Page 1

Angel Of Mercy Catholic Priest, Daring Pilot and Hero of Kainantu During World War Two

0|Page

By Charles Micheals


This book is provided free of charge. However, if you would like to make a gift to the ongoing work of the author and his work with Wycliffe Bible Translators and help cover the cost of producing this book and others like it, please go to: Supporting Charles and Barbara Micheals' Work With Wycliffe Bible Translators

1|Page


Angel of Mercy Catholic Priest, Daring Pilot and Hero of Kainantu During World War Two

Winter Park, Florida

2|Page


© 2012 Charles J. Micheals

Published by the Aiyura Valley Historical Society

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher.

ISBN: Pending

First Printing 2012 (Not for Sale)

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® and NIV® are registered trademarks of Biblica, Inc. Use of either trademark for the offering of goods or services requires the prior written consent of Biblica US, Inc.

3|Page


Dedication To the men and women who have given their lives to help build the nation of Papua New Guinea.

4|Page


5|Page


Angel of Mercy Catholic Priest, Daring Pilot and Hero of Kainantu During World War Two

Prologue Father John Glover was a Catholic priest during World War II who learned to fly small airplanes on short notice. He learned to fly an airplane with just 20 hours of training! He flew into Kainantu, a small remote village located in the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea during World War II (early 1942) and helped rescue many families working in the area.

Due to Father Glover’s hard work, he not only saved countless lives, but helped secure the freedom of the country. His heroics involved flying in some of the most rugged terrain on earth to rescue missionaries and their families trapped due to advancing Japanese troops. With small airplanes and without the aid of additional navigational guides Father Glover flew countless missions for many months before losing his life in a tragic accident before he was able to see the full effects of his efforts.

Through his heroic efforts of hiking nine days through mountains and swamps, he helped secure the only two small private airplanes in the highlands of New Guinea at a time when other Allied military airplanes were not available. Thus, he saved hundreds of lives, advanced the efforts of the Australian military and ensured freedom for the people of New Guinea ensnared in the grip of tyranny.

6|Page


Father John Glover (Photo courtesy of the Adventist Archives1)

1

http://docs.adventistarchives.org/docs/ST/ST19651201-V92-12__C.pdf?q=docs/ST/ST19651201-V92-12__C.pdf

7|Page


Chapter 1 The Early Years Father John Corbett Glover was born to William Hyde and Mary Ann “May” (Corbett) Glover in Mills Point in the Perth, Western Australia, Australia area on July 4, 1909. The Glover family came to Australia from Buntratty, Ireland. When John was young his family moved to Whorouly, Victoria, Australia and sometime between the end of the First World War and the 1930s the family moved to Albury, New South Wales, Australia.

John received his primary education at the Albury Christian Brothers' College in New South Wales. He continued his studies at St. Patrick’s Ecclesiastical College at Manly, a suburb of Sydney, Australia and at St. Columba’s College in Springwood, Australia. He was ordained to the priesthood on January 6, 1932 at St Patrick's Catholic Church by Bishop Joseph Wilfrid Dwyer. He was initially assigned to serve in Gundagai in New Guinea, but never made it there. After four years he was assigned in January 1936 to serve in Cootamundra. He was eventually posted to Wau, New Guinea with the Divine Word Mission in 1939.

Before Father Glover served in New Guinea, he served as a priest in Australia and it had become apparent to the parishioners of St. Patrick’s that Approximately 1914 – (L-R) Mary, Maude, John Glover

8|Page


right from the outset that in Father Glover they had gained a priest of remarkable character and personality. He quickly drew the young people of the parish round him and when they began to realize his talents they put them to use. Debating and public-speaking were soon developed under the guidance of two young school teachers, Frank Hogan and Frank Taylor. Those skills would serve him well in later life.

January 1936 - The Glover family (L-R) Des, Carmel, May (mother), Kevin (Father Kevin), Mary, William (father), John (Father John), Maude (Photo courtesy of Des Grigg)

In Australia, Father Glover organized inter-town sport and social meetings and frequently went swimming, fishing and shooting with church members. His companion on many outings was Clarrie Plunkett who called Father John “Commander” because he was able to take charge of every situation.

Here is an excerpt from Father John Glover’s diary about this interest in aviation:

One day at Cootamundra, in 1936, it suddenly came to me that I wanted to fly: that I wanted to battle with the elements and flirt with death as I’ve never wanted to do anything else before or 9|Page


since. Why? I don’t know. Something compelled me to overcome every obstacle and to persevere when it all seemed hopeless and futile. I can thank one man for my pilot’s ticket – Mr Arthur Butler of ‘Butler Air Transport Co.”

It was his machine – an Avro Avian – I learned to fly in, and his pilots who instructed me and, above all, it was his practical assistance and personal friendship that made me persevere. The first instructor was Capt. Gregory, ex R.F.C. (Royal Flying Corps), of the old fly-by-the-seat-of-yourpants school, a casual dinkum Aussie. Greg was a ‘natural’ himself, and taught me to fly rarely, if ever, consulting the instrument panel, and my first solo was done by ‘feel’ and the Grace of God. His dry sense of humour enlivened those fledgling hours. “Pilots are requested not to fly through the sausage: other pilots may need it” said he one day as I nearly collected the wind sock coming in to land.

Another day, after a long succession of bad landings, he had a little heart-to-heart monologue down the earphones, concluding with “you’re too bloody intelligent”. There was an immediate improvement. Greg and Arthur taught me to profit by mistakes, both my own and others. Then Greg left and Major Stodart, retired Squadron Leader in the R.A.F (Royal Air Force) took over.

In the opinion of one mug pilot at least he was the ideal instructor. He had long and varied experience, coupled with the ability to express himself in clear, exact terminology. He was a Doctor of Medicine, who took out a pilot’s license in 1912, served with the R.F.C. as a combatant in the 1914-18 War, winning the D.S.O. and, I think, the D.F.C. He flew out to Australia in the England – Australia Centenary Air Race. He spared no pains in imparting his knowledge and skill and I hold his memory in benediction: a great pilot and a good friend. (He has since died).

I sincerely hope he now sports his own wings. Later in N.G., using one-way strips, regardless of wind, I often thought of his words “You must land into the wind with exactitude. I repeat with exactitude”. He was a big man with big hands, but his deft, sure handling of the controls was a thing of beauty.2

2

https://pngvr.weebly.com/uploads/1/6/6/4/16642532/htt_vol_87_august_2104.pdf

10 | P a g e


As noted in his diary, Father Glover learned to fly in Albury with Arthur Butler at Butler Air Transport Co while he was a Parish Priest at Cootamundra, NSW, in 1936. He would come to Corowa and take off and land in nearby paddocks. Many Corowa residents had their first experience in the air as Father Glover’s co-pilot in his Tiger Moth. His friends in Corowa maintained a lively correspondence with him when he became a missionary in New Guinea and one in particular came under scrutiny by the authorities.

One friend in particular had made a practice of going to the airstrip, then occupied by the No. 7 Aircraft Depot during the war and took photographs of the planes as well as a lay person could. Knowing Father Glover’s love of airplanes, the information was passed on to him as a cheery news item. The censors did not look at it in the same light as the local police were contacted and there was some explaining to be done. There were no further similar news items from the airstrip3.

