John Auda Arue - Oral History interview recorded on 3 September 2014 at PNG National Museum and Art Gallery, Waigani, NCD, PNG


Mr John Auda Arue tells the story of his father who joined the Papuan Infantry Battalion during the War.



Warning: This site contains stories of war. Some of these interviews may include detailed and graphic descriptions of events and experiences that may be disturbing for some individuals.

We are interviewing John Auda, he's one of the Ward Councilors on the Sogeri Council. He'll be talking about his father, his uncle actually, but he was the one who went out of the team and he has some documents – he's going to be talking about him, about what happened. So John:
Thank you very much, this interview – I'm really interested. I'm Koiari, I'm from Sogeri valley. I want to talk about my dad, .. , he was in the war in 1942. He was .. he joined the army to .. with the Australian army, there was a mixed American army and American negroes, and they start going up to Kokoda
From 1942, world war two. Since that, they went to, along the Kokoda track until they got to Kokoda, to Buna, to Ioribaiwa, and to Buna, to Bulolo, Wau, until they reached to Bereina. From there they got the barge and came to Port Moresby. His sergeant Brian was leading that during the war. From there, the sergeant make a note for him to send that note to Australia.
I have still a copy of that recorded, which is in the Australian army record. I still have a copy of that. So, from there, I have, we have two brothers, Siama Aino, and I am the eldest brother, John Aino.
At this moment I am LLG ward councilor of Koiari. Thank you for this interview.
What was your dad doing during the war? Was he actually walking, was he a carrier, or PIB, Papuan Infantry Battalion?
Since he was working in the mess at 14 Mile, .. mess, there's a big supply mess, he was working there since they, test them, to shock [?] them
The others were shocked [?], that's why they .. to PIB, that's where he's in the war.
So he's in PIB?

Did he tell you some more stories about what he did during that war period?
Yes, he was holding the gun and he was .. the fight with the Japanese – that's what he told me. I have the story of him but I left it.
Can you remember some of those stories he told while he was a soldier with a gun?
He was the gun man, he was shot in the Japanese, until they reached Buna, and came to Bereina, and they get on the barge. That's what he told me about then.
Did he not tell you any program or whatever happened during that time when they were walking together?
Yes, they had a hard time, and he was still helping the Australian army to, he's the man who used to spy, and when he found the soldiers he used to, like he's a spyman. That's what he told me. Since he was alive.
OK, any more stories that you have about your uncle that you want to tell the team, the research team, about what he did, what he achieved after the war, while he was still living?
Yes, after that he was sick and all his health were, after that he went to Gemo hospital – leprosy, yes. All his legs and hands were like not abnormal but like to burning.
OK, thank you.

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“John Auda Arue - Oral History interview recorded on 3 September 2014 at PNG National Museum and Art Gallery, Waigani, NCD, PNG,” Voices from the War, accessed July 17, 2024,