Today I had a visit Peter Flahavin and Bruce Petty researchers and authors on Guadalcanal and Saipan
Peter Flahavin lives in Melbourne and is a Guadalcanal buff, his Dad served in the Pacific in WW2 in signals, I think that sparked off his interest in the Solomons. He has visited Guadalcanal 4 times post war, has collected dog tags, Japanese uniform buttons, shrapnel etc. Also has taken a host of photos in the area and compared them to the same sites during the war. He has written about and illustrated his post war Guadalcanal visits and some have been published. We had corresponded by e-Mail over a few years, but never met.
In the US, was a Bruce Petty who had written a book about the Oral History of those who fought on Saipan, it was from this area that the US Bomber left to drop the Atomic bombs on Japan. Bruce was in contact with both Peter and me, as he wanted to do an Oral History, Voices of The Pacific War (Amzon.com). Bruce wanted to use my Savo story, and we went back and forth over a year or so before he got what he wanted. His wife is a Medical Doctor, and they have 3 children.
About a year ago, the Petty family moved off to Saudi Arabia where Bruce's wife took a position in a Hospital there. Several days ago, Peter wrote to say the Petty family was moving to New Zealand, and were calling in at Melbourne en route to their new home.
So, yesterday afternoon both Peter and Bruce turned up at my place, all to meet for the first time.
Voices of The Pacific War content turned out to be too large for one volume, Vol 1 is just printed, if it goes well, Vol II will follow, and that is the one that will carry my Savo story, ie if it ever sees the light of day.
Bruce brought me a signed copy of Saipan.
Peter came armed with his fishing box full of small compartments all crammed with his collection of bits and pieces from the Marine/Japanese fight in WW2 on Guadalcanal.
He also gave me a CD with all his Guadalcanal and Pacific war pictures on it, would you believe it? there are over 2,700 photographs thereon, absolutely amazing. The two I sent you of Canberra off Tulagi, and the more modern shot, also came from Peter. A copy of his article on the Canal in a magazine from UK was also given me.
As you may imagine we had a good hour or so just yakking about the Pacific War etc. It was good to meet up with them both, and put faces to what had previously been just mail contact.
Bruce Petty and me, with the view we get from our Living Room looking out onto St Kilda Road. Melbourne, December, 2003
In the library, the three cruisers I served in in WW2, L to R.