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Bruno Nana
Guadalcanal Resident, Solomon Islander

Interview by John Innes
Solomon Islander, Bruno Nana witnessed a dog fight on August 7, 1942.  I asked him how far above the trees and he pointed to the palm trees replied about 50 feet higher than them! He saw Southerland's plane go down. About four hours later he and his two friends saw Southerland walking on the beach. They took him to their village and then down to a hut where Rove Police station now is and spent the night there. They sat around Southerland while he slept. At four in the morning Southerland awoke because his leg was hurting (he was wounded in the leg) and signalled that he wanted them to take him by canoe to Lunga Point.

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They took him by canoe to RaNadi. On the way they were checked out by an aircraft and an American 'battleship'. When they got to RaNadi they were surprised when the Marines lifted the canoe by hand and carried it ashore with them still in it.
They were given presents and then they canoed back home. As they went passed the Matanikau they were fired at by the Japanese and the canoe broke in half. They were held prisoner by the Japanese for four days. Bruno said that after four days there bonds had got loose and they quietly slipped away from the Japanese.
Bruno thought that the American had said his name was Jacob. Bruno had been educated at Visale mission but new little English. I can imagine "James Pug" or "J Pug" would sound like the biblical 'Jacob' to Bruno.
Bruno was 15 at the time and had been 'volunteered' to work with the Japanes before 7th August at RaNadi and at Lunga. He tells the story of a German who was working as an engineer with the Japanese. The German told them to go away from the area and go home as there was going to be a big fight. So Bruno had left the area day or so before the 7th.
I have heard stories about the Germans but have never read anything. Bruno says there were two Germans and one of them had his family with him!
Sounds like there is a juicy story there. I will be spending more time with Bruno better recording this and the rest of Bruno's time with the Americans during the war.
After breaking away from the Japanese Bruno walked to Verahue (Father De Klerk) where he was taken by boat back to Lunga to work with the Americans.

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