Father John Glover’s aircrew license (Photo courtesy of Des Grigg)

3

http://stmaryscorowa.org/2013/12/02/1978-parish-history-ch-9/

11 | P a g e


January 1938 - The Glover family (L-R) Mary, Des, Maude, Kevin (Father Kevin), May (mother), Carmel, John (Father John), William (father) (Photo courtesy of Des Grigg)

12 | P a g e


13 | P a g e


Chapter 2 New Guinea Calls In March 1939 Father Glover was called to Alexishaven, New Guinea to serve with the Divine Word Mission. With less than 100 hours flying experience, Father Glover soon found himself flying a small Klemm aircraft in New Guinea to service the churches and people in the district.

Alexishaven Roman Catholic Church, New Guinea (Public Domain)

During World War II, this Alexishaven Roman Catholic church and mission facilities was used by the Japanese to store ammunition. It was completely destroyed in the Allied bombings. Only the cross

14 | P a g e


survived by the time the Australian Army liberated the area on April 26, 1944. A hospital of the 2/15th Field Hospital was established at this location in July 1944.4

After serving in general church duties at Alexishaven for a year, in June 1940 he was appointed to take over the work of the Roman Catholic Church in Wau. A new church building had recently been built (May 17, 1940) as the work in the Wau region was expanding and young Father was needed for the challenges ahead.

Father Glover’s region of responsibility included the town of Wau, which had also recently exploded in growth due to the finding of gold in the area. The nearby towns of Bulolo and Eddie’s Creek which had also experienced growth with the finding of gold, was part of Father Glover’s territory as were the small, but growing port towns of Lae and Salamaua.

Covering all of this territory was a real challenge in 1940 as the few dirt roads that were there were often times Pacific Island Monthly - June 15, 1940 Page 15

impassable and while airstrips had been built in those areas, airplanes were few in number and those that did exist were used mainly for the growing gold exploration and processing. Oftentimes it became necessary to reach the locations Father Glover was responsible for on foot. Such was the case on Friday, September 5, 1941 when Father John Glover and John Woolley decided they needed to visit the coastal town of Salamaua while stationed in Wau they set off on a twenty-two-hour 65 to 70-mile trek from Wau to Salamaua. It was a major undertaking and afterwards was the talk of the territory and Australia as it broke by far the previous time it took to walk this distance.

Before setting out, the people who heard about this trek thought it impossible and Father Glover and John Woolley mad. Thus, a few wagers were made that the men could not make the trek in less than 24 hours.

4

https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/123363/Alexishafen-Catholic-Mission.htm

15 | P a g e


1932 - Wau, New Guinea Aerodrome (Public Domain)5

To make an impossible situation even more unlikely to be finished was the fact that the two men left not feeling 100% with each having a bout with dysentery. John was getting over the sickness while Father Glover was just facing the illness.

The men left at 12:20 am and had a full moon to light the darkened path. By 2:30 am they passed by the first of four local villages. As the approached the area they could hear the Kundu drums pounding and chorus of yells from the people. Thankfully they discovered the villagers were just letting off some steam.

From there they men started an arduous steady 20 mile climb up the nearby mountain with a nearly 6,200 foot peak. For almost twelve miles the two men got separated, but thankfully they reunited at a prearranged resting place! Already at this first stop Father Glover felt done in. He wondered why he had started out on such a journey with just the two of them with little supply! At this point, they decided together if one cracked up, the other would keep going to get help. However, even though Father Glover

5

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/228848843

16 | P a g e


was already having a beleaguered mind about the trek, he managed to summons up the fighting determination of the Glover family and the two started off again after a short rest.

The rest was enough for Father Glover to catch a second wind and although the path was full of countless turns and bends, they soldiered on. Shortly after starting walking again, a large night hawk swept down on them and gave them quite a great freight. It took a bit of time before they were able to laugh it off, thinking perhaps the worst has befallen them!

At around 3:30 am they came across a small camp where some local men had stayed up as they were eager to greet the two white men they had heard were making the trek. Even without telephones, word had reached this remote village that they were coming and so they escorted them through the village with incident!

About five hours after their first stop, the eastern sky paled and began to lighten enough for them to put their hand carried torches away. Continuing on, they had planned at daybreak to meet some men at a hut in the area who would assist them on their journey. They walked on and on with no hut in view and decided they must have passed it in the darkness, although they moon was full that night. After almost giving up hope of getting help, suddenly Father Glover yelled out, “Smoke!� An amazingly, a return cry rang out and soon a number of men came running out to greet the two men. The two men were overjoyed and so pleased. Father Glover was exhausted and laid down in a pile of tree bark and despite the tiredness, it was the softest bed he said he ever felt!

After drinking some tea that was boiled, the two men changed int o the shorts and took out their golf shoes, which would aid them greatly in the hiking that lay ahead. After catching their breath and getting

17 | P a g e


some liquid into their bodies they felt rehydrated and after a rub with “metho” (methylated spirits) they started off again like wooly lambs. As they set off, John serenaded them with song as they went along on the downward side of the mountain ridge.

The paced quickened as they walked and they were making good time by walking 5 to 6 miles per hour. Although the time passed rather quickly, the mountain mist enfolded them and it wasn’t until 11:00 am that the sun finally broke though and it did so at just the right time!

October 22, 1942 - Map of the main trails between Wau and Salamaua, Glover and Woolley likely took track 156 6

Allied Geographical Section, “Main tracks: Wau - Salamaua,” Monash Collections Online, accessed January 13, 2020, http://repository.monash.edu/items/show/30477

18 | P a g e


The track has turned treacherous and a sure and steady step was needed to wind around the cliff face with a deadly drop just inches away from their feet. Twice, while looking down, Father Glover peered over the edge to see how far the drop was and, on each occasion, shockingly ended up with one foot going over the edge. Thus, it was decided to forgo any more looks and keep all eyes on the path!

On this part of the trek it became necessary to stop every hour of two to remove the leeches with would swarm up on their legs. Each step seemed to kick them up out of the mud with their heel and removing them was bloody work!

The hike continued and finally at around 2:00 pm they passed the third of the villages. This one was nestled in a river valley. There they stripped and took a plunge and found the water almost icy cold, but still very refreshing! Happily, on the banks of the river the local villagers served their guest tea.

Although they were feeling refreshed by the stop, the stress of the hike began to take its toll. As the changed into their long-johns and the heavy walking boots, they began to pray, “Lord, you pick them up and gravity will do the rest.” Their feet were becoming very sore as the down-hill walking took its toll on their toes.

While they were cheered by thinking their journey nearly over, they also realized the worst part of the journey lay ahead. They had been walking for over 15 hours and as they left the river floor, what lay ahead was the deep, dark foreboding jungle canopy. The humidity was terrific and weighed them down emotionally. Then the rain began to fall and in came down in large buckets. It was impossible to keep the water out of their eyes, Then, Father Glover began to fade. The trip had taken worn down this “Commander” and even the strong Father wrote in his journal that he felt like a little kitten. John, on the other hand, keep going and Father Glover had all he could do to keep up.

