Hong Kong was growing rapidly and had limited space for its people. Maunsell Consultants Asia needed to find excavation to fill in some of the shallow ocean bays and inlets for more land. The company wanted me to find areas where bedrock was covered with large quantities of dirt that they could use for fill.
Hong Kong’s terrain is rugged, with peaks of bare rock rising above hillsides covered with soil. The thickness of the soil was unknown. It would be up to me to use geophysics to locate places where the soil overburden was thick and widespread enough to act as excavation for filling the bays.
The flight took me from Sydney northwest across the Indonesian island of Celebes and to Manila, where the airplane was refueled.
I was startled at the size of Australia. On most world maps the continent looks small because of its closeness to the equator and distortion in most common type of map published. Nearly 40 percent of our flight from Sydney to Manila was over the Australian land mass.
(As we approached Manila airport I could see the Bataan peninsula to the west. My thoughts went back to the Bataan Death March near the beginning of World War II, where many young men in my home town National Guard unit were forced to walk to Japanese prison camps and later transported to Japan on the infamous ‘hell ships’. Over half of them died before the war ended. Col. E. B. Miller, the commander of the Brainerd National Guard unit, the 194th Tank Batallion, wrote a memoir titled ‘Bataan Uncensored’.)