During the Pacific War, this Australian Army unit was one of eight engineer
and one Australian infantry companies, that was subjected to the extremes of
climatic and geographic conditions in New Guinea.
Their task commenced at a time when the Allied command was faced with the
dire threat of an invasion of Australia by the swiftly-advancing Japanese armed
The project was for engineers to build the 'Bulldog-Wau Road' from the south
coast of New Guinea to the battlefront at Wau. It was needed to provide a vital
supply line for our defending troops who were courageously withstanding a savage
onslaught by the Japanese.
In 1945, the CRE Colonel Reinhold, acknowledged, 'the loyalty of the sappers,
officers and men alike, is beyond praise. They toiled, sweated and froze in
surroundings of indescribable difficulties ... they were told the road was
essential to the furtherance of the Commander's plans ... and for the security
of the troops north of the Own Stanley Range. Whilst such men live there is
reason to be confident of the future of Australia.'
The conditions on the Owen Stanley Range, under which engineers worked and
lived, forged a lifelong spirit of comradeship and mateship that has endured
over the years. A unit of 251 men at full strength, demonstrated a commitment to
each other and to our country in wartime that was maintained when peace came.
Since the war they have participated in every Anzac Day march since 1946 and
again proudly commemorated the Spirit of Anzac, when they celebrated their 60th
anniversary of their reunion in 2006.
Illustrations and Maps
Part 1. Early history 9 Field Company R.A.E. [A.I.F.]
Part 2. 1942 a critical time for Australia
Part 3. The strategic Bulldog-Wau Road
Part 4. Edie Creek - Wau - Sunshine - Laubu
Part 5. Lae - Finschhafen - Jacquinot Bay
Part 6. 9 Field Company R.A.E. [A.I.F.] Home Leave
Part 7. Chronology Second World War and the surrender
Part 8. Return to New Guinea in 1984