There was Father Glover with nerves shaken, heart pounding and mind gone and yet needing to finish his trek. There was nothing to do but to, “Hang on and pray!!!”

In the rain, the track was almost impossible to find and the two men began to worry if they would make it to Salamaua. Somehow, at this point, Father Glover took on the nickname of “Pathfinder” because at each confusing spot, he was able to keep them on the right path. Some of these paths required them to 19 | P a g e


walk in creeks up to their knees, walk on slippery rocks and almost dance on the heads of a needle on some of the sharp pointed rocks. Yet they stayed on the right course.

1939 - Salamaua, New Guinea (Photo courtesy of Sue Hurrell Spargo)

“It can’t be long now.” the men said as the sun began to fade in the west. They knew that there was a village just eight miles from Salamaua and they thought they saw it in the distance. They continued on for an hour, but they were too tired to walk so crazily they began to run and partly slithering down the muddy mountain slopes. On one slope they slip down on their rear-ends with a hard thump as they reached the bottom, only to also discover while sitting in the mud that they had run out of water and at a time with darkness was enveloping them on all sides. The trek was beginning to look like it might come to a horrible end!

They continued on somehow and then, suddenly the village they had seen in the distance was upon them. They nearly cried. They asked the villagers how far it was the Salamaua and were told they would not get there that night, but in the morning hour at sunrise. Then, having all he could take, Father Glover yelled at them to shut up!!! He could take no more bad news. After a brief scuffle with what came from that statement, the two men left the village and returned on their trek to Salamaua. 20 | P a g e


Sadly, they were not able to get water before they left, but thankfully that need was met about five miles away where they found a refreshing creek. They paused to say thanks to God for this life saving water. They looked at their watches and it was 7:30 pm. They had been on the trail for 19 straight hours.

As they trudged on they were greeted by hundreds of dancing, flickering and beautiful fireflies. They lite up the night sky in such beauty, but no beauty was noticed by these two weary travelers. Continuing on, they crossed two rivers and kept hoping that the long sought-after town of Salamaua would soon be around the bend. Amazingly for almost the first time, Father Glover took the lead. Still every quarter of an hour or so, the men dropped to the ground to catch some rest. As they reach a bamboo bridge, John was so exhausted he began to crawl along the bridge as the walking was too arduous. Not only did John almost stop, but both men’s watches gave up the ghost and stopped working.

Father John coaxed John to return to his feet and he got up and began walking, almost as a dead man walking. Words never before uttered from the lips of the two men and began to creep out as the stress of the night wore on.

Suddenly, around the bend, the sight they longed to see appeared. The light on the Salamaua aerodrome appeared. They felt as those they were men in exile coming into the Promised Land! The closer they got, the worse John was feeling. His speech was rambled, his strength spent and still they had not arrived. The lights appeared too far away and soon hopelessness began to grip the men.

They struggled onward, drawing every last ounce of courage they had. They began to entice themselves with little white lies. “Only 50 yards to go now! Keep going on!!!”

Finally, by a miracle itself, the men stumbled in to the pub in Salamaua. The men inside were confounded. They could not believe these men had left Wau only that morning and even Father Glover and John Woolley could scarcely believe it was true. There they stayed for some time and drank and drank before falling into beds prepared for them.

The next day they awoke and were feeling okay. It was Saturday. Although they felt as if a month had passed by, they had completed their walk in just over a little 22 hours. It was a record that still is unlikely

21 | P a g e


broken to this day! After they accepted the congratulations from the people at Salamaua they took a plane back to Wau that same day.

Salamaua before the war (Public Domain)

The next day in Wau, the story spread quickly. Soon, they were telling their tales and embellishing the stories as truth would allow and as they went around they collected on a number of wagers that had been made. The trek had paid off quite well and all money earned went to efforts to improve the airplane that Father Glover was flying. The trek was no gambling wager, but a cleaver fund raising method to raise much needed money to continue the work Father Glover had been sent to Wau to do. The pain was worth the prize!!! 22 | P a g e


23 | P a g e


Chapter 3 The War Years Everything changed in New Guinea on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese forces attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Island. It took less than two months before the Japanese had also attacked the Territory of New Guinea and the Territory of Papua and controlled the country. Although there was a small garrison of Australian soldiers situated on the main island and the surrounding islands that made up the territories, they quickly fell to overwhelming Japanese armed forces. By March 1942, the Japanese had entered Lae and Salamaua unopposed. These towns would not be liberated until September 1943.

Father Glover joined the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles at Wau on February 14, 1942 on the same day that the civil government was suspended in the Territory of Papua and the Mandated Territory of New Guinea, by regulations under the National Security Act of 1939 after Japanese forces occupied much of the two territories. The New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (NGVR) was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. It was initially created as a unit of the Militia from Australian and European expatriates in New Guinea upon the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, before being activated for full-time service following the Japanese landings in early 1942.7 Upon his involvement New Guinea Volunteer Rifles he was given the rank of Warrant Officer II by the NGVR Commanding Officer Major W. M. Edwards. On March 7 he was given the rank of Lieutenant.8

After the war broke out in New Guinea and the town of Wau and Father Glover's church had been strafed by Japanese Zeros he helped to evacuate Europeans from the Markham Valley. This included some people from Manus Island and Lark Force who were survivors the Japanese invasion of New Britain9.

7 8

9

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Guinea_Volunteer_Rifles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Corbett_Glover

http://issuu.com/cbmicheals/docs/aiyura_valley_in_world_war_ii

24 | P a g e


Father Glover first learned to fly when he was a parish priest in New South Wales. Now, in New Guinea he began flying a rebuilt Spartan 2-seater airplane from his location in Wau. He used his base in Wau to fly people to Port Moresby. Some of his flight were from the airstrip in Kainantu. From there in 1942 he flew Bill Brechin, who had been looking after the Highlands Agricultural Experimental Station in Aiyura Valley, to the town of Wau to be sworn in as the Officer In Charge of the Central Highlands. Just before landing his plane with this important passenger the airstrip at Wau has been strafed by a squadron of machine gunning Japanese Zeros. Therefore, that route into and out of Kainantu quickly became too dangerous and so Father Glover hid the Spartan airplane in the gardens of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Mission Headquarters at Kainantu where SDA pastor Alex J. Campbell has provided safe haven.

After leaving the Spartan airplane in Kainantu, Father Glover and Hungarian Karl Nagy, the mechanic and the one who had rebuilt the Spartan airplane walked to Madang where they knew a Fox-Moth four-seater was located and was intact at the Catholic Mission's headquarters on Sek Island.

1964 - The Governor General of Australia, Lord De L'isle, visiting Kainantu with the RAAF Dakota (DC3) taxing into the parking bay of Kainantu airstrip. 10 10

https://www.pngaa.net/Photo_Gallery/HighlandMisc/ggkainantu1.html

25 | P a g e


Here is an excerpt from Father John Glover’s diary of that trek:

“I thought that this [the trek] would take about a fortnight, and I had no doubt that the end of that time would see us back in Wau with a plane capable of lifting 600-700 lbs. off Wau, and at least half that off Kainantu, in other words having double the payload of the Spartan.

