Damien P. Parer
Australian Imperial Force (AIF) / Paramount News
Damien Peter Parer as born August 1, 1912 in Melbourne. He enlisted in the Australian Army on January 10, 1940 with service number VX334 (B318). As a war correspondent, he recorded cine footage and took photographs in the Middle East and New Guinea. His film footage was used in many wartime documentaries.
During 1940–1941, Parer was sent overseas to the Middle East and served in the western desert of Egypt, Palestine (present day Israel). He photopgraphed Australians in service. On June 6, 1941 photographed Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) No. 3 Squadron Pilot Officer Peter Turnbull and Squadron Leader Peter Jeffrey testing new P-40B Tomahawk fighter planes at Lydda Airfield in Palestine (today Lod, Israel).
During 1942, Parer was stationed in Port Moresby to document the Allied war effort in New Guinea including the Australian Army soldiers and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aviators.
On June 9, 1942 Parer was at 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby and took photographs and cine film of airmen and aircraft including damaged B-26 "Southern Cross" 40-1363 force landing and noted: "It was the most perfect belly landing possible, it was a gem. He landed with his engine cut off and as slowly as possible". Parer's footage was later used in the documentaries "US Bombers Blast" and "Moresby Under the Blitz".
On June 18, 1942 Parer
had his 16mm
cine film camera on a tripod atop a hill and documented the Japanese bombing raid by G4M1 Bettys against Port Moresby that targeted MV Macdhui in Fairfax Harbor. His dramatic footage recorded Japanese bombs bracketing and scored hits amidships that set the ship ablaze and resulted in a loss of rudder control and began to drift than ran aground and sank.
During late June 1942 until the middle of July 1942 Parer with journalist Osmar White embark aboard Royal Endeavour to the mouth of the Tauri River on the south coast of New Guinea then up the Lakekamu River to Bulldog and walked the Bulldog Track with Australian Army soldiers including Cpl Dick Paul and Cpl Vic Helton plus native carriers northward to Wau. This footage was later used in the film "War Supply Route".
On August 17, 1942 Parer documented damage caused by a Japanese air raid against 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby. His photographs and cine footage used in "Moresby and Koitaki" show the flight line with debris, parked C-47 Skytrains and destroyed aircraft.
On August 17, 1942 Parer visited Wau and Bulolo including Bulolo Airfield and photographed the wreckage of Junkers G 31go "Bulolo 2 Peter" VH-UOV.
On August 17, 1943 discharged from the Australian Army to become a full time war correspondent and photographer for Paramount News.
Killed In Action
September 17, 1944 while reporting with the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), Parer was killed by machine gun fire on Peleliu Island.
Parer was officially declared dead
September 17, 1944 at age 32. He is buried at Ambon War Cemetery at 28. A. 11.
Documentary Films by Parer
As a war correspondent, Parer recorded cine film and took photographs in combat. His cine footage was released in many documentaries that covered action in North Africa, the Middle East and New Guinea. His films were described as some of the best "up close and personal" footage of World War II. Today, many of Parer's photographs and films are part of the collections of the Australian War Memorial (AWM).
From Palestine to Bengazi
Documents the Australian Army in the Middle East from
Palestine to Bengazi in Lybia.
has a duration of 9:04 and begins with an on camera introduction by Damien Parer then presents footage his filmed in combat with Australian Army soldiers on the Kokoda Trail. The film includes footage of C-47 Skytrains making air drops of supplies and combat against the Japanese. Kokoda Frontline was the first documentary to earn a Hollywood Academy Awards Oscar.
The Road to Kokoda
Documents the logistic efforts in New Guinea.
War Supply Route
During late June 1942 until the middle of July 1942 Parer with journalist Osmar White embark aboard Royal Endeavour to the mouth of the Tauri River on the south coast of New Guinea then up the Lakekamu River to Bulldog and walked the Bulldog Track with Australian Army soldiers including Cpl Dick Paul and Cpl Vic Helton plus native carriers northward to Wau.
Moresby Under Blitz
This film has a duration of 8:38
shows the bombing of Port Moresby, including the shoot down of the first Japanese bomber, P-39 Airacobra of the 8th Fighter Group (8th FG) shown
scrambling from 7-Mile Drome to intercept an incoming Japanese air raid. Some of this footage is used in another film "Moresby Under the Blitz".
Moresby and Koitaki
This film includes footage during August 1942 including damage caused by a Japanese air raid against 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby.
The Men of Timor
Documents Australian Army commandos on Timor.
RAAF Eagles Over New Guinea
Documents Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bombers and fighters in New Guinea.
Assault on Salamaua
This film has a duration of 8:45 includes footage of the Australian Army commandos raid on Salamaua in New Guinea. The film includes strafing runs by B-25 Mitchells from the 3rd Bombardment Group (3rd BG).
Bismarck Convoy Smashed
This film has a duration of 9:10 shows footage of the Battle of the
Bismarck Sea. Includes dialogue between U.S and Australian
pilots about their close cooperation and low level footage recorded by Parer flying the mission in a RAAF Beaufighter.
WW2 Nominal Roll - Damien Peter Parer VX334 (B318)
"Damien Parer Killed In Action"
"New York, September 23. – The Navy has announced that Australian born Paramount News war correspondent, Damien Parer (33 [sic 32]) was killed in action by enemy machine gun fire on September 17, while filming frontline operations on Peleliu."
CWGC - Damien Peter Parer
FindAGrave - Photographer Damien Peter Parer (photos, grave photos, news)
YouTube "United News: US Bombers Blast Jap Bases 1942" footage by Damien Parer recorded June 9, 1942
AWM "War Supply route" F01213 cine footage by Damien Parer recorded July 2, 1942–July 15, 1942
AWM "Moresby and Koitaki" F01806 cine footage by Damien Parer, August 1942
Includes footage of the aftermath of the Port Moresby Air Raid: August 17, 1942 AWM description: "Part of an item on the arrival of crack new troops to push into the Kokoda area and aerial supply route. Japanese bombing shows a knock back to this supply line. Identified personnel; Flight Lieutenant Lex Winton, No 75 Squadron (Kittyhawk) RAAF, 402963 Sergeant Stuart Munro."
Damien Parer's War (2003) by Neil McDonald
Damien Parer's Kokoda Frontline (2005)
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