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Henry Mayer
Port Moresby Micro History

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Mayer with Durand bomb

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Barnett Dogtag Returned
Learn about return to vet

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Moore Dogtag Returned
Learn about return to vet

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Carl A. Hustad Artifacts
Being returned to his widow

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US Dog Tag Collection
Seeking relatives to
return these tags!

Since the age of seven, Papua New Guinean Henry Mayer has combed the hills and wartime areas of Port Moresby in search of Micro History.

Gowning Up Around Relics
I'm a Papua New Guinean, and I've lived my whole life in Port Moresby. When i was 6, we moved 17 miles out of Moresby to a farm that had been part of a hospital complex during the war, treating casualties from Kokoda, Buna and later campaigns. The large pig pens and houses (including ours) there,were built on the many remaining cement foundations from that time.

The farm owner had a large yard surrounding his home with Japanese/American   mountain, anti aircraft ,ship and heavy machine guns sited throughout. On visits there his son, several years older than me would sometimes bring out his own collection of munitions in various calibers. Being a young kid at time with that sort of influence around it was almost inevitable that i developed a interest in WWII relics.

Background
My father who had experienced the war as a 13 year old in Vienna, Austria was never happy about me wondering off into the surrounding hills alone or bringing live munitions and rusty relics home. Despite many questions he rarely spoke about the war. From the little he said i know he lost two uncles on the eastern front, while his father (named Adolph and also a corporal!) achieved local fame capturing a downed American aviator.

Combing The Hills
For more than 20 years I have gone over most of the remaining parts of old airdromes, hospitals, camps and fortifications putting in the hours/aches it sometimes takes to find a single item. In this time i have developed an interest in the individual aspect of  the war as shown in both the common and unusual examples pictured

Finding & Returning Dog Tags
Over the years, I have found many dog tags - both American and Australian that were dropped during their years in Moresby. In the 1980's I gave them to Bruce Hoy at the PNG National Museum.  Since then, I have found more and returned some of them.  The names that are uncommon and from small towns in America are the ones I have focused on returning. One story is the return of Chester Hubbard's Dog Tag, reported in this newspaper article from his hometown. Since the publication of this webpage, four tags have been returned: Charles Barnes, Gurden Barnett , Charlie H. Moore and Carl Hustad.

History In New Guinea
PNG is developing country with all the problems that go with it. As such the reality is that history and its preservation is not high on the list of priorities with many sites / relics either vanishing or neglected. This is just my own small attempt at trying to salvage individual items from sites that no longer exist or will not exist in the future. Many of these areas have today been developed or bulldozed over.

Henry Mayer Collection
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Coins & Trench Art Insignian & Badges Insignian & Badges
Insignian & Badges Insignian & Badges Insignian & Badges
Insignian & Badges Insignian & Badges Dataplates & Matchbox

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