New at Pacific Memories

The eighth chapter of my father's World War II memoir is now in progress.
There were many great things to see, however, besides the array of vessels which were constantly creasing the blue water of Suva Bay and beyond. Always an impressive sight was the arrival or take-off of the great flying boats: the gull-winged, twin-engine PBM Martin Mariner; the great, four-engine PB2Y Consolidated Coronado; and the lazy, clumsy, but extremely valuable Consolidated Catalina, the PBY. The whole air throbbed when one of these monsters went into action and pulled itself out of the water

Sometimes I would scan the sections of the town that were visible; one time the pantomime of little Indian girls, dressed in the blue uniforms of their school, at play in the schoolyard over a mile away; another time a Chinese vendor of fruit trotting along with his wares balanced in baskets at ends of a bamboo pole that rested on his shoulders. He reminded me of the old fellow (maybe he was the same one!) who used to sell bananas at Cunningham road, always proclaiming the price of a bunch as "qua'ta dolla, qua'ta dolla!"

Near to the OP was a radar post, with its rectangular antenna mounted on a mast above the shack. Our interest in that place always intensified, and maybe there was a tinge of anxiety, when that antenna began swinging slowly, sweeping the air to trap an unwelcome signal. The incongruities which typified warfare in the Pacific Islands, presented thus by the radar post but a stone's throw from jungles, did not really end here, they began here. ...

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