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A thread where ex PNG geriatrics lapuns and long longs can live in the dim distant past.

Where tall stories are accepted as fact.

War stories are applauded.

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PNG Ples Bilong Tok Tok

Old 20th Nov 2004, 02:09
  #21 (permalink)  
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Heehee speaking of those that were fond of a few does anyone remember Phil the TAL bagsnatcher at Kagamuga?
Phil was in demand as a gents hairdresser.
One was wise to have yer hair cut in the morning before Phil took his lunch-break in the Kagamuga tavern .
You risked losing an ear or three after lunch.

Old 20th Nov 2004, 02:21
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Granite Belt, Australia
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Not Phil the Continental Hairdresser that ended up in POM?
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Old 20th Nov 2004, 02:48
  #23 (permalink)  
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Animal I dont know where he went there was nothing "continental" about Phil yer got a short back and sides but it beat the hausbois efforts.

Old 20th Nov 2004, 10:27
  #24 (permalink)  

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Thumbs up

Thanks Chuck, I should've guessed! We probably shouldn't have named names here...
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Old 21st Nov 2004, 09:32
  #25 (permalink)  
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I remember the time... the TAA Mess seeing Capt Mal S. poor a beer down the piano when he hit a wrong note (which was frequently) during his rendition of "Yellow Bird"... Capt Guria fall off his bar stool whilst singing about his "Bready Basket" and talking about his "humble opinion"... and Jumbo Dave making the ceiling fans turn the wrong way... many, many times

... when all that was required in getting a PNG driving licence was to reverse the Morobe Police Supt's car from the kitchen door to the bar door at the TAA Mess whilst it was raining!

... when the Lae Manager of TAA had to come around to the Mess at some ungodly hour in the mornings to close the bar! Some inconsiderate people were complaining about the noise.

... when we had to provide names of all attendees at parties in any of the dongas (proved interesting reading at times!)

... when you were told by Mess resident female staff the next morning of the subject of your slide show was the previous night. Blush Blush.

... of the amount of fund raising we did to build that pool at the Mess (and I never got to use it due to transfer to MEL)

... when Lae airstrip was closed and we had to use Nadzab for the DC6B. I think it's the only flight I've had (LAE-NZB) where the taxiing times were longer than the flight time. Where Check-in, ATC, etc. were all under canvas and the bloody DC6B skippers used to love turning so that we received the full benefit of their exhaust!!!

... when it took 2 days to drive LAE - HGU (before Kagamuga was even thought of) and having to be towed by 'dozer over the Kassam Pass.

... of being a Cabin Attendant on a DC3 charter from POM to Minj full of single ladies for the Whagi Valley Ball at the Minj Golf Club. The only time I've seen lady wall flowers. We called all the females ladies in those days! By breakfast time a few of the guys had fallen asleep (how strange) in chairs just a few yards in front of the main doors of the club and a few other guys had bets to see who could miss these guys with a tee shot off the top of a XXXX stubby - also without breaking the bottle. No guys hit and no bottles broken. Beds were palliasses in the local government office so the Capt (Peter C.) and F/O (John B.) decided to go to HGU for a sleep. They forgot to leave the catering stuff behind so we had to clean that on their return - thus running pretty close to last light on the return flight to POM. Who cared - we had the ladies?!

... when I hadn't loaded the barf bags on the last leg from GKA to LAE early on Monday morning. A guy was struggling to keep his weekends drink/food down and all I could find was a clear cellophane chip/crisp bag. It did the job but he wouldn't give it to me to dispose of as his false teeth was in it. I can still smell Buka Meri!!

You can guess I was based mainly in Lae... and all this happened in the mid 1960's.

I'll stop raving now.

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Old 23rd Nov 2004, 06:59
  #26 (permalink)  
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Any of you blokes spent any/much time on Buka/Bougainville?, and more specifically ever visited a place called Tinputz? Any tips on what it is like? Size wise would it be like Vanimo, Saidor or...Mumeng?

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Old 25th Nov 2004, 04:30
  #27 (permalink)  
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Tinputz. Unless there has been a population explosion, you can probably count the population on one hand.

