The unknown story of how a fleet of Australian fishing boats, trawlers and schooners supplied US and Australian forces in the Pacific - and helped turn the course of World War II.
Mid-1942: from China to New Guinea, the Pacific belonged to the Japanese. In this desperate situation, a fleet of hundreds of Australian small ships is assembled, sailing under the American flag, and crewed by over 3000 Australians either too young or too old to join the regular armed forces. Their task: to bring supplies and equipment to the Allied troops waging bloody battles against Japanese forces across the South Pacific.
THE RAG TAG FLEET is the unknown story of the final months of 1942 - when these men ran the gauntlet of Japanese air attacks, malaria and dysentery, reefs, and shallow, shark-infested waters to support the US and Australian troops that defeated the entrenched Japanese forces at Buna on the New Guinea coast, and so helped turn the war in the Allies' favour. Their bravery, ingenuity and mettle helped turn the tide of the war. For the first time, their story is told.
'enthralling . . . makes for a fascinating read.' CANBERRA TIMES
an important contribution to the military history of both the US and Australian armies . . . a thoroughly enjoyable read - Australian Defence Force Journal
told with detailed research and a flair for dramatic narrative. The main personalities are much more than just names. This is a splendid contribution to our military history. - SYDNEY MORNING HERALD on Ian W. Shaw's THE GHOSTS OF ROEBUCK BAY
The author has done an impressive job in gathering the stories and information that comprise this valuable and entertaining book. - Baird's Maritime
Readers with an interest in uncommon military history will find this book well worth a read. - Navy News
ON RADJI BEACH is a great read and an invaluable historical text. Ian Shaw has written a driven, suspenseful and realistic narrative, even for those who know the history and outcome of the period. It's essential reading for anyone interested in Australia's war history and the role of women in war. ON RADJI BEACH is an insightful and tragic excursion into an aspect of Australian history that has often been overlooked or forgotten. - OVERLAND on Ian W. Shaw's ON RADJI BEACH
enthralling . . . makes for a fascinating read. - CANBERRA TIMES
Ian W. Shaw is the author of six books: The Bloodbath, On Radji Beach, Glenrowan, The Ghosts of Roebuck Bay, The Rag Tag Fleet and Murder at Dusk. The Bloodbath was nominated for a Victorian Premier's Literary Award and was shortlisted in the Local History category. Ian is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and holds postgraduate degrees from Monash University and the University of Michigan. After ten years as a secondary school teacher, Ian worked in the Commonwealth public service and private enterprise for three decades, and is an expert on security issues. He lives in Canberra.