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Trip to Asamana Village
by John Innes 2002

I paid a visit to a special friend 'Stephen' on Guadalcanal. Stephen is fifty-eight years old. His birthday was the 7th August 1942. Stephen lives in a small village called Asamana. He wears a six-inch wooden shoe on his left foot to compensate for his deformed leg.

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Occupation By Japanese Forces
In July 1942 Japanese forces, which had recently occupied the Island of Guadalcanal, paid a visit to this small village. They were examining potential areas for other airfields to supplement the one they were constructing at Lunga Point. Pleased with the results of their search (the area was later to become Carney Field) the Japanese gave the villagers some Japanese clothes to wear.

Very early one morning in August some of the village boys were walking around the village wearing these gifts of Japanese uniforms. Most unfortunately that particular morning was the 7th August 1942. American planes in support of the Marine's landing on Guadalcanal saw these Japanese uniforms and strafed the village.

The bullets killed one little girl. Stephens mother, who was pregnant with him, fell in terror as to what was going on around her. Stephen was born later that day with his leg badly damaged from that fall. Stephen has absolutely no hard feeling towards Americans, in fact he is very proud of his association with the Americans. He now has that special birthday of the 7th August.

Asamana village proceeded to have a lengthy association with the American forces. An American hospital was built where Steven's house now is. There was also much activity during the construction and operations of the Carney Airfields.

Colonel Carlson's Tree
An early meeting with the American forces is still talked about in the village. Early in November 1942 a group of Americans spent three day in the village following action against Japanese forces. This group of Americans was the 2nd Raider Battalion during Carlson's Long Patrol. Until 1995 the village people could take you to a tree where "Mr. Carlson the leader of the Americans pitched his tent". The tree was destroyed in a fire but fruit from that tree was used to ensure that "Mr. Carlson's" tree lives on. The attached photo is the "Son of Mr. Carlson's tree". The photo of the Metapona River shows the original position of Carlson's campsite on the right (western) side of the river.

 

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