# 33027

PARER, Damien Peter (1912-1944)

During the advance on Salamaua Sergeant Gordon Raymond Charles Ayre MM … in pouring rain assists a wounded mate, Private William Oswald Wallace Johnson….

$150.00 AUD

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[New Guinea, 1943]. Black-and-white press photograph on glossy paper, 205 x 295 mm, with editor’s markings by a staff member of the San Francisco Examiner (?); verso with pasted-on cutting from the newspaper issue in which it was printed (with Associated Press Wirephoto credit), stamped Oct 23 1943, below it the wet stamp ‘Received Examiner Reference Library Oct 23 1943’, and above it the newspaper’s later reference library index stamp ‘War-2nd World-New Guninea [sic]-Austrailians [sic] in’; in excellent condition (some mild edge creasing).

Australian war photographer and cinematographer Damien Parer’s most famous image is this still from his July 1943 newsreel, Assault on Salamaua. It is arguably the most iconic image of Australians at war. This is a near-contemporary press photograph of that image, used in the American media some 3 months after Parer shot his original footage. 

‘During the advance on Salamaua VX89711 Sergeant Gordon Raymond Charles Ayre MM, a 58/59th Battalion bandsman from Shepparton, Victoria, in pouring rain assists a wounded mate, VX132355 Private William Oswald Wallace Johnson, of the same unit, across Alan’s (Allen’s?) Creek to an advanced regimental aid post. Johnson had been wounded by a Japanese grenade on the 13th of July 1943 during an attack on the “coconuts” area. Sergeant Ayre was awarded the military medal for his performance during this action….’ (AWM)

During World Wat Two Parer was an official War Correspondent for the Department of Information of the Commonwealth of Australia. He was cinematographer for Australia’s first Oscar-winning film, Kokoda Front Line!, an edition of the weekly newsreel, Cinesound Review, which was produced by Ken G. Hall. He was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on 17 September 1944 while filming an advance by US Marines on the island of Peleliu, Palau.