National Geographic : 1944 Jan
At Ease in the South Seas "Don't Look So Worried, Fella; It Won't Explode," Says the Navy Photographer The Melanesian's face betrays fear that the camera may be a gun. He and others were taken to Guadalcanal, organized on military lines, and put to work. Earrings contrast strangely with wrist watch. This led to some embarrassment recently when a hundred or more stranded sailors were secretly removed from Jap territory with na tive aid. To pay a reward for scores of sailors on the basis established for lone pilots meant a heavy drain on scant supplies, but, after some negotiation, all agreed a man was a man, even by the canoeload. They Read National Geographic Maps Maps of the National Geographic Society are standard reading, too (page 93). You see them on the walls of the GHQ, in the cockpits of transport planes, and nailed to easels improvised from orange crates in ad vanced command posts. Allied troops use them for plotting the prog ress of the war, and many preserve them, care fully marked up from day to day, for a post war record of their travels. Handicraft occupies many idle hours. On Christmas Island where mother-of-pearl is free for the diving, members of the garrison make a business of carving souvenirs for sale to transient plane travelers. This is a case of the "native" profiteering from the "tourist." Among the favorite designs are the various service insignia such as the Air Transport Command globe and pylon, the Engineer's castle, and the pilot's wings.* With time on their hands, you find men using salvaged lumber and scant tools to make "home" more comfortable. There is scarcely a tent that doesn't have its crude table and chair pieced together Robinson Crusoe-fashion from discarded crating. Some even fashion crude lawn chairs for use at the open-air movies. In New Caledonia where lakelike inlets pro vide incomparable boating, groups of men have laboriously tooled small sailboats for themselves from discarded dunnage. Sight-seeing fills lonely hours on the larger islands. Who, in peacetime, could ever see * See "Insignia of the United States Armed Forces," NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, June, 1943.