Young Gladstone war soldiers shown in photos
By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au
A TOTAL of 21 photographs of young men who served and died during World War II were put up for display at the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum yesterday.
Jack Mortensen, who also served during the war, yesterday looked over the exhibition.
"I knew every single one of those blokes,' he said.
'All of them were under 21 when they died.'
Many of the men featured are still represented in Gladstone by family members.
Mr Mortensen said when the RSL Clubhouse, where the photographs had previously been hung, closed down, some of them were handed over to the gallery's archives for safe keeping.
The photographs complement an exhibition that was launched at the gallery/museum about two weeks ago titled 'In Enemy Hands'.
The travelling exhibition, part of the Australian War Memorial collection, features items and images relating to Australian prisoners of war from the first and second world wars as well as Korea.
During the war Mr Mortensen enlisted with the Royal Australian Air Force as a carpenter to do tasks such as fix airports and install radar units.
'I was called up when I was 18 and left Australia when I was 19,' he said.
Mr Mortensen served in Dutch New Guinea 'just below the Equator' for about 16 months before returning to Australia.