So, mounted on our horses with half a dozen carriers, we set off for Madang. Our rations were very light, because there wasn’t much tinned stuff at Kainantu, and what was there was being saved, and also because we would meet supplies coming out from Madang.

There was plenty of vegetables on the plateau, and a limited number of cattle, but more were coming up from Kiapit. A beast was killed the morning we left, so we brought some steak and a few vegetables. Up until midday we followed a meandering path through the rich beautiful grass land. The natives were neither friendly nor unfriendly, though they sometimes fought amongst themselves. It was wise to go armed anywhere in this country.

We were heading for the edge of the plateau in a northerly direction, and in the afternoon commenced to descend. The track went down for a time through rain forest where we had to dismount and lead our horses – much to Karl’s relief (he was no horseman). Then we came out on a razorback ridge that led clear down into the Ramu Valley. Across from us was Shaggy Ridge, later famous in A.I.F. (Australian Imperial Force) history. We were still a long way from the valley floor when the sun dipped down behind us, but there was a hut at the foot of this ridge, and we had made up our minds to camp there.

At dusk clouds formed around us and a fierce tropical storm broke out. In a matter of seconds we were drenched by heavy rain, and vivid lightning played about us, unsettling the horses. The thunder claps were too much reminiscent of bombs too. So we dismounted and gave the horses to the carriers to lead while we pressed on to get a fire going and our steak cooking – a great hunger was on us.

About 2000 hrs (8 pm) a hut suddenly loomed up beside the track in a small gully. The rain was still falling in sheets, but luckily now it was quite warm, as we were less than a thousand feet above 26 | P a g e


sea level. The title ‘hut’ was a misnomer. It was a crazy shanty leaning to one side with a leaking roof, and no walls, so that the rain blew right through it. The question was how to light a fire. Being smokers we had kept our matches dry, but there wasn’t any dry wood in this deluge, so we chopped up part of the flooring of the shanty. This wood was dry inside. Then, crouching in the rain, we sheltered a spot just under the floor and, after many minutes, a tiny flame appeared. It looked good that little flame, but then to our horror it vanished. As we moved we slushed in water – the creek in the gully was now a roaring flood.

With feelings too deep for words we walked up the bank of the gully. However, the water subsided as quickly as it rose and, while the bois settled themselves and the horses, we got a fire going on the floor of the hut, cooked our steak and dried our clothes.

Next morning we had a few scraps for breakfast and hurried on. It’s amazing how you nearly kill yourself with the urgency to get to a destination, there to find yourself held up maddeningly by circumstances outside your control. The first few hours on horseback had ruined Karl, and now he walked leading his horse. He walked all the way to Madang and back, a long, forced march, yet he had been rejected for military service because of varicose veins.

We came to a river in the afternoon which was too fast and deep to ford. We sat there on its stony bank – some of the Madang refugees, Kenwood in charge of supplies and Rogers of W.R. Carpenters. We were pretty hungry at this stage of the game and yelled out for them to send a native over with some food. (The natives could cross a river when a white man couldn’t). So over came some tinned stuff and a packet of ‘boi’ biscuits. Maggots were disporting themselves in and out of the holes in the biscuits, but we brushed the little blokes off and downed them – the biscuits I mean. Later we crossed and found plenty of supplies. The track led down the flat Ramu Valley through high kangaroo grass as level as a wheat field. It was an ideal place for aerodromes. And so for four more days Norm and I sat our horses, and Karl strode grimly on, until we came to Bogadjim, later a big Jap base.

27 | P a g e


The last day of the journey was through rainforest of the foothills, hard going, until we came to the coastal flat. Here the track went through a rubber plantation with old gnarled trees planted during the German occupation of New Guinea, on one side, and slim young trees, their bark scarred by innumerable cuts, on the other. We camped that night in a hut on the beach, and next day went to Madang in a small schooner, a trip of about 20 miles. Journey’s end – it wouldn’t be long now we thought.

Madang was a deserted village. In peace time it was a thing of beauty, but alas! not a joy forever. The red and green roofed houses quartered by white coral paths, shaded by the green fronds of the stately coconuts, and all about the deep blue of the harbour. Now it was torn with bomb craters: houses were desolate, and silence hung heavily over all. Our destination was really Alexishafen, so on we went. A reef ran about a mile offshore for the eight miles north to another beautiful harbour. Between the mainland and the reef were about forty small islands, crowned with coconuts, and with native villages on some. Submerged reefs made it a trap for the unwary. Arriving at Alexishafen we first of all went to pay our respects to Bishop Wolf (later interned by the Japs and killed whilst being taken from Manus Is. to Hollandia). He was a fine old gentleman who lived only for his mission.

Alexishafen was a monument to missionary zeal, self-sacrifice and persevering labour. The cathedral built of N.G. hardwoods and materials obtained locally, and accommodating at a pinch 2,000 would be surpassed by few churches in Australia. Later destroyed in a bombing raid, it was valued at 100,000 pounds ($200,000) by Sydney architects. There were numerous and maddening delays, and most serious being the poor condition of the Fox itself. It was hidden in the jungle and when we uncovered it and Karl swung the prop it ‘spun nothing’, as Pidgin would put it. There just wasn’t any compression. (sticking valves due to not being used – Jim Hoile note). 28 | P a g e


The engine was in a shocking state: apparently it had been flown to a stand-still without maintenance or repair. Karl was very disappointed, and said that it was quite unairworthy, and that he could never sign it out without a major overhaul – we had neither time nor tools for that. However, it was do or die, so he decided to do his best with it, and then see what revs we could get out of it. There again the masterly skill and magic touch of Karl came into evidence. With makeshift tools he worked for days and finally got some compression in each cylinder, and enough revs to make her fly. Even then it was a sick engine, and he estimated its life at about ten hours.”11

The Fox-Moth airplane was floated thirteen miles down the coast to the Madang Harbor on a raft made from fuel drums. While working on the airplane near the northern Madang airfield, two times the Japanese staffed the airfield and so a decision was made to paint the plane using leftover camouflage paint and then fly it back to the SDA mission station in Kainantu. After this was done, Karl Nagy walked back to Kainantu to lighten the load on the airplane while Father Glover flew the airplane back there.

Here is an excerpt from Father John Glover’s diary about the departure from Madang:

“Anyway the day came and we were at the strip with the Fox, an hour before daylight. The drome was quite a good one, long with a hard coral surface. However it was overgrown with grass now, and long poles had been planted on both sides, leaving only a narrow strip down the centre, which was blocked off by obstacles. It was decided not to cut the grass lest the Japs see it and savee at once that it was in use, and hence be on our trail, and also ‘lay more eggs’ around Madang. The idea was to remove the obstacles and take off at the first glimmer of light, then replace the obstacles. Hitherto I had been considered much too inexperienced to fly a Fox, even under the most favourable conditions.

