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Saulo Waia and Tom Lowah, whose stories appear in chapters five and seven, were enlisted into this force. As Japanese forces moved south to occupy Timor in February 1942 and Lae by 8 March, the Islanders’ contribution to the defence of the Strait was expanded. As if in response to the first Japanese air raid on Horn Island on 14 March 1942, enlistments of Islanders leapt from 115 to over 730 by the end of the year. By 1943, recruiting parties scouring the islands were unable to find additional recruits.

Jim returned to Australia after the war and was discharged from the Army in late 1945. Len Waters enlisted in the RAAF in August 1942. After initially training as a flight mechanic, he transferred to air crew training and was promoted to Sergeant on 1 July 1944 and to Flight Sergeant on 1 January 1945. Len was determined to fly and studied hard to pass his flight crew training course. His efforts were rewarded when he was selected as a fighter pilot, becoming the first Aborigine to do so. He saw action against the Japanese in Dutch New Guinea and in Borneo before the end of the war.

Whites Accuse Aborigines of Disloyalty Like the Australian defence force facing the dilemma of whether to open enlistment to non-Europeans, black Australians also faced a dilemma as a result of the war. Bearing in mind their marginal status within the Australian community, should they support or Below: The Army created and administered settlements for its Aboriginal workers and their families in the Northern Territory. Once established, these provided opportunities for the Army to deliver a range of services including health care, organised sport, entertainment such as film nights, access to Army canteens and modest education for children.

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An annotated bibliography of the United States Marines in American fiction by Truman R Strobridge


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