The history of Australia's involvement in the Second World War 1939-45 has always been a subject of interest by reputable historians.
Be that as it may, there are always areas of conflict that have not been correctly identified and reported upon.
The situation to the north of Australia had come under the threat of the advancing Japanese forces, which had captured large tracts of land to the north of New Guinea. This advance had been achieved in the short period of some 70 days.
To accentuate the dire situation, the Japanese were bombing Darwin, landing troops at Gona, New Guinea, and advancing along the Kokoda Track with Port Moresby as their target. The seriousness of this situation warranted surety of supply to those of the front line infantry. Biscuit Bombing of supplies were not able to cope.
Another method had to be incorporated and with priority.
At the time, invasion of the Australian continent seemed imminent. In 1942 the Defence Chiefs instructed Major-General Clive Steele to solve this situation ' of supply logistics of all types, as well as taking infantry troops to shore. Shallow drafted small ships and landing craft were the answer.
Initially craft of all description were utilised to get the urgent needs of warfare into the hands of the front line troops.
This unique Army Water Transport RAE AIF formed at Chowder Bay and began training skippers, coxswains, engineers, navigators, radio operators, helmsmen, cooks and others. This newfound application of sappers ability to adapt became a successful operation creating a new hope for an immediate assurance of victory.
As the strength of the Australian Water Transport gathered so did the pace of the Australian defence forces in campaigns in the South West Pacific culminating in the defeat of the Japanese forces.
The formation of the Small Ships and landing craft, a direction of the Australian Army proved to be an outstanding tactical change by the Defence Chiefs which gave the Australian Forces the impetus to become the lynch pin of the success of the Pacific campaign in the Second World War.