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.
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
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.
of Americans was the 2nd Raider Battalion during Carlson's Long
Patrol. Until 1995 the village people could take you to a tree
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.