Peter Dixon - Bernie Callinan

Running time
2 min 7 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I was academically pretty good but physically I didn't quite get into it and I'm still here today. But when the war, and as I say, we didn't see anything of the European war and in New Guinea it was shambles. There was no other word for it...We were in New Ireland and in those days, there was nothing there.

I set up a branch of engineering over on Manus Island and as history turned, they had the best record of anybody down there. They got tied up with the Americans and they had a very good record. But that's about the only thing. Now the other one was Bernie Callinan. Bernie's my friend and he was a brilliant engineer. He was really a top-grade engineer.

They went to Timor and really got tangled up with the Japanese and eventually they were picked up. They were got out by the navy but they had been there quite a long time and they'd really upset the Japanese but that was a highly successful unit. Bernie was the number two in it, but he was actually the number one.

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