In 1942, very few people had heard of Horn Island in the Torres
Strait. By the end of 1945, it was well known to many Allied troops and
airmen and they recognised the importance of this island base. Horn Island
was the first and most frequently attacked target in Queensland and was
the most-northerly Allied airbase in Australia. As such, it was utilised
by thousands of aircraft, both American and Australian.
Many aircraft required the facilities of the base, and the defence of
the Army, as they travelled north on bombing raids against the Japanese
Conditions for Australian and American troops and airmen were harsh, in
the tropical heat, with poor food, water rationing, air raids, diseases
prevalent to the area and an island to defend with inadequate numbers.
Few Australian knew of this service on this ‘Forgotten Isle’,
and sadly few know of it now. The men and women who served on Horn Island
remember the base, the conditions, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice
and the camaraderie of those who share their privations.
Through the words and images of this book, discover the role Horn Island
played during a time when Australia faced its greatest crisis. A time
when the Torres Strait was at the front line of that crises and relied
upon the services of the young men and women of Australia and America.
For the first time a historical record of Horn Island and its role in
World War Two has been documented. The Author draws upon both personal
and archival records to paint the complete picture.
Vanessa and Liberty Seekee live on Horn Island and are well-placed to
research the World War Two sites.
Their resort contains a museum where all available material is kept,
so that the service of Australian and Americans are not forgotten.
When veterans of the Torres Strait Defences return to visit their old
camp and work sites, Vanessa is able to capture their memories for posterity.