Our tour of Cape York had come to an end or so we thought.........
Our bags were transported from the hotel on Thursday Island to the small ferry which would take us to Horn Island and the airport. We walked from the hotel as it wasn't far. I was interested to see the children arriving for High School by ferry and all sized boats.
It didn't take long to get to Horn Island which is bigger than Thursday Is and that is why the airport is there.
The Torres Strait Island People spend a lot of time on boats either fishing or travelling.
Children on their way to school by boat. They are waiting for Dad to take them.
|Gun emplacements being swallowed by the bush.|
|zig zag trenches|
The few men that were there did not have anti aircraft firepower they only had zig zag slit trenches to take shelter against bombing and strafing.
Luckily for them an American unit on their way to Darwin were able to chase off the 12 zeros and 8 bombers. However, The Japanese returned on six more bombing raids but by this time ground troops including Torres Strait Islanders, Australians and Americans had increased to 5000.
They flew on bombing raids to New Guinea.
|Many planes crashed on their return. The airstrip was too short for the big bombers. The wreckage of planes is still lying where they fell.|
The men not only had to fight the enemy but tropical illnesses as well. These men were never recognised for the effort and successes that they had. Vanessa and her husband and his family have made it their mission to rectify this state of affairs. Vanessa has made submissions to the Govt. She also organised a reunion of the American unit that was based here. The veterans were flown from USA back to Horn Island.
After the tour we returned to Vanessa's place, explored her museum and watched the documentary on the reunion she organised for the service men who were stationed here. Then we waited for her to take us back to the airport. So we had an extra day's tour than we expected.
|We were happy to be winging our way back to Cairns.|
That night we had a delicious meal at the Hotel in Cairns. Lovely tender steak cooked by yourself on a volcanic hot rock.