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From the docks at Cairns we moved to an area along the Little Mulgrave River west of Gordonvale.  The site for our camp was ideal, flat land and right along the river, where I knew there had to be some good fishing. Pyramidal tents were put up and we settled in. Unfortunately no one had asked if it was going to rain, and boy, did it rain. I was awakened by the whooping and yelling around me, leaping from my cot to find out what was happening, I was up to my knees in water and it was getting deeper, barracks bags, boots and socks were floating everywhere, and the river was rising fast. It was a mad scramble to collect your gear and feel your way in the dark to the high ground that lay to the north. 

Plodding barefoot (there was no time to put boots on) we settled in small groups to await daylight. Though it was still raining, we lay down on the wet ground with the rain pelting us, and waited it out. Morning came and with daylight the rain stopped. Everything looked bright until someone noticed a large black leech clinging to his ankle. To our surprise we were covered with them, sucking on our necks, hands, ankles, feet, face and other places where they had found their way inside our clothing. We were a bloody mess.  would cause it to fall off. After removing the leeches by applying the burning end of a cigarette,  we made a naked dash back to the high water we had moved from the night before, and washed the blood from our bodies.

After a C ration breakfast we moved to a new camp site and spent the day cutting brush to clear the area and set up tents.

Chet Nycum,
"G" Co.




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