This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: MGH 4383).


Air-to-ground shots over the Coral Sea, flying from Brisbane in Australia to Ward's airstrip, Port Moresby, New Guinea, April 1944. Shot from inside (probably a civilian Short S23 Empire flying boat) aircraft lands on harbour waters and ties up. Shot of flying boat at anchor. Airborne again in another aircraft, various shots of sea and green hilly terrain, the plane lands on airstrip (Ward's?). US personnel on ground - another change of aircraft. Airborne over high mountainous country to Finschhafen, New Guinea. On the airstrip C-47 aircraft are seen parked and taking off. William Courtenay, beside aircraft, removes his hat. Examples of aircraft nose art. Personnel loading kit into aircraft. Black US soldier sprays against mosquitos. Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, commanding 6th US Army, meets war correspondents (including Courtenay). Group shot of Lieutenant General Krueger and correspondents. Parked C-47 aircraft. US trucks and jeeps with personnel nearby. Men queue outside an American Red Cross mobile canteen. The camera pans across a group drinking and smiling. A C-47 taxies by. More aircraft nose art. P-47 Thunderbolts parked on airstrip, with pilots and ground crew, display nose art.

Airborne again (with RAAF) to Goodenough Island (off Eastern tip of New Guinea). Over airfield and landing. Large painted sign of woman and bottle stating, 'It's all yours', with the note '6th malaria survey' at the bottom. Pan of airfield with mountains in the distance. Parade of US troops (1st Corps, 6th US Army) under Lieutenant General Robert L Eichelberger. Lieutenant General Walter Krueger awards battle streamer to 1st Corps; he is followed by Lieutenant General Eichelberger. Shot of the two Lieutenant Generals together; Krueger (left), Eichelberger (right). Pan of village with thatched roofs.

At sea, with men at various duties and at ease: manning Oerlikon guns, relaxing, playing cards. Large convoy surrounds the ship (presumably the invasion convoy from Goodenough Island and Finschhafen 19th April to New Guinea). White Ensign (Royal Australian Navy) flying. Landing craft (LCIs) slung alongside the ship. (In black and white), showing onboard a crowded LCI as it moves towards shore - probably Tanahmerah Bay, 25 miles west of Humbolt Bay on 22 April - (brief shot of Courtenay wearing a helmet), activity on a very crowded and narrow beach, men of the 24th US Division digging in, banner reading 'Div. HQ' (black and white sequence ends). LVT2 Water Buffalo with men aboard moves along the coast in the Humboldt Bay area (Hollandia itself is in an inner bay, although the whole area was given the name Hollandia by the Americans.). A dead dugong (seacow) is hauled aboard, examined and dropped back over the side.

Airborne from Port Moresby over mountains and rivers. On the ground, views of airfield and road (possibly north of Nadzab area). C-47 flies over to land. Shot of C-47s parked on the edge of airfield. Temporary dock with supply ships moored. Tented accommodation alongside. Three US Mustangs parked at edge of the airfield. Pan of US personnel standing in front of sign stating, 'Law west of the Markham' (location is therefore northern New Guinea). Scenes of wrecked US and Japanese aircraft, followed by pan of a bay with US occupied settlement on the shore. Military vehicle activity on the road. Two black US soldiers walk from a large thatched dwelling with a sign, 'American Red Cross Enlisted Mens Club'.

B-24 Liberators ready for take-off and B-25 on runway (Nadzab?) - apparently to deliver supplies to airstrips in Hollandia/Sentani area, where troops had been cut off by a landslide. Scenes from inside Liberator as it takes off. Views over mountains, rivers and countryside. Other Liberators seen air-to-air in formation. Interior shots of crew and gunners. Aircraft flies low over bombed airfields, showing extensive damage done to Japanese aircraft on the ground. Shot from aircraft of wheel down as Liberator comes in to land. Crew stand in front of aircraft, pose for the camera.

In the air again, this time flying alongside a C-47. Views of sea, inlets and hills. Airstrip seen from the air, as the aircraft positions itself for landing. Touchdown as C-47 lands on airstrip. Crew unload C-47 and examine captured Japanese swords. Nose art on C-47s. US personnel (with Courtenay in middle of group in battle fatigues) examine a shot up Nakajima aircraft, as others unload a C-47. A line of C-47s on the airstrip, parked ready for take-off. US soldier and colleague with camera. Men queue for food served from a field canteen set admidst wrecked Japanese (probably Nakajimas) aircraft. William Courtenay is seen eating, leaning against one of the aircraft, other men are seated around. Sign, 'MASS - Dutch New Guinea Branch'. Views of wrecked aircraft among the trees, with tents erected between them. On board a vehicle as it moves along a muddy track. Soldiers move up.

Lieutenant General Eichelberger on board a landing craft as it pulls away from shore. He arrives at a larger vessel and climbs aboard. Offshore, with other vessels and many small islands, or promontories, visible (this is probably the Humboldt Bay area, as a large number of ships are seen in a bay). Eichelberger waves at passing (empty?) landing craft. Stars and Stripes fly from vessel, as Eichelberger's landing craft lowers its ramp and comes ashore. Clearing trees and other activities in the beachhead area, while Eichelberger is shown around (probably the landing beach in Humboldt Bay) by Major General Irving, commander 24th US Division. Japanese prisoners are seen in a compound (very dark shot).

Amateur colour film shot by British journalist ( Sunday Times, Sunday Chronicle, Daily Graphic), William Courtenay.


Summary: Tanahmerah Bay was undefended and at Humboldt Bay the defenders were mainly administrative troops who, rarely for the Japanese, retreated inland. The few captured might be those seen at the end of the film.




Technical Data

Running Time:
55 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Courtenay, William