Tinpis. That picture of a blaus na lik lik meri long ples balus long Goroka........ Bit of further information: Been carrying on an email dialogue with Cplane as he suggested the SAAB Safir was VH-BHG, not VH-RHG and that VH-BHG was still operating in Victoria:

Aircraft : SAAB 91C
Serial Number : 91-276
Aircraft Type : Aeroplane, Tricycle-retractable
Max. Takeoff Weight : 1215 kg
Engine : LYCOMING O-435 (Reciprocating)
Number of Engines : 1
Fuel : Gasoline
Certificate of Registration : XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Certificate Holder Address : XXXXXXXXXXX
: Victoria
Postal Code : 3805
Certificate Category : Normal
Certificate Issue Date : 19-January-1988
First Registr. Date : 10-June-1955
Operational Class : General Aviation

In the end and to settle the arguement, I called Bobby by phone in Sydney, who confirms BHG was his SAAB Safir and the registration was changed from RHG to BHG when he sold it!

Reference here give the registration changes and dates of the aircraft. Even a picture:

The SAAB 91A had a Gypsy Major engine, but the 91C VH-BHG definately had a Lycoming O-435.

Interesting innit?

Last edited by Torres; 25th Nov 2004 at 06:20.
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Old 25th Nov 2004, 05:45
  #28 (permalink)  
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I bet Bobby was plucking the buttons out of the seat in that thing on more than one trip !
Stiill old Laurie operated a 172 for years out of Lae (ARK)?
Old 25th Nov 2004, 06:20
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Queensland
Posts: 2,409
Cplane. What's the logo with Crown on the left hand side, any idea? Bobby's autobiography has a similar logo in it, which is a cross between the RAAF logo with an anchor superimposed. I wonder whether that is the same logo.........??

Tinpis. Laurie had ARK but he also had another weird and wonderful aircraft in the early 50's, but I can't recall what it was! Was it a Curtis Robin???? It was a rather unique "thingie", just as Bobby's Butler Bat was unique.

I should stop this....... This is exactly the same interesting research I started 20 plus years ago ..... which lead to the "Balus" trilogy......

Troppo. I lived on Bougainville 30 years ago. I don't think you can go to Tinputz now ........ unless I guess, you have access to a Cessna Citation.....
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Old 25th Nov 2004, 07:04
  #30 (permalink)  
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In 1998 it was possible to travel by rough road from Buka (after negotiating the Passage!!) to Tinputz.

Expat population was 1 - a building type teacher from Adelaide with Ausaid I think. He even had to build his own house when he got there. He enjoyed R & R in Buka!!!

The Australian Army used to pass through there on irregular occasions... you know, just checking up.

The airstrip was brought up to some sort of Twin Otter standard in 1998, but operations were restricted to when the BRA said it was OK to operate.

Bullets were known to fly around - again, at irregular intervals.

Ausaid people visit to see where our money is spent - enough said on that!

For all that the village type people were very happy to see an expat... now I said that was in 1998. Don't know what it's like now.

If you're going there set out with a mindset that you're going to enjoy it otherwise you'll go troppo easily.

p.s. It was an alcohol free province then - except for the stuff smuggled in from Solomon Islands and POM.
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Old 25th Nov 2004, 09:07
  #31 (permalink)  
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alcohol free province??? wot? no brown bottle?
tough call!...
thanks for your post
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Old 25th Nov 2004, 10:05
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I believe it has something to do with the Royal family in Sweden, I have blurred memories of that, I'll get the answer tomorrow.
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Old 25th Nov 2004, 10:49
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1999
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Geeze, Animalclub, what were you doing there in 1998? Not into a Citation charter, I hope?

Perhaps someone can help with this one? I found a very brief reference on the internet, to Brian Walker's autobiography simply called "Black Jack". Can't find any reference on where the book may be available.

Now, I've been bored stless on more occasions than I care to remember with Blackjack's war stories (not to mention the foul stink of that bloody twist tobacco he used to smoke), but it would be interesting to buy and add the book to my aviation and PNG library.

