Edited by Robert S. Cutler

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The Private War Diary of Captain Samuel Cutler, Army Air Corps U.S. Forces in Australia, 1942 - 1944

Captain Samuel Cutler was amongst the initial Cadre of Army Air Corps officers from America, who were assigned to the 39th Pursuit Squadron and went into battle against the Japanese in defence of Australia during the Second World War.

The diary covers Sam Cutler's wartime adventures from his departure from Boston with 8,000 American troops aboard the RMS Queen Mary, the hazarous 40-day voyage to Australia, and his various duty assignments in Sydney, Townsville, Brisbane, Mackay and in New Guinea.

Noted American radio playwright and producer, Norman Corwin, wrote the introduction for the book, which is filled with photographs of Captain Cutler with kangaroos, immersed in Army life, hosting US first lady, Mrs. Eleanore Roosevelt, and with wreckage of the Flying Fortress air crash at Bakers Creek.

He was based at places such as Woodstock and Antill Plains airfields, near Townsville, and 7-Mile and 5-Mile airstrips at Port Moresby, PNG. In January 1943, he was sent to establish the US Army American Red Cross Rest Camp, at Mackay, for servicemen on R&R from the battlefront in New Guinea and the Islands.

In his World War II diary, now available as a book, Capt. Cutler wrote about how a transport plane dropped from the sky, killing 40 of the 41 servicemen aboard.

Sam wrote about his involvement with the tragic crash of a B-17C Flying Fortress at Baker's Creek, south of Mackay, on June 14th, 1943, when 40 American servicemen were killed. Only one passenger survived. The incident remains Australia's worst aviation tragedy.

The book is a quick read loaded with detail. On page 185, Capt. Cutler writes of exploring the plane wreckage and finding a playing card jammed halfway into a tree by the force of the crash. Captain Sam Cutler died in 1990.

His son, Robert S. Cutler, shepherded the diary and edited the book that he calls a labor of love. I think my daughter said it in the Foreword that somewhere Sam is smiling, said Cutler, 78.

Converting his father's diary into a book is just the latest effort that Robert Cutler has made to commemorate the crash. One of his successes came in June 2009 with the dedication of the Bakers Creek Air Crash monument at the Selfridge gate to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC. over and out cutler


The ceremony included the Secretary of the Army and US Congressman Richard E. Neal, an old friend of Samuel Cutler's. While serving his country honorably in World War II, Sam became a part of history when he witnessed a tragic plane crash in Australia killing 40 American servicemen," Neal wrote, "he kept a diary and his incredible story can now be told."


250 pages, plus a number of photos


This great book is available from:-


or by phone at +1-888-795-4274 ext. 7879



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This page first produced 15 January 2011

This page last updated 04 March 2020