Jim Burrowes was born March 29, 1923 in Port Melbourne, Australia. He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression: he remembers those difficult days where his father could not find work and where he and his four brothers and sisters had to make do. Jim was able to attend high school for a few years, during the early years of the war, but the situation really changed for Australia after Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour. By that time Jim’s two brothers were in the forces, and he decided to join them and was selected for the Signals Corps. He spent about a year doing that before volunteering for duty that saw him serve with the U.S. 7th Fleet, and from there he became one of the Coastwatchers, tasked with the duty of working alongside indigenous on the island s north of Australia, working to counteract the threat of a Japanese invasion of those islands or Australia itself. Jim spent time in New Guinea and New Britain in this regard, working with the indigenous peoples of those islands, and here he remembers them and their invaluable contributions to the war effort. American WW2 Marine veteran Neil McCallum joined us for this interview, and he and Jim have a great conversation as part of it. Jim Burrowes was interviewed via zoom in August 2022.
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