defy logic. Often they're put down to co-incidence and often they're simply made to go away.
What happens when modern technology and an ancient culture clash?
Is there such a thing as vengeance? Retribution? Devine intervention?
The first in a series of short stories collected by the author about the unusual and bizarre happenings in the world of aviation.
12,000 words, 65 pages.
Review on AMAZON
"I really enjoyed this short story, and as with the previous reviewer, the ending suddenly catches you and it was almost a shame the story did have to end. However it was a great read and the descriptions of the locations, the building tension, dialogue and the characters were well thought out and brilliantly written. "
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KILL the CHINAMAN
Would you disobey an Order?
Review on AMAZON
"A riveting snippet of the Vietnam War.
While out on a reconnaissance mission Recon Pilot Peter Taylor and his friend, Ned Kelly, discover an old man stranded on a strip of beach off the coast of Nui Dat. They Radio Task Force to send someone to come retrieve the man. Task Force refuses. He could be an enemy. Peter insists this is not the case. A decision has to be made.
Herein lay the crux of this powerful story. Life and death decisions have to be made. That's what this story does. For a brief time it transports you into the life and death struggles our servicemen make - not just on the battlefield but in their hearts and minds.
This is a very powerful narrative for those interested in stories about the Vietnam War."
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