It was funny now to fly one in half light on the equivalent to a roadway lined on either side with telegraph poles. At this stage of the game I was either very confident or else past carin’ – I really can’t say which. (Jim Hoile comment. I think he had a ton of guts. I later became a pilot myself in the RAAF. In his situation my knees would have been knocking). So I taxied up to the far end and against the coconuts, spun ’er round, and let ‘er rip. It ran as straight as a gun barrel, and was

11

https://pngvr.weebly.com/uploads/1/6/6/4/16642532/htt_vol_88_oct_2014.pdf

29 | P a g e


soon airborne. With a big smile I looked down at the air speed indicator to see what speed we were making. (Jim Hoile comment. The air speed indicator is a very important flying instrument.) It probably had ‘binatangs’ or something in the pitot head. Karl or someone should have checked it by gently blowing in it prior to take off, but that can easily be forgotten). To my horror the needle remained on zero: it wasn’t working! The last thing I had wanted to do was to land amongst those darned telegraph poles, because visibility when landing a ‘Fox’ is poor, and then there was my ‘bete noir’ inexperience.

As I automatically banked over the harbour and headed back for the mountains, I was given furiously to think – to go or not to go! To fly into the mountains with their cloud and rain, and early morning mist without an air speed indicator? I banked again and came in over the coconut fronds for the landing. The watchers on the ground wondered what had gone wrong. Karl’s experienced eye noticed my flying speed just above the stall. I don’t remember much about that landing, except that the poles remained undamaged. Karl soon found the cause of the trouble – a wasp had built its mud house in the tube leading to the indicator – that ‘pilot’ business: can’t think at the moment what it is (pitot) – and had gummed up the works.

Karl ungummed them and away the Fox scampered for another go. This time the grass took a hand. It kept tugging at the undercarriage and threatening to pull the Fox on her nose. I had to pull up and go back again. The next attempt was the same. The NGVR men were getting impatient. It was now 0700 hours, and the Japs could be along any minute. I was savage with my Lady Luck, and determined to get off if it took me all day, and anyway blast the Japs. Third time was lucky and away we went.

Got across the Ramu Valley with a wary eye on the Markham in the distance on the left. (The Markham and Ramu are in the one great valley but they flow in opposite directions). All quiet and we touched down on Kainantu to the great joy of the worried folk up there. They were expecting the Japs to march straight up the Markham and climb the mountain into this healthy, fertile region. The men were either too old or medically unfit for military service, and had only a small, though varied, number of weapons. We found out months later that the Japs did set out up the

30 | P a g e


Markham, but phenomenal floods drove them back. The Providence of God seemed to be watching over us.”12

While working on the Fox-Moth airplane in Kainantu they had to add a spare tank in the Fox-Moth airplane to extend its range so it could fly to Australia if needed. After several hair-raising attempts to take off from Father Glover called A.J. Campbell over to the airplane and handed him his attaché case, after taking out his toothbrush and tooth-paste and putting them in his pocket - thus lightening his load by five pounds! They scraped through the tree tops. Thus, it was decided to fly the Spartan airplane to Mt. Hagen to get help for the stranded expats stationed in Kainantu.

Here is an excerpt from Father John Glover’s diary about this trip:

“I landed on the Government strip in the Mt Hagen Valley – Mogai. The Government post, really the Patrol Officer’s house, was set in a magnificent garden of lawns and flowers running parallel with the strip for 1,100 yards. The Catholic mission was only a few hundred yards away: Fathers Ross and Bernarding, two Americans, were there. Danny Leahy had seen or heard the plane come in from his home a few miles away on top of a hill, and he came riding down to investigate.

Danny was the only white man apart from Missionaries and patrol officers allowed to live in the Bena Bena, Wahgi or Mt Hagen areas. This was because he and his brother Mick had discovered this stoneage country about 1932. Up till then the natives, splendid physical specimens, had never seen a white man, steel or anything of that nature. Their weapons and tools were made of either stone or wood. They thought Mick and Danny Leahy were white gods. It is a strange thing that their folk-lore is very similar to ours, e.g. they have the story of Tom Thumb much the same as we have it.

The Fathers and Danny were naturally very surprised to see the Spartan and myself. I gave them the latest gossip, refueled and flew back in the afternoon to Kainantu. Coming over the government post I thought to frolic a little, so I cut the engine and put the Spartan into a steep glide straight at the huts used as offices and store houses. Then about 200 feet away I gunned the

12

https://pngvr.weebly.com/uploads/1/6/6/4/16642532/htt_vol_88_oct_2014.pdf

31 | P a g e


motor which back fired a little, and pulled out of the dive. White and brown figures left those huts in an awful hurry sprinting for the slip trenches. To see the Spartan cause such a panic was rather funny, however, on landing I was met with a certain coolness from some – my fooling they considered was not in the best of taste. I still thought it was funny.

Made a second trip to Mogai, taking some badly needed supplies. On the way back in the afternoon coming to the Chimbu Divide I could see a great black was ahead – rain and lots of it. I wanted to get back for fear that Karl and the others would think I had come to a sticky end, but ‘no see, no go’. Anyway, I circled around for half an hour, hoping for a break in the murk, but it only grew blacker. So I headed back for Mogai, which lay to the left of the Hagen Valley. As I came out of the Wahgi and bore left for Mogai, another grey-black wall of rain rose up in front, or rather swept towards me.

I couldn’t fly around it, both because of the mountains on either side and lack of fuel. Couldn’t go back of course – I could have landed but that was certain to damage, if not wreck the Dingbat, and that was out of the question. Yes, you’ve guessed it – I went into the murk. Had no blind flying instruments of course, but fortunately one of the Patrol Officers, George Greathead, had made a wide road bordered with double rows of rich-hued tropical shrubs, running for many miles out of Mogai and into the Wahgi. I had often admired it: now I blessed it. Took the Dingbat down to zero altitude, opened the throttle wide and fixed my eyes and attention on the road. Then the rain and wind hit us slewing the Dingbat quarter on to the storm, as I held it on the road.

The rain soaked me to the waist and nearly blinded me, and that darned country wasn’t flat either. Three or four times the road slipped out of sight into hollows, and then suddenly swept up over a rise. The Dingbat reacted violently. This lasted about ten minutes, and then suddenly the green grass of the drome was below and the rain lightened. I couldn’t set down quickly enough. Father Ross and Danny Leahy came up as the Dingbat was being put to bed for the night. “Did you run into some rain?” they asked casually. Next morning after the morning mist had risen, we went back to Kainantu to find that Karl, the old warrior, was not worried. He said heavy rain had come down there all afternoon, and he didn’t expect me back.”13

13

https://pngvr.weebly.com/uploads/1/6/6/4/16642532/htt_vol_88_oct_2014.pdf

32 | P a g e


Upon his return to Kainantu as Father Glover planned to use the Spartan airplane to carry Sister "Taffy" Jones and the scrub typhus patients there to the Highlands town of Mt. Hagen. On Father Glover’s first trip in the Spartan airplane with just Sister “Taffy” Jones aboard, he quickly realized that the Spartan airplane did not have sufficient power to fly several people over the nearby 7,000 foot Purari Divide near Bena Bena and so he had to return to Kainantu. On landing at the Kainantu airstrip he ran into the trip wire that had been strung across the airstrip to stop Japanese aircraft from landing there. While Father Glover and his passenger were not badly hurt, the propeller on the Spartan airplane was so badly damaged it could not be repaired.

