Jack Olsson - Riot over lack of transport

Running time
1 min 52 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


So I'm coming home. The first thing I had to go to Morotai. So I was flown to Morotai.

So I was in my tent on my own and I was sitting, and this is as true as I sit here, why I was there was, of course, all the troops that were going home you had at Morotai to transport home and apparently the Minister for the Army in those days, I forget his name now but he didn't last long, he said the troops wouldn't be home for Christmas and of course that started a riot and the sergeant comes in to my tent and says "Come quickly, there's a bloody riot and they're going to tear down the headquarters."

I hardly believed it and anyway I went out there and sure enough there was a mob marching toward headquarters.

So without thinking I went out there and put my hand up and said "Stop. Stop. Stop."

They said "You can't pull rank on us now. You can't pull rank on us."

So I pulled my bloody stripes off. I said "Right you, you and you, come here and we'll talk about it."

And to my surprise, and I said with plenty of expletives. There were four words, I'd never sworn in my life before and they came up like lambs, big guys, and I said "Look, there's no use carrying on like this. We'll go over and see what the situation is."

And they came like lambs. Anyway we settled it and they agreed they couldn't get to go home because we didn't have the ships.

Anyway they decided that they'd accept it. I came back to my tent and the next thing I know "Olsson you're on your way home."

I wonder to this day whether they thought I'd started that riot. I was flying home and the other poor buggers were still there.

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