(continued from yesterday)
4. From the air – the little green airstrip
Below: The Pindiu School is the furtherest building as
you look at the ranges towards the coastal area, where the sub-district headquarters of Finschhafen was located. When the rainy season was on, the whole valley was clouded in, so sometimes for weeks, there were no planes able to fly in with fresh supplies. You lived on tin foods (ugh!) and my fresh eggs from my wonderful Rhode Island Reds! Your vegetables were obtainable from the native’s local market which was held on Saturdays.
5. Below: Mountains at the end. Plane no stoppie – you no livie!
You would be amazed how “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines” could slam on the brakes once the plane hit the ground.
You virtually “buck jumped” to a standstill!
The Administration office at Finschafen. ( Below)
The two guns are ex- WW2.
Where I arrived at Finschafen in 1964. The Buki Wharf.
In this coral / reef protected lagoon area we would water-ski.
I used to swim across to that island in the background. Or be paddled across in my big native canoe! Dolphins of course were in the lagoon and you felt safe whilst they were there. No sharks! However sea snakes abounded and a bite from one of those was fatal.
I lived in dread of them.
At the bottom of the lagoon – much bigger than shown here – I think there were 3 or 4 islands off the mainland linked by reefs – the sea bed was riddled with “belly drums” from WW2 planes. The water was always as clear as crystal. The drums ( fuel tanks) were dropped from the bombers before landing at the Finschafen airfield by the Americans!
Finschafen was a major airfield used by the Allies after the Japanese were removed for the assault on bases further north.