Widdis, Edward C. Correspondents’ Hut, Port Moresby, N.G., November 1, 1942. A vintage World War II American Associated Press photograph, taken by Edward C. Widdis on the extraordinary occasion of the largest number of war correspondents being present at Port Moresby at any one time. 20.5 cm x 25.5 cm. Twenty-two in all, as identified by the Associated Press description, still attached to the verso of the photograph, they were:
“First row (kneeling) left to right, Chester Wilmot, Australian Broadcasting Commision; Lieut. Thomas C. Fisher, Official Photographer, Australian Army; George H. Johnston, The Argus, Melbourne; Frank C. Prist, Jr., Acme Newspictures; Clifford Bottomley, Australian Department of Information photographer.
“Second row: Harold Guard, United Press; Murlin Spencer, The Associated Press; Charles Buttrose, Sydney Morning Herald, Pat Robinson, International News Service; Lewis B. Sebring, Jr., New York Herald Tribune; Geoffry Reading, Sydney Mirror; Lt. Col. George H. Fenton, Press Relations Officer, Australian Army; Edward C. Widdis, Associated Press photographer; Martin C. Barnett, Paramount News cameraman; E. R. Noderer, Chicago Tribune; Dean Schedler, The Associated Press.
“Third row: Len Edwards, technician, Australian Broadcasting Commission; Tom Fairhall, Sydney Daily Telegraph; Robert G. Doyle, Milwaukee Journal; George Moored, American Red Cross News Service; Reginald Leonard, Melbourne Herald; George Silk, Department of Information photographer; Capt. Charles Madden, Assistant Press Relations Officer, Australian Army.
“Of those in the photograph, Lt. Fisher was killed by enemy action off the north coast of New Guinea, and Tom Fairhall was seriously wounded in the enemy bombing of an Australian command post in the same area. [Reginald] Leonard later became a major in the Australian Army, in charge of the publication of Guinea Gold.” Guinea Gold became known as “the newspaper that scooped the world,” a four-page condensed wartime tabloid paper printed on yellow paper, which reported the daily progress of the war in brief news summaries without commentary. See: Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012. George Silk joined Life magazine in 1943, after this photograph was taken and after marching 300 miles with Allied forces in New Guinea. He later described that campaign in his book War in New Guinea.
The condition of this remarkable photograph is very good for a vintage war photograph, with the usual toning and surface aging, above the horizontal image is the impression made by a paperclip not affecting the image.
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