Stonewigg Haita - Oral History interview recorded on 20 May 2014 at Hanau, Northern Province, PNG


Mr Stonewigg Haita tells the story of his father-in-law, Haita Perija and his brother Heviki Perija who worked as carriers during the battle of Buna-Sanananda in 1942 when the famous George Silk photo of George Whittington and Raphael Oembari was taken.



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.

This is interview number 8, Stonewigg Haita, the son-in-law of Haita Perija, who was a carrier during the war.
Personal historical grounds of Haita Perija during the Second World War. Buna/Siremi battlefield. During the time, at the field of Buna/Siremi, Haita Perija who was a carrier, the brother of Heviki Perija, they both worked side by side.
Close range fire exchange, Japanese with Australia, our soldiers George Washington was injured. At the field of the battle, Haita Heviki somehow went into the flaming smoky area, and held onto the arms of George Washington. At that minute, a hanky from the pocket of the solider was picked up by Haita Heviki and tied one of his eyes, and held him out from the battlefield.
As soon as he walked out, on the way, he and the soldier took his in-law, Noah Jiwoko [?] where he was to help Oembari to carry the dead body. By the time Oembari was at the end of the hand with George Washington, he was in the media by the photographer. Thank you very much.

Have you got any other further comments to make because you have covered almost what needs to be said.

Thank you. At this very moment we are looking at the fuzzy wuzzy program and we are to process a book or a story or a [film?] where the fuzzy wuzzy will give us in many ways, to cater us, to fund us, in any way. In the first place how did it go that it's going but we are to the truth, to set I hope, need a help, as a carrier, as today we are the grandchild of those people. With the hope coming in, interviewing, we hope that this will lead us to the light where we will be very happy in the future and I am filled with joy in my heart, thank you very much.

Thank you Stonewigg Haita for your time.

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“Stonewigg Haita - Oral History interview recorded on 20 May 2014 at Hanau, Northern Province, PNG,” Voices from the War, accessed April 14, 2024,