1. Date order indicates that this interview, and #90, were typed by a North American. They were printed out on a laser printer.

2. Espiritu Santo, the largest island of the Vanuatu archipelago and located towards the north of the group.

3. Vanuatu's second-largest island, located about 40km south of Espiritu Santo.

4. A group of islands about 80km north of Espiritu Santo.

5. The archipelago north of Vanuatu. The heaviest fighting took place about 1300km NW of Espiritu Santo.

6. I.e., a "guide" or "scout".

7. A magical "sixth sense".

8. This bay makes up most of Espiritu Santo's north coast.

9. Probably Lataro Island, near the centre of Espiritu Santo's east coast.

10. "oli foldaon tu", could be "the two parachuted", or "they fell down also".

11. "brekem bus" - implies a panicked rush through the forest, breaking branches rather than threading one's way through them.

12. Which runs north into the south end of Big Bay.

13. Actually, it is the largest of at least 5 rivers and streams emptying into the south end of Big Bay.

14. "kasem", could be "caught".

15. Just southwest of Luganville.

16. A district of Luganville, named for a coffee mill formerly located there.

17. "kros". Usually means the noun "cross" or the adjective "angry". It could refer to crosses, as in a cemetery, but I am guessing it might be slang for POW.

18. "traosis", "trousers", but from the context I guessed "underwear", which is usually "smoltraosis".

19. In Luganville harbour.

20. "titi", perhaps "nipples".

21. The plural pronoun "olgeta" is used here.

22. Or, could be "They healed the breasts , but they no longer had nipples".

23. "namba wan", "number one" usually out of a scale of ten.

24. "Olfala", "old person", can denote father or grandfather.

25. July 30, 1980.

26. Capital of New Caledonia. The narrator is probably a Francophone ni-Vanuatu.

27. "Olsem ol samting blong majic no wanem samting olsem." I have literally translated this idiomatic oblique reference to his father's magic powers. I don't completely understand the meaning. Ni-Vanuatu often make such oblique references to things that are private or controversial.

28. "Su".

29. "Nakaimas".

30. Perhaps a personal, unique, variety of magic.

31. Very small island in the extreme south-east of the Solomons. My limited research does not show that there was major American activity there during the war. Perhaps there was a coastwatching station there.

32. The typist has noted that this could denote any type of warship.

33. "bas", usually "bus", perhaps a "landing craft" in this context.

34. Off the southeast coast of Espiritu Santo.

35. Probably the narrator's father.

36. With his magic. 37. Luganville, built on the southeast corner of Espiritu Santo by the Americans when they occupied Vanuatu in 1942.

38. "Hemia oli stap talem BP i bon ia, BP i bon ia long Melkove ia." I am not sure of the meaning of this sentence. "BP" usually refers to Burns Philp, the major Pacific trading company or sometimes British Petroleum, the fuel company. "bon" means either "born" or "burn". Take your choice and go figure.

39. "stret plen", perhaps as opposed to a float plane, or maybe a very large plane. There were no landing strips on Santo prior to the American base being built there in 1942.

40. Again, "brekem bus".

41. "big bigfala toj", searchlights.

42. A large island about 45km west of SE Espiritu Santo. Rumoured to be James Michener's "Bali Hai".

43. "Bigfala samting ia i longfala", anti-aircraft gun.

44. A luxury liner-turned-troop ship that sank on October 26, 1942. It is a wonderful SCUBA diving site.

45. Surunda, near the south end of Espiritu Santo's east coast, was the location of some of the American camps.

46. The paper with the assigned course for entering Luganville harbour was lost (before or after the sailing orders were signed for by the ship's Captain, depending on which witness was testifying at the subsequent Court Martial. Despite the best efforts of the US Navy, the civilian Captain was exonerated.), and neither of the two American ships that the Coolidge passed on its way into the mind field warned it. The destroyer USS Tucker was also lost to a "friendly" mine entering Luganville harbour 12 weeks earlier.

47. In actual fact, the Captain's quick action of beaching the ship allowed the 5,000 men on board to reach shore safely with only two deaths. The ship disappeared beneath the surface about 80 minutes after it hit two "friendly" mines. See Peter Stone's excellent book "The Lady and the President - The Life and Loss of the S.S. President Coolidge" for all of the details as well as much information (from the Western point of view) about the American occupation of Vanuatu.

48. So named for the enormous amount of supplies dumped in the sea there by the Americans after the war ended. The local Bislama name is "Poen Doti", or "Garbage Point".

49. The Speedy Gas compound is on the eastern outskirts of Luganville. The ship actually sank only a few hundred metres from Million Dollar Point, not near the Speedy Gas wharf. The wreck can not be seen from the shore, or even from the air. There is a French satellite photo on the WWW on which a small shadow can be construed to be the wreck.

50. This would have been revolutionary in a social sense. Pre-war, it would have been very rare for a colonial whiteman to break bread with a ni-Vanuatu, let alone visit his house socially.

51. Another social revolution. The pre-war colonials did not allow ni-Vanuatu to drive motor vehicles, and they were very impressed by the sight of black men driving trucks.

52. Probably soft ancient coral, which is used to build all roads in Vanuatu. When wet down and packed, it forms a hard surface. Contrary to James Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific", live coral that continued to grow and bond was not used to build roads or air strips in the Pacific. The concept is impossible; coral is very delicate and is killed by the least disturbance or touching while in place, let alone by being taken out of the ocean.

53. Actually, most ni-Vanuatu travel was and still is by foot. Today, only a few ni-Vanuatu, mostly from the southern island of Tanna, are horsemen.

54. "gud sap", I am guessing at the meaning.

55."ol boss blong ol", could be NCOs, such as sergeants or corporals.

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©Stan Combs, 1998.