Bernard Scanlan - Port Moresby Plane Crash - Moving to Nadzab

Running time
1 min 58 sec
Date made
Copyright
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Transcript

Well, it was a misfortune in our respect, because we were parked at the end of a runway in a convoy of trucks ... transport trucks. We were there, sitting in the trucks, with everything on as we were in there; ammunition, rifles, and every form of weaponry.

Nobody ever expected such a tragedy. To think that 11 men on that aircraft took off from the airstrip, little be known to us, and just came crashing through the trees, on top of the transporter. Sadly, we lost 62 men in the flash, and the officers then, in their wisdom, called up what was left of us, because each one, in turn, was going around looking for a mate. That destroyed everyone.

The officers then called us up and we boarded another small plane to go up into an American camp, some distance up in the hills. A little place called Silly Silly. It was written down there. Silly Silly was an American base. We'd only spent a night or two there because it was ... being an American camp, the bombers were looking for it. They were not very particular about lights, these people up there, and they were all new Americans. Hadn't seen any action. The planes kept coming over, so the next day or two, we were moved on to go on patrol at Nadzab.

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