Remember the men + boys of the Small Ships

Posted on: Mon 15 Aug 2022

On this, the 77th Anniversary of Victory in the Pacific Day, we remind Listeners of the important role carried out by the Aussie men and boys of the US Army Small Ships section 1942 – 1947 in securing victory in the Pacific.

Producer Helen Meyer

Main composite photo: a. Don Campbell, aged 15 years, on MV MACDHUI, with the Ship’s Bell.   Don served as Deck Boy until June, 1939 and continued serving as Ordinary Seaman until August, 1941. Don was reassigned to M.V. MACDHUI in June, 1942 just in time for a supply run to New Guinea. Macdhui left Townsville carrying a couple of hundred Australian troops, with a  load of aviation fuel, ammunition and other supplies, arriving at Port Moresby on 15 June. She was attacked by Japanese planes on 16th and 17th of June.  Photo provided by US Army Small Ships Association and used with permission.

b. Japanese bombs hitting the water during the attack on the MV Macdhui. Port Moresby PNG June 1942.  AWM Public Domain. Young Don Campbell was aboard the Macdhui while this bombing was happening, and was lucky to escape with his life. Don passed away on 14.08.2022 the day before this broadcast. Hear our 2019 interview with Don here

All photos provided by US Army Small Ships Association and used with permission

Len McLeod WW2 Small Ships Veteran. Hear our 2019 interview with Len here
Small Ships Section Battle Honours. Photo provided by Dan O’Brien, Secretary US Army Small Ships Association Australia and used with permission

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