Mayer with Durand bomb
Barnett Dogtag Returned
Learn about return to
Moore Dogtag Returned
Learn about return to
Carl A. Hustad Artifacts
Being returned to his widow
US Dog Tag Collection
Seeking relatives to
return these tags!
Since the age of seven, Papua New Guinean Henry Mayer has combed
the hills and wartime areas of Port Moresby in search of Micro History.
Gowning Up Around Relics
I'm a Papua New Guinean, and I've lived
my whole life in Port Moresby. When i was 6, we moved 17 miles
Moresby to a farm that had been part of a hospital complex during
war, treating casualties from Kokoda, Buna and later campaigns.
The large pig pens and houses (including ours) there,were built
many remaining cement foundations
The farm owner had
a large yard surrounding his home with Japanese/American mountain,
anti aircraft ,ship and heavy machine guns sited throughout.
On visits there his son, several years older than me would
sometimes bring out his own collection of munitions in
various calibers. Being a young kid at time with that sort
of influence around it was almost inevitable that i developed
a interest in WWII relics.
My father who had experienced the war as a 13 year old
in Vienna, Austria was never happy about me wondering off into
the surrounding hills alone or bringing live munitions and rusty
relics home. Despite many questions he rarely spoke about the war.
From the little he said i know he lost two uncles on the eastern
front, while his father (named Adolph and also a corporal!) achieved
local fame capturing a downed American aviator.
Combing The Hills
more than 20 years I have gone over most of the remaining parts
of old airdromes, hospitals, camps and fortifications putting
in the hours/aches it sometimes takes to find a single item.
In this time i have developed an interest in the individual
aspect of the
war as shown in both the common and unusual examples pictured
Finding & Returning
Over the years, I have found many dog tags
- both American and Australian that were dropped during their
years in Moresby. In the 1980's I gave them to Bruce Hoy at the
PNG National Museum. Since then, I have found more and
returned some of them. The names that are uncommon and
from small towns in America are the ones I have focused on returning.
One story is the return of Chester
Hubbard's Dog Tag, reported in this newspaper article from
his hometown. Since the publication of this webpage, four tags
have been returned: Charles
Barnett , Charlie H. Moore and Carl
History In New Guinea
PNG is developing country with all the problems that go with
it. As such the reality is that history and its preservation is not
high on the list of priorities with many sites / relics either vanishing
or neglected. This is just my own small attempt at trying to salvage
individual items from sites that no longer exist or will not exist
in the future. Many of these areas have today been developed or bulldozed
Henry Mayer Collection
Click photo for enlargement and descriptions