January 20th, 1942

Townsville is a small town, they say, and hard to dock in, but we have to get supplies and clean linen. Lt. Colonel Maitland, whom I knew at Clark Field (he was Commanding Officer), came on board to say hello to us. He was a welcome sight.

The 3rd Engineer went out, a short while ago, to get some supplies and just came back with seven sacks of cement. We all wanted to know what he was going to do with the cement, to which he casually replied: “Just wait and see.” And, later on, we learned the purpose of the cement, for he used it to bolster, or “shore up,” the inside of the ship, in order to keep it from leaking and falling apart before we got to Sydney.

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