CHAPTER 6

White Man's Continent

IN SPITE OF the courage and buoyancy of its people, I shall always think of Australia as a tragic land. The people there keep their thumbs up and their chins up in spite of all that this war has inflicted upon them, but this sense of sadness and tragedy concealed beneath a brave exterior will stay with me always and is no doubt due to my first and most vivid impressions of the great Australian city of Sydney.

It was early on a Sunday afternoon, September 14, when I flew in over Sydney from the crossing of the Tasman Sea and found that the great harbor there had not been overrated as one of the most beautiful in the world. But the only vessels I saw in that immense sun-drenched port as we glided in from over the open sea were bashed and twisted war vessels of various sizes, undergoing repairs of damages sustained in the battle of Crete, and two great hospital ships, both painted a dazzling white and marked with huge red crosses.

"Only those who have been so badly wounded that they can never be rehabilitated for active service are being brought home," an Australian fellow passenger told me as our plane was being moored to harbor buoys. The sunlight did not seem so vivid then.

-50-

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Ramparts of the Pacific
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Illustrations xvii
  • Chapter 1 Chasing the Sun 1
  • Chapter 3 Island Steppingstones 23
  • Chapter 4 on to Down Under 32
  • Chapter 5 Far Outpost of Courage 39
  • Chapter 6 50
  • Chapter 7 the Record 59
  • Chapter 8 the Man Behind the Record 71
  • Chapter 9 Australia, Our Base 84
  • Chapter 10 Straining Imperial Ties 94
  • Chapter 11 Australia's Future 110
  • Chapter 12 What Columbus Sought 117
  • Chapter 13 Soft Spoken, Hard Hitting 131
  • Chapter 14 Java's Human Air-Raid Siren 144
  • Chapter 15 What Recompense? 153
  • Chapter 16 "Those Indomitable Dutch" 163
  • Chapter 17 Manila in October 176
  • Chapter 18 We Taste Defeat 189
  • Chapter 19 the Great Prize 201
  • Chapter 20 China Looks Ahead 211
  • Chapter 21 Ordeal for Shanghai 220
  • Chapter 22 the Inevitable Clash 227
  • Chapter 23 That Eighth Point 245
  • Chapter 24 Vulnerable at Last? 251
  • Chapter 25 Yes, the Japanese Can Fly 256
  • Chapter 26 How Diplomats "Plant" News 267
  • Chapter 29 "Not for a Thousand Years--" 299
  • Chapter 30 the Men We Fight Today 309
  • Chapter 31 with a Month to Spare 316
  • Index 323
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