Dixie Woiwa - Oral History interview recorded on 20 May 2014 at Hanau, Northern Province, PNG


Mr Dixie Woiwa tells the story of his father and grandfather who worked as carriers during World War Two for the Australians and Americans.



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 the first task for my father as a war carrier for the Australians and the Americans. He was carrying bombs and other ammunitions from one camp to the other.

Number two, my grandfather worked behind each soldier as a support carrier. Number three, he used to open the packages of cartridges, bombs and other ammunitions and handed them over to the frontline soldiers to fight the Japanese. That task was carried out when the soldiers were hiding behind the holes and trenches.

The carriers were inside the trenches and they were distributing the ammunition to the soldiers who were standing and firing up on the ends of the trenches.

As the Japanese soldiers were shooting at us, we were able to avoid the bullets and our soldiers were smart shooters who opened fire onto the bodies of the Japanese soldiers.

My grandfather carried the wounded American and Australian soldiers to the base hospital at Siremi.

These were the live soldiers but those who were dead were all loaded onto the vehicles and taken to the Dobuduru airport to be carried away.

Those who were not severely wounded were given first aid and they returned to duties at the frontline battles.

Those who were given the first aid treatment at Siremi but those soldiers who had serious wounds they were carried to the Dobuduru headquarter hospital.

At that time, my grandfather told me that he was involved in two important tasks. One, the American and Australian soldiers were standing at the edges of the trenches, while the carriers were hiding behind the holes and supplying ammunitions to the soldiers.

So my grandfather told me that the soldier’s job was to shoot at the Japanese enemies and the task of the carriers to make absolutely certain that they supplied arms to the soldiers.

The second task my grandfather had to perform was towards the end of the war, the carriers after having stood behind the soldiers and supporting them, they returned to their villages.

And the bodies were so many, I am unable to count. At the time my grandfather was telling the story and the vivid description of the dead soldiers, I cried when my grandfather told me the story.

I was deeply moved by the way my grandfather told stories of his eyewitness accounts during the war.

That’s the story of the war carrier by the name of Hiviki Pehija.

When the first heavy bomb shells fell everybody ran naked and hid behind the trunks of trees.

They did not have food and these heavy fighting there was no time to rest and eat.

It was a hopeless situation where nobody could offer any support at all. It was a frightening situation and everybody ran for their lives.

My grandfather was a married man and he had one daughter and that time when the war reached our place.

They were at the care centre and the food was rationed to these places by the ANGAU administration.

The supply of rations included tinned meat, flour, rice, sugar, tea and other things. There was no supply of vegetables from the garden.

Raphael Oembari was fourth generation and my grandfather was the fifth generation. Raphael Oembari was an elder and my grandfather was from the younger generation. Raphael Oembari was from another clan and my grandfather was from a different one. I am number six and I told my grandfather’s story who is from the fifth generation.

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“Dixie Woiwa - Oral History interview recorded on 20 May 2014 at Hanau, Northern Province, PNG,” Voices from the War, accessed April 14, 2024, https://pngvoices.deakin.edu.au/items/show/322.