Since there were still around fifty expatriates living at Kainantu Father Glover and Karl discussed what they should do. Father Glover proposed that he and Karl fly the Tiger Month to Mt. Hagen and then fly on to Thursday Island to alert the military of the need to evacuate the people left in the Highlands who faced the eventual arrival of the Japanese military.

Finally, on March 28, 1942, the pair left Mt. Hagen and crossed the mountains to the southern coast where they ran into some bad weather. They were forced to make a landing on a beach west of Daru with just a cup of fuel remaining. They eventually persuaded the local people to take them to Thursday Island. Enroute to the island they transferred to a passing ship and reached help.

“Their reception [in Australia] was far from the rapturous one they were expecting. No-one believed that they had flown over the Owen Stanleys in a Moth, that Nagy was not a German spy, and that Father Glover was a man of the cloth.

Despite their protestations and appeals for urgency, the suspicious Australians locked the two airmen in a cell. Then one of those remarkable coincidences occurred. When their captors radioed the mainland for instructions, the senior officer at the other end recognised Glover’s name – they had been to school together back in Wangaratta.” 14

Eventually they were released from prison.

14

A quote now from “Unsung Heroes & Heroines”, an article written by David Millar.

33 | P a g e


Upon hearing this news of a disaster avoided, the Australian Prime Minister John Curtain and Australian Army Minister Frank Forde became deeply and very sympathetically interested in helping father Glover. However, no planes were available to respond to Father Glover's urgings. QANTAS had just four airplanes left for vital work in Australia. However, finally two of these QANTAS airplanes were marked for rescue work to Mt. Hagen from Horn Island, Queensland, Australia where thousands of gallons of fuel was sent for the purpose of rescuing and helping those in the Highlands of New Guinea.

Meanwhile back in Kainantu, the Seventh Day Adventist mission station had been taken over by the Australian military and was being used as a hospital as the Japanese raids in the air had caused significant loss of life and injury. The people left in Kainantu though were not aware if Father Glover and Karl had made their destination and they talked about walking to Mt. Hagen to get help.

VH-USF behind VH-USC at Mount Hagen airfield (elevation 5,400 feet) in the New Guinea Highlands in May 1942, during the 11 day shuttle to evacuate stranded civilians and soldiers ahead of the Japanese advance. Both were painted in camouflage and operated by Qantas volunteer pilots and engineers. Father Glover was aboard this plane when it landed in Kainantu to rescue the civilians. (Photo courtesy of Qantas)

Thus, a proposal was made for Sister Jones and a few others to walk to Mt. Hagen for help. Alex J. Campbell from the Seventh Day Adventist mission at first was not convinced that they should set out for Mt. Hagen, but after he heard that some American missionaries had been imprisoned by the Japanese on Bougainville, he realized that the Japanese would not regard missionaries as neutral. The Australian army 34 | P a g e


camped in the Upper Ramu area near Kainantu also told Alex they could not any support if they stayed. Therefore, on April 10, 1942 Sister “Taffy” Jones, Ned O’Brien and Dr. McQueen and three SDA missionaries (S.H. Gander, Dave Brennan and A.J. Campbell) started their trek to Mt. Hagen, a distance of 160 miles (approximately 260 kilometers).

The day after the Coral Sea naval battle started on May 4, 1942, Captain Orm Denny and his pilots and Father Glover left Horn Island, Australia. After stopping at Bena Bena, they crossed the Gafuka Valley, went through towering mountains and the Mairi Gorge, crossed the Chimbu River and made it to the Wahgi Valley. They finally reached Mt. Hagen on May 13, 1942 as the first rescue planes arrived at Mt. Hagen to begin a remarkable airlift that took a week to finalize. What seemed impossible became most successful, thanks to a very brave and fearless man.15

After the rescue missions, Father Glover went on during the war to serve as a Chaplain for the Sixth Division of the Australian Imperial Force. After the war he stayed on in his work with the Catholic church and eventually was discharged from his work in New Guinea in 1946.

15

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Corbett_Glover

35 | P a g e


Pacific Islands Monthly - August 17, 1943, page 916 16

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-315014559/view?partId=nla.obj-315015169

36 | P a g e


Pacific Islands Monthly - November, 1943, page 2317 17https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-315019054

37 | P a g e


Pacific Islands Monthly - November, 1943, page 2418 18

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-315019054

38 | P a g e


Pacific Islands Monthly - November, 1943, page 2519 19

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-315019054

39 | P a g e


(Photos courtesy of the Daily Advertiser, 22. 1942, page and the Border Morning Mail newspaper - January 22, 1943, page 4)

40 | P a g e


41 | P a g e


Chapter 4 Beyond The Call Of Duty

Treasured Memories of Christian Kindness - by Alex J. Campbell “Father Glover is another memory of Christian kindness. He and several of us were associated later in rescue operations in central New Guinea. The war situation had grown worse. We had come to know the sound of Zero squadrons as they passed over us from Lae, flying up the Markham Valley and through the pass in the great Finisterre Range to Madang on the north coast and back to their cloud-enveloped base in the south of New Britain.

"That noise sounds different!" someone said one day. "It is different, too", my New Guinea associate and I agreed.

The Kainantu airfield adjoining our mission station was one of a very few left open. All others had been closed by standing hundreds of poles close together all over them. To our great surprise a small plane gradually drew near, circled us, and came in to land. I ran to meet the plane with some apprehension. It was a Spartan, one of the smallest of planes, and its pilot was standing by it when I got there.

I noticed a small cross on his collar, and this intensified the mystery of the flight. Stepping forward, I ventured, "I am Pastor Campbell of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Mission from over SDA Pastor Alex. J. Campbell

the way. Glad to meet you." "I am pleased to meet you," said the pilot. "I am Father Glover. I happened to volunteer to do a certain mission. I would like your advice on where to hide and how to camouflage 42 | P a g e


this plane." I agreed to help him, and soon many of the local inhabitants were following us in our search, wondering what it was all about.

Father Glover was impressed with an area within the confines of our mission gardens, some distance back from the airfield, where excellent corn and tall banana plants were growing in the rich black soil. That season the monsoon was proving an unusually wet one, and though this had disadvantages for us, it covered most of New Guinea with an almost continual deluge, hindering the invaders. The rivers remained flooded much longer than usual. The large drain taking the water from our gardens was daily in flood. Logs were cut and placed across this drain to take the wheels of the plane. The same was done over the boundary stream between the airfield and the mission. Our schoolboys and girls then pushed the little plane into its hiding place. The pilot, who had had only twenty hours of flying experience, had volunteered for a dangerous mission which ultimately was successfully completed. He now began planning another mission with a much wider scope. He hoped to pave the way for our rescue, as we had become completely cut off.

