About this objectThree quarter portrait of Bob in blue RAAF uniform, including forage cap. Leafy green background. Framed with a patterned frame. Brass plaque attached to bottom of portraits on the frame with "139232
LAC Robert Henry MANN
Airfield Construction Sqn RAAF WW2".
MakerAnne Marie Ingham
Medium and MaterialsAcrylic on canvas
Subject and Association DescriptionBob Mann was a member of the Volunteer Defence Corps when he was working at the Lithgow Small Arms factory and so was unable to enlist. He and a friend decided the only way to enlist was to “play up at work so the boss would let them go.” Bob joined the RAAF in an Airfield Construction Squadron in January, 1944.
These Squadrons landed at the same time as the infantry so that air support could be provided as soon as the airfields could be constructed. They operated near Port Moresby, then at Buna and Gona, Dutch New Guinea (now Irianjaya) and then Morotai, Tarakan and finally Balikpapan and Labuan Island. Bob said the Americans had all the latest equipment but the Australians often had to “make do.” There was constant danger from enemy troops and the captured Japanese were often a problem as they would attempt to escape or would attempt suicide bomb attack on planes at the airstrip. Bob and a friend managed to “hitch hike” home on planes as they couldn’t get transport papers. Bob was discharged on 17 December, 1945.
Dedicated to Robert Henry Mann
Service: Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF
Service Number: 139232
Date of Birth: 2 November 1921
Place of birth: Scone, NSW
Date of enlistment: 11 January 1944
Date of Discharge: 17 December 1945