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. . . stetter. They came and said that they were going to prepare a short talk to be recorded by me for short wave broadcast. They were also going to see if they could get me a job with OWI. That was the last I heard of either of these plans. I met Frank again in Sydney; then in Noumea.
Sunday, Jan. 24. After breakfast, I went with Frank to Isle Nou, an island in the harbour, not far from Noumea. There was formerly a French penal colony there. The first convicts were brought to New Caledonia in 1864, the last arriving in 1895. I understand that there are now somewhat less than a hundred of the old time convicts still living on the island. I imagine that some of the old white derelicts I used to see sunning themselves in the park were of these.
On the way to Isle Nou, our boat stopped at the USS Argonne to let off a sailor. Before the war, I had been entertained several times aboard the Argonne by Cmdr. Paul Cassars, who then commanded her. She was then the flag ship of the Rear Admiral William C. Calhoun (Now Vice-Admiral), and he was always one of the party. I had first met Calhoun on the California, while I was a guest of Capt. (now Admiral) Beemis. Calhoun, when a captain , had commanded the California, and used to like to come back aboard her. We afterward became very good friends, and he and members of his staff often dropped in to call. He was a Tarzan fan, and told me that he had a standing order with the fleet librarian to immediately send him every new Peter B. Kyne and Edgar Rice Burroughs book that came in. Got another nostalgic thrill when I saw the Lurline anchored in the harbour.
After lunch, Hal Thompson asked me if I'd like a cold bottle of beer; so we boarded Bouncing Baby out the Marine Officers' Club, where I met Lt. O.L. Young, USN, who was in charge of the bar, also Joe Colton of the Lurline, Lt. H.B. Carll, USN (USS Whitney), Lt. Frank Farrell, USMC (Formerly with New York World-Telegram), and 2nd R.P. Brezinski, USMC. Had a bottle of beer, and then Young, who is from San Diego, started mixing rum Collinses. Later, we took a boat and went out to the Lurline as Colton's guests. On the way out, we saw a bunch of Marines apparently marooned on a big barge in mid-harbour. We picked them up and delivered them to a converted yacht which appeared to be manned by pirates, if one might judge by their fierce beards. Sailors in this war seem to be running to beards. Some of them are terrific. I hope it doesn't start a vogue.
On the Lurline, we sat down to a wonderful dinner at the officers' mess, the former cabin class dining room -- salad, roast turkey, real milk, ice cream and cake. Went topside and paid my respects to Capt. Bernston, an old friend. Many other of the old timers aboard remembered me. Even the chef came oiut of the galley to shake hands with me. All in all, this was a great day. Got back to shore well after dark, and had a long wait before transportation could be dug up.
Jan. 25. Interviewed Major General Rush B. Lincoln. He remarked that he hadn't seen me at his party the night before. It seems that an invitation had been mailed me, but I never received it. There had been a lot of generals and admirals there. I was sorry that I missed it.
After dinner, I drove to COMSOPAC to see Col. Harris about my interviewing Jap war prisoners. He was not there. Got Bouncing Baby serviced, and drove out to Little Old New York, camp of 754th Tank Bn. Major Joseph F. Hart, C.O., showed me around. Had a spot of Scotch with him in his native built hut, and he asked me to come back the following day, when a unit of the 112th cavalry was coming over to observe tank maneuvers. He also . . .
Convict Voyages to Penal Colonies
Penal Colony in New Caledonia
Vestiges of the penal colony
Penal Colony Guards of New Caledonia and Guyana
Video: Exile in New Caledonia
Ruins of the Jail Today
New Caledonia 1943 Candid Photos Scrapbook: Pages 1-8
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