1945 - Father John Glover with his single engine Tiger Moth, refueling at Mascot, NSW Australia (Photos courtesy of K Dicker20)

I felt the risks were too great and endeavored to dissuade him from his plan. This served only to spur him on, even though it might mean his own death. He knew where another plane, a Moth, was hidden near Madang at the Catholic Mission's headquarters on Sek Island. It was larger than the now-hidden Spartan, but still very small. With an aviation mechanic he set out to walk to the coast, taking nine days instead of the usual four to make the trip. The Moth was floated thirteen miles down the coast on a raft made from

20

https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/254832447

43 | P a g e


fuel drums, and while they worked on it near the Madang airfield, two air attacks took place. Miraculously the little plane remained intact. Again, we heard the hum of an airplane motor, and once more Father Glover came in to land. We had a hiding place for this plane already prepared and it was soon pushed into position by eager students of the mission school. Thereafter early each morning Father Glover would come over to our little workshop from his hiding place in the jungle. There together we would work on both planes.

It was a great relief to see two planes hidden just below our mission cottage, yet we wondered for the future. There were two spare sheets of galvanized iron left over when building operations on our mission cottage had been completed, and from these we built a spare gasoline tank for the Moth to allow for its effective range to be extended as far as Cairns in North Queensland—or so we hoped. Left-over paint helped further to camouflage both planes. They were the only two civil planes left in the whole area.

Father Glover's mercy missions were most successful, though he literally danced with death among mountains towering to over 15,000 feet. The Spartan could not rise above 7,000 feet; the Moth, not much higher.

The possibilities of our rescue seemed very remote, but we had not reckoned fully with Father Glover. He crashed before our eyes in the Spartan, but came out of it with scarcely a scratch. We missed the little plane very much.

Now our escape seemed to depend wholly on the Moth into which had been built the spare tank. We did not hear of Father Glover again for three weeks. Then word reached us that, while endeavoring to reach Australia from central New Guinea, he had almost run out of gas in shocking weather. When he managed to land on a beach in south New Guinea, he had been but a cupful of fuel from death.

Next, we learned that the Coral Sea battle had been decided in favor of the Allied forces and that two rescue planes were coming to evacuate our party. Thousands of inhabitants, decorated in countless birdof-paradise feathers and other adornments, joined in the intense excitement. Two thousand of them held a dawn-to-dusk corroboree, stamping down the long unused airfield.

44 | P a g e


When the first four-engine rescue plane touched down, who should step out of it but Father Glover, dressed in jungle-green Army uniform! He was the key to a highly successful rescue mission.

The Kainantu region of New Guinea21

21

https://www.samhs.org.au/Virtual%20Museum/Medicine/drugs_nonsurg/The%20Great%20Cinchona%20Robberies/Kainantu% 20region%20map.jpg

45 | P a g e


Chapter 5 The Angel of Mercy Finishes His Service In New Guinea After Father John Glove was discharged from service in New Guinea in 1946, he returned to his home in Australia to be with his aging parents. However, his stay there was somewhat short lived as he returned to duties in New Guinea in January 1947 to resume his previous work with the Catholic church.

December 1948 – Archerfield Airport – Father John Glover wearing the hat (Photo courtesy Des Grigg)

46 | P a g e


(Photo courtesy of the Advocate) February 19, 1947, page 15

(Photo courtesy of the Cairns Post and West Australian Newspapers) February 18, 1947, Page 8

47 | P a g e


(Photos courtesy of the Cairns Post and West Australian Newspapers) 1st - January 24, 1947, Page 5, 2nd – Catholic Weekly, January 16, 1947, page 5)

48 | P a g e


Here is his last letter home which was penned on Christmas eve, 1948:

49 | P a g e


50 | P a g e


51 | P a g e


52 | P a g e


Father John Glover’s Death Father John Glover died in an air crash on Friday, December 1948 at the Mingende airstrip, just two weeks after he returned to New Guinea after a short visit to Australia in late 1948. He died instantly while trying to land his Dragon VH-AMO airplane at the Roman Catholic Mission at Mingende. His plane was caught in a crosswind and a wing touched a bank causing the airplane to crash. It was likely his last flight as he was schedule to retire shortly after his untimely death as two American missionary pilots were scheduled to take over for him.

1947 – Madang Airport – Father John Glover (Photo courtesy Des Grigg)

53 | P a g e


(Photos courtesy of the Advocate newspaper - February 17, 1949, page 4)

54 | P a g e


(Photo courtesy of the Cootamundra Herald - January 4, 1949, page 4 and the Daily Advertiser – January 3, 1949, page 2)

55 | P a g e


(Photo courtesy of West Australian Newspaper) 1st - January 4, 1949, Page 7, 2nd - (Photo courtesy of the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate NSW)

56 | P a g e


Letter to the Glover family about their son’s death – Page 1 (Photo courtesy of Des Grigg)

57 | P a g e


Letter to the Glover family about their son’s death – Page 2 (Photo courtesy of Des Grigg)

58 | P a g e


Letter to the Glover family about their son’s death – Page 3 (Photo courtesy of Des Grigg)

59 | P a g e


Father John Glover’s Funeral The funeral was held at the Mingende Mission Station and was held at 10:00 am on Sunday, January 2, 1949. An American priest, Father Edward Misik officiated while the local men carried his coffin in to the funeral service. There were many people who attended the funeral including many Catholic workers, government officials, the local doctor and his wife and three Lutheran missionaries.

At the funeral in Albury, NSW, Australia that followed at the St. Patrick’s Church, the Most Rev. Dr. Francis Augustin Henschke, Bishop of Wagga Wagga, said during the Requiem Mass that Father Glover could be considered a martyr just as the priests killed by the Japanese in the islands. He went on to say that Father Glover was not satisfied with the ordinary task. He stated that Father Glover was doing God’s will and concluded his remarks by stating, “What more glorious death could any man want?” The annual procession of the Blessed Sacrament in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes was held on Sunday afternoon last in the grounds of Lewisham Hospital, Wagga. Members of the Children of Mary Sodality, carried banners bearing four of the titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Our Lady Help of Christians.

Next in the procession came school girls, members of the Sacred Heart Sodality, Legion of Mary members, all in regalia; then members of the Holy Name Society, preceded by pupils o' the Christian Brothers' High School, followed by Scouts, Cubs, flower-strewors and altar boys, who preceded His Lordship Bishop Henschke carrying the Monstrance. The Bishop was attended by the Rev. Father I. Qulnn as deacon and the Rev. Father J. Sammon as sub-deacon. Christian Brothers and Sisters of the Little Company of Mary participated. The Rosary was recited and hymns sung, The sermon was delivered Fix this text by the Rev. Father W. J. Gilby.22

22

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/146659255?searchTerm=%22Father%20John%20Glover%22&searchLimits=

60 | P a g e


The funeral for Father John Glover at the Mingende Roman Catholic Mission station (Photos courtesy of Des Grigg)

61 | P a g e


(Photos courtesy of the Cootamundra Herald – 1st - January 19, 1949, page 1, 2nd - February 28, 1949, page 2, 3rd (Photo courtesy of the Catholic Weekly –February 17, 1949, page 6)

Father John Glover’s Burial and Memorials Father John Glover rests in a grave at the Mingende Roman Catholic Mission near Kundiawa in Chimbu Province by the main highland road, which was formerly the trail along the area where the Australian residents walked to the air rescue station in the early days of WW II to wait the final development of this brave man's plans.23

23

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/ST/ST19651201-V92-12__C.pdf

62 | P a g e


The memorial there reads:

”In everlasting memory of an heroic man of God who, in the dark days of 1942, organised and personally flew an airlift of nearly 100 people from the Highlands to safety in Australia”

A small memorial noting his burial place was located in Kainantu. Sadly, it was overlooked in subsequent years and destroyed in 2014 when construction was being done in the area.

