Bill Murphy

'They were wonderful. You know, they were really wonderful.’

26 June 2020

Today we remember Bill Murphy, who flew essential goods and equipment to our troops fighting in the jungles of New Guinea. Bill recalls how the New Guinea natives protected them and saved many Australian lives.

Bill Murphy — They were wonderful. You know, they were really wonderful.

Bill Murphy audio file (MP4 23.81 MB)

Bill Murphy audio script

75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War

Audio actuality

“Fellow Citizens, the War is over” — (The Hon J B Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia)

August the 15th marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Around one million Australians enlisted to serve from a population of just seven million.

Australia Remembers Bill Murphy, who flew essential goods and equipment to our troops fighting in the jungles of New Guinea.

His encounters with the New Guinea natives — otherwise know as the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels — left a lasting impression.

Bill Murphy

We've got to admire the way the Fuzzy Wuzzies really protected us, and the way they could sneak up on things, warn us that there'd be Japs ahead. I remember my first attack of malaria. They thought I had Scrub Typhus, and they went over with a magnifying glass looking for that tick, but that's where the natives came in. We would go sit down and they'd say, "Not in that clearing, master, cut the grass down — that’s where the rats play around." They saved a lot of lives by knowing that the Japanese were in a tree up there. They were so, so good and so thorough. They were wonderful. You know, they were really wonderful, and the way they helped the wounded fellas. They were a wonderful asset to us.

Saturday, August 15 marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Let’s pay our respects to that amazing generation of Australians.