Geoff Chapman - Anti-aircraft yellow alert

Running time
2 min 14 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Well, Morotai was the base for the operations against Borneo. It was captured by the Yanks just before.

When we got there, there was virtually nothing set up. Supplies were very slow to come through. All we had for the first couple of weeks, in fact most of the time we were there was bully beef and biscuits, which is not a very inspiring menu.

We had fun. We had no entertainment, we used to go down to the American theatre which was just down the road from us and see films there but outside that discipline was pretty lax. We couldn't do much. There was no real parade ground or anything. Life was pretty casual. It was strange, at the theatre.

We hadn't been on Morotai for very long and the yellow alert went up. Now I don't know if you know what the yellow alert is, but the anti-aircraft guns would fire yellow flares up which meant there was something on radar which might be coming into attack.

Well as soon as the yellow alert went up the Yanks closed down the film and switched off all the lights, so we just sat back and lit up our cigarettes and the Yanks went mad. They were screaming at us to put out the lights. The more they did it the more we just struck matches and held them up. They really panicked and within about five minutes there wasn't a Yank within 500 yards of the theatre, I reckon. There was no real danger because if they had identified anything coming in close, the red alert would have gone up. The Yanks hated us.

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