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PORT MORESBY, Papua.
 

After the Markham Valley mission,  the 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment had an actual strength of about 1824 men, 5 warrant officers, and 140 officers.  Our camp site at Port Moresby was about seven and a half miles inland and about half a mile from the 5th Fighter Command Headquarters of the 5th Air Force.  This was a large complex with many facilities.  The closest route to the theaters at this headquarters was down a trail, over a log spanning a creek, up the hill passing a barbed-wire fence enclosing worn out airplanes waiting to be salvaged, and up a hill to the headquarters area.
 

The country was not a tropical rainforest but rolling hills with lush grasses, scattered trees, heavier along the streams.  Rainfall in this area south of the Owen Stanley Mountain is too little to support heavy tropical growth.  The trees are mostly the Eucalyptus type.

The roads were surfaced with gravel or coral.  Port Moresby, a  small town on number of small hills overlooking the bay, looked out of place in New Guinea, because it was built in open country with neat looking, painted frame buildings and homes. Native soldiers from the Papuan Battalion guarded the Australian Army Headquarters at the edge of town. When any officer passed the guards snapped sharply to the position of attention.  Even though they were barefooted you could almost hear their heels click.
 

(Extract, "Bless 'em All")

 

 

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