New Guinea Camp Life

This week, the US National Archives posted a rare video that was shot and later put together by Lt. Col. Ken Gerrish of his time in New Guinea from 1942-1944. Head over to the National Archives blog for the back story and watch the video either here or on their blog.

17 thoughts on “New Guinea Camp Life

  1. As a footnote

    Mark White is a precious contributor to one of my blogs.

    Mark White’s father was a ground crew with RCAF 403 Squadron.

    This home movie will remind him of the wonderful work these men did under adverse conditions.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So good documentary.

    About Welch taken from Wikipedia

    After Pearl Harbor, Welch returned to the continental U.S. to give war bond speeches until being assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron of the 8th Fighter Group in New Guinea. Despite his aerial victories on December 7, 1941, Welch was dissatisfied with flying the poorly performing Bell P-39 Airacobra. When asked by a journalist what aspect of the P-39 he liked, then seven-victory ace George Welch said, “Well, it’s got 12 hundred pounds of Allison armor plate.” This was a reference to the center mounted engine rather than actual armor plating. When Welch inquired as to when his squadron (the 36th FS) would receive P-38s, he was told, “When we run out of P-39s.”[1] He repeatedly appealed to be assigned to the 80th Fighter Squadron (which flew the Lockheed P-38 Lightning) until he was granted a transfer. Between June 21 and September 2, 1943, flying a P-38H, Welch shot down nine more Japanese aircraft: two Zeros, three Ki-61 Tonys, three Ki-43 Oscars and one Dinah.[1] Welch flew three combat tours (a total of 348 combat missions with 16 confirmed victories, all achieved in multiples) before malaria retired him from the war.[1]


  3. I didn’t have the time to watch all of it but native life was sure basic; a WWII combat vet and neighbor told me a couple of stories. But the footage of the P-38s, B-25’s and amazingly the P-39 (still operating) was cool… and those cowboys with their .45s….


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