Anyone know if the book is available and where from?

And talking of Blackjack Walker reminds me of a certain H4 registered Baron, a Cairns - Port Moresby ferry flight, VFR flight plan, the airstrip on Fishman's island and a 44 gallon drum of Avgas.......

Or another Baron ferry flight, storming out on Customs at Daru and having the cops meet him on arrival at Goroka.......

Sad the old fart has gone. There was something unique about Blackjack. Thank God!
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Old 25th Nov 2004, 12:06
  #34 (permalink)  
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Try a search on this site:

I have found it useful in tracking down out of print books.
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Old 25th Nov 2004, 21:51
  #35 (permalink)  
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Can't find any reference on where the book may be available.
Try the Pacific Book House run by the McGraths (ex PNG). They specialise in selling out of print books (including aviation) on PNG. Goto:

Cheers QSK?
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Old 25th Nov 2004, 22:44
  #36 (permalink)  
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Or another Baron ferry flight, storming out on Customs at Daru and having the cops meet him on arrival at Goroka.......
I once flew into Daru from Cairns and had to wait while the police went into town got the Customs agent out of the lock up and brought him to the strip.

Black Jack " VFR" in a pig departing Bankstown for Gove while other IFR traffic unable to get into Bathurst ,Orange etc.
Approaching Charleville getting his mate in FSU to get his "groceries" as hes going straight through to Gove.

Old 26th Nov 2004, 00:24
  #37 (permalink)  
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QSK thanks fpr the link have just ordered Balus 3 from them.
Old 26th Nov 2004, 04:05
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Granite Belt, Australia
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I seem to remember escorting a "Black Jack" around POM airport looking at the locations of various war time buildings etc... I think they were looking at various locations to film a documentary on his life. Is this the same "Black Jack", and what was the name of the documentary?

I seem to remember (old age creeping in) also that diver Bruce Johns(t)on, a GV pilot, went down on "Black Jack's" aircraft (be nice!) that was in the sea off the southern coast of Papua to the east of POM... which also appeared in the documentary.

Please tell me that I'm not confused.
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Old 26th Nov 2004, 07:31
  #39 (permalink)  
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Animal, you must be confused. Don't think Blackjack ever took a dunking. He is Bobby Gibbes old Air Force mate - think he made Group Captain. They were both Court Marshalled for illegally flying grog into Morotai in Spitfires in 1944.

Blackjack went on to be a test pilot for de Havillands in the 50's and 60's, mostly on Canberras. He visited PNG often but don't think he ever worked as a pilot in PNG for any length of time. He had over 130 type endorsements!

He's on the right below.

He had a disgusting habit of rolling the cheapest, most foul smelling Muruk twist tobacco in the PNG Post Courier and lighting up anywhere.........

He was a legend in his own lunch time - a laugh a minute. Never worried about technicalities like an instrument rating or holding a valid license for the country of registration of any aircraft he ferried.

I could tell you some wild stories about Blackjack.......

He fell off the perch maybe 10 years or so ago.

I didn't know he'd written an autobiography until I found a Google reference a few days ago.

Found Blackjack's war details: Born 1913, enlisted RAAF 1935 made Group Captain, won the DSO.
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Old 26th Nov 2004, 10:04
  #40 (permalink)  

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The aircraft BJ dived on...and I have since too, was the B17 'Blackjack' which ditched off Raba Raba (Cape Vogel/North Coast between Tufi and Gurney) on the way back from bombing Rabaul. It was piloted by a chap who went on to be the very first 'Marlboro Man' and while very old he came to PNG after BJ and 'Bubbles' Pierce found his B17 in 1988ish. The original intention was for him to dive the wreck as part of the doco but it was decided that it was too high a risk, despite him being in remarkable shape for a man his age. The wreck is in excess of 140' down. Thus the film crew filmed BJ sitting in the pilots seat and a still of same was in National Geographic.

BJ is now an F28 Captain at PX and one of my best mates...sadly neither of us dive as much as we used to...still I think we're both lucky to have survived bends free from some of our more adventurous dives in the vicinity of 300' on compressed air
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