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« Keith’s intimate travel diary 19 – Who are we to advise? | Main | I am woman »

26 May 2013


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I can't seem to find Hal's name on the WW2 nominal roll or anything in the National Archives regarding his service. Would there be a reason for this?

Interesting read. Thanks. Having been to the Bomana War Cemetery a couple of times and reading all the names, I have come to realise that the "decision to meet the Japs in New Guinea and fight them here was a brilliant one.

The mosquitoes, insects and the rugged terrain were indeed a blessing in disguise.

Otherwise, the Japs would have had a free run from the North (of Australia) and downwards.

The Second Amendment of the US Constitution and the National Firearms Act (1934) gave the Yankees the right to keep and bear arms - doubt whether the Blacks had that right too, so I can see why the Yankees were the better lot in that department where personal liberties were concerned.

Hi, I am wondering is Hal is still with us or has he gone to heaven like so many others of our age.

Hal is a sprightly 91, lives on the Gold Coast and is still painting and sculpting. I arranged for him to spend a couple of days with me a fortnight ago and was able to introduce him to the delights of Noosa. Hal is immensely proud of his Order of Logohu award from PNG, and of course his Order of Australia award. He and I are about to start work on publishing his memoirs - KJ

Never mind the terms Black or Negro. My dad was with civvy police in Cardiff during WW2 and one his nighttime duty was to go out on a patrol around the city with USA MPs.

They certainly didn't use such pleasant terminology. The job was described as 'coon hunting' and dad told me many years later that woe betide any black soldier found out with a white women the army billiesticks would be used to quickly get the soldier onto the jeep.

Maybe most of the vehicles were driven by black Americans.

Is this the time when black Americans were not allowed to fight and were employed as support troops, cooks, drivers etc?

"Between chores, while we were waiting for movement orders, several of us hitched rides on Yankee vehicles driven by Negro soldiers, to Jackson’s airfield to ogle the bombers and fighters taking off on sorties then landing on their return".

Better not to use word 'Negro soldiers'. Vehicles driven by Yankee soldiers would have been appropriate.

To be fair to Hal Holman, he was using the patois of the time - KJ

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