Father Glover’s grave near the Mingende Mission (Photo courtesy of A.J. Campbell) and the Kainantu memorial to Father Glover (Photo courtesy of Des Grigg)

Kainantu Map with Father Glover’s memorial noted in the red circle (Map courtesy of Terra Nova Publishing)

63 | P a g e


Father John Glover’s Military Life Summary A summary of his official War Records shows that he enlisted in New Guinea Volunteer Rifle infantry battalion on February 14, 1942, as a Warrant Officer. He was transferred to the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit and appointed an Acting Lieutenant on March 7, 1942, the day before the Japanese landed at Lae and Salamaua. He was appointed Temporary Captain (Chaplain) shortly thereafter.

In his autobiography, Father Glover noted that the proudest moment in his life was when he was attached to the 6th Division of the Australian Imperial Force. “I’m now with the real salt of the earth - the infantry of the 6th Divvy, AIF.”, he wrote.24

His Certificate of Service No 24159 states that he served full time war service in: Citizen Military Forces from February 14, 1942 to March 21, 1943 and the Australian Imperial Force on March 22 1943 until he was discharged on February 19, 1946.

His total effective days of service were 1467, including 883 days on active service in Australia and 584 days overseas. His War Badge number is: A265074. He was awarded the Commonwealth Pacific Star for is service in the Pacific.

24

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/230243567

64 | P a g e


Father John Glover - News Reports

(Photo courtesy of The Review Newspaper) February 1949, Page 3

65 | P a g e


(Photo courtesy of The Review Newspaper) February 1949, Page 18

66 | P a g e


(Photo courtesy of Pacific Island Monthly Magazine) January 1949 - Page 57

67 | P a g e


(Photo courtesy of Pacific Island Monthly Magazine) January 1949 - Page 58

68 | P a g e


(Photo courtesy of the Advocate) January 13, 1949, page 8

69 | P a g e


70 | P a g e


Bibliography Barrier Miner Newspaper, January 4, 1949, 3. Web, December 2012. <http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/printArticlePdf/48581661/3?print=n> Cairns Post Newspaper, January 24, 1947, 5, Web, December 2012. <http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/printArticlePdf/42533594/3?print=n> Campbell, Alex J. Signs of the Times, December 1965, 18. Web, December 2012. <http://docs.adventistarchives.org/docs/ST/ST19651201-V92-12__C.pdf?q=docs/ST/ST19651201-V9212__C.pdf> Hook, Milton, War Zone Scramble – Stories of Escape During World War II, Web. December 2012. <http://www.adventist.org.au/site_data/90/assets/0001/3654/No31WarZoneScramble-1.pdf> Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, Collection MS 1233 - “The Flying Priest”. Fr Glover’s account of his flying experiences in New Guinea, mainly during the Pacific War, including the evacuation to Kainantu and his attempted flight to Thursday Island, Web, December 2019 < http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/catalogue/index.php/flying-priest-fr-glovers-account-of-his-flyingexperiences-in-new-guinea-mainly-during-pacific-war-including-evacuation-to-kainantu-and-hisattempted-flight-to-thursday-island;isad> The Mercury Newspaper, June 18, 1943, Web, December 2012. <http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/25936467?searchTerm=aiyura&searchLimits=> The Sydney Morning Herald Newspaper, January 7, 1932, 8. War Service Record, Web. December 2012. <http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au> West Australian Newspaper, January 4, 1949, 7, Web, December 2012. <http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/printArticlePdf/47635610/3?print=n> The West Australian Newspaper, February 18, 1947, 8, Web, December 2012. <http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/printArticlePdf/46263495/3?print=n>

71 | P a g e


72 | P a g e


About The Author

Charles Micheals is a native of Michigan and lived the first thirty years of his life there, eventually working in the grocery industry. In 1985, he and his wife Barbara and their four small children joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and moved to the country of Papua New Guinea (PNG) where they worked with the internationally known non-profit linguistic organization, SIL International (formerly the Summer Institute of Linguistics). Charles served in a variety of administrative roles in PNG, including managing for 15 years the SIL Members’ Store where Gware and Arina worked store, serving several years as the Chairman of the SIL PNG Job Evaluation and Wage Review Committee and on the SIL PNG Executive Committee.

During their 15 years of service in PNG, Bible translation work was completed in 67 languages and over 100 additional Bible translation projects were started. Today, almost 180 language communities, representing 1.8 million people in PNG have access to the Scriptures in their own languages.

In 2000, Charles and Barbara moved back to the USA and Charles served for several years as the Regional Director for Recruitment for Wycliffe, living in the Chicago, Illinois area. In 2004 they moved to Orlando, Florida where Charles served for six and one half years as the Vice President for Recruitment Ministries for Wycliffe. He currently heads up Wycliffe’s Education, Management and Professional Recruitment Department and speaks at various mission conferences and colleges each year. Barbara helps coordinate Wycliffe’s Internship and Volunteer program.

Charles holds a BS degree in Food Distribution from Western Michigan University and a MA degree in Organization Management from Dallas Baptist University. He served on the Board of Directors for The Finishers Project, a non-profit mission dedicated to helping people in the second half of life find places to serve in missions. He has also been involved in helping create and develop Mission Teach, a ministry dedicated to helping place teachers in MK (Missionary Kid) mission schools around the world and Military

73 | P a g e


Believer, a growing ministry dedicated to helping military personnel who are leaving the military, find opportunities for service in global missions.

Charles has also authored a number of articles about the work of SIL in PNG and other historical articles about life in the Aiyura Valley in PNG. (http://issuu.com/cbmicheals)

Both Charles and Barbara are members of Saint Andrew’s church in Sanford, FL and are involved in a variety of church activities there. Charles serves as an elder at the church. However, they are still members of Second Christian Reformed Church, in Kalamazoo, Michigan which is the church that commissioned them for their work with Wycliffe. All four of their children are actively supporting missions and church ministry work. Two of their four children are serving with Wycliffe around the world.

Back Cover – Father John Glover – Roman Catholic Church missionary, Army Chaplain, Flying Priest (Photo courtesy the National Archives of Australia – K. Dicker)25 25

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/PhotoDetail.aspx?Barcode=6816046

74 | P a g e


75 | P a g e

Profile for Charles Micheals

The Story Of Father John Glover  

The story of Father John Glover. He was a Catholic priest who learned to fly an airplane in World War II. He helped rescue missionaries...

The Story Of Father John Glover  

The story of Father John Glover. He was a Catholic priest who learned to fly an airplane in World War II. He helped rescue missionaries...

Advertisement