Private Ian Ray (Australian Army)

19 year old Private Ian Ray

19-year-old Ian Ray from Melbourne Australia, was serving with the 2nd/31st Infantry Battalion, Australian Army when he was wounded in the left arm during the Battle of Morotai.

After receiving medial treatment at a field hospital, on 18 September 1945 the aircraft used for his evacuation failed to arrive in Australia and a subsequent investigation failed to locate the crash site.

In 1967 the wreckage of an aircraft was found in a remote valley in Papua New Guinea (formally Dutch New Guinea or Netherlands New Guinea) but after several failed attempts the crash site was not reached until 2005.

This fountain pen given to Ian Ray by his father in 1944 which he used to write letters home was found among his personal belongings.

The remains of Private Ian Ray were later buried at Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea.

(Photograph credit: Australian War Memorial)

Alan Malcher.

Author: Alan Malcher

Military historian and defence commentator

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