IamA 97 y.o. Australian WW2 Veteran who fought in Papua New Guinea and these days I still make wooden wheelbarrows and clocks for people almost every day AMA!
(To help him along, his grandson is typing for him and has written his introduction.)
Norm Knopp OAM was a Corporal in the 2nd/8th battalion of the 6th Division in the Australian Army in WW2 (VX120506). Norm fought in the Aitape and Wewak regions of Northern Papua New Guinea.
As with many soldiers in the region, he saw plenty of action, from being charged at by a bayonet wielding Japanese soldier, to leading a rescue mission under heavy fire to save a wounded mate and later catching enemy grenade shrapnel in his leg after managing to avoid 3 of the 4 grenades thrown at him.
While recovering from this injury, Norm worked as a craftsman (he was a carpenter and furniture maker before the war) and made the ink blotter that was used to sign the instrument of surrender between Japan and Australia. If you google "Surrender of Japan", a picture of this wooden ink blotter featuring a brass kangaroo on a boomerang can be seen prominently on the resultant Wikipedia page.
Since the war Norm has lived in peaceful Echuca in Northern Victoria where it seems half the town knows him, whether it be for his furniture shops, his charity work (particularly helping the blind), his involvement in Lawn Bowls (he was Victorian President, awarded an OAM for his services to bowls and captained an Australian team to victory), his famous Christmas lawn displays, or his ongoing woodwork for which he won first prize in his category at the Royal Melbourne Show this year.
A devoted husband to Anne until she passed away in 2007, at 97 (and a half!), Norm can be found in his shed most days making wheelbarrows for children or redgum burl clocks for friends and nurses at his home. He's still got all his marbles and is happy for questions about his interesting life and war service.
We might do this over a few days if there's some interest to give him some time to answer!
Edit - Norm will keep working through all your questions and replies to the best of his ability and when he has someone who can help him access the net and type for him. He did however send this thank you on YouTube