Poha River Gun Tractors
the West bank of the Poha there is a pig farm down the road as you turn off to
the left after crossing the bridge. Their security officer took us through high
grass to near the river where six more Japanese gun tractors were lying (together
with swarms of mosquitos) . They must have been abandoned here for lack of fuel. It looked like they had been disabled by the Japanese with grenades.
taxi driver we had in 1996 said that when he first came to live in Honiara in
1968 you could still find helmets, complete rifles etc in the bushes on the edges
of town. As Honiara has grown new roads
and housing construction have destroyed many battle area positions and relics
knows where stuff is of course, but not so much why it is there, and is very interested
when you tell then what happened near their hut etc and are always ready to help
you find relics.
I think some of them
got a good laugh out of humouring the crazy , sweaty white men looking for rusty
metal, but they were all very friendly.
brought our own reference material - the Tourist Bureau only had two very small
scale coastal maps printed for the 1992 fifty year anniversary and that is about
it . I gave them a pile of reference material, which they were very pleased to
took along a lot of 1942/43 comparison photos etc and gave most of them away to
interested Islanders , kids on Bloody Ridge and a teacher who teaches the kids
WWII history .
In 1996 I was talking
to a staff member at the waterside Kitano Mendana Hotel near Point Cruz. As we
watched a dozen laughing young Japanese having a drink near the sea. I
remarked that I wondered if any of them realised that their countrymen had been
bayonet charged by the 5th Marines on the beach behind them - probably none.
He said "ahh..so that it why some old Japanese
go down to the beach sometimes and look like they are praying..". They
said at Gifu that some older Japanese still cry on the spot , but younger
ones almost never come there - they have probably never heard of it
. The feel of the history that was made on Guadalcanal is still very
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