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C-47A "Flying Dutchman" 41-18564 Door Diary
A chilling legacy of the crew's ordeal was recorded on the aircraft's toilet door in pencil, starting the day of the crash on November 10, 1942. Notes were made about the weather, their optimism, the deaths of crew members and home are recorded. The last entry was written on January 1, 1943.

The diary door was retrieved on a second trip to the crash site cadet patrol officer (kiap) J. Absolom who transported the door back to Port Moresby. it was exhibited at the PNG Museum. The writing on the door, which now resides in the USAF Museum, is here tabled in its entirety:

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Crashed 1.30 pm Tues. 10 Nov 1942

Tue 10 – 17 men alive

Wed 11 – 16 men alive

Thur 12 – 4 men started for help

Sat 14 – tried to put up balloon

Sun 15 – cracker and cheese

Mon 16 – 4 men started for help due south – leaves 8 men left

Tue 17 –small piece of cheese

Wed 18 –chocolate bar

Thur 19 –found one chocolate bar

Fri 20 –1/3 can tomato juice

Sat 21 – 1/3 can tomato juice

Sun 22 – drank last 1/3 can of tomato juice

Mon 23 – last cigarette – even butts

Tue 24 – first day – no rain

Wed 25 – 2nd day – no rain

Thanksgiving Thur 26 – rain today also clear in morning

Fri 27 – buckets full water this morn still got our chin up

Sat 28 – clearest day we have had

Sun 29 – nice clear day. Boy we’re getting weak still have our hope

Mon 30 – still going strong on imaginary meals

December Tue 1 – My My ! Summer is here – went to Spring today

Wed 2 – just slid by but Boy it rained

Thur 3 – kinda cold and cloudy today – still plenty hungry. Boy a cig would do good.

Fri 4 – Boy nothing happened just waiting

Sun 6 – Had service today. Still lots of hope.

Mon 7 – year ago today the war started. Boy, we didn’t think of this then

Wed 9 – Cloudy. God is looking out for our water supply

Thur 10 – Just thirty days ago. We can take it but it would be nice of someone came

Fri 11 – Cold rainy day today. We would like to start out before Christmas

Sat 12 – Fairly nice day – still plenty of water

Sun 13 – beautiful morning everyone has high hopes

Mon 14 – Waiting

Tue 15 – waiting

Wed 16 – new water place today

Thu 17 – running out of imaginary meals. Boys shouldn’t be long in coming now, 6 more shoping [sic] days

Fri 18 – Nice and warm this morning. Rained this afternoon.

Sat 19 – pretty cold last night. Cold this morning too. Water pretty low, five moe [sic] days to Xmas.

Mon 21 – Plenty of water

Tue 22 – Rained all three days

Wed 23 – thinking about home and Christmas. Still hoping.

Thur 24 – Tonite is Christmas eve. God make them happy at home.

Fri 25 – Christmas Day

Mon 28 – rain every day

Wed 30 – Johnnie died today

Fri 1 – new year’s eve

Pat, Mart, Ted

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