Oct
18

Forces Entertainment Tour SI22 - Oct 2011

My adventure started when I left Gold Coast airport...

 

For... Sydney...

Where we got put up for the night...

No sooner had we landed and put our bags away, it was off to dinner to meet and mingle with the whole Tour Crew...

These dudes are one of two bands that were with us, The Cherries, they were a cool bunch...

We were all up nice and early at 7am to head to breakfast together before making our way to the army brief, before deployment to the Solomon Island’s to entertain our Troops at GBR who are away from home...

The briefs included a few Phyc questions...

I picked the circle...

Which one did you pick...?

 

 

 

 

 

On the money... these guys are good!

The brief covered everything we needed to know about where we were going...

When it came down to the crunch, we were told to just enjoy...

We had the first of our many group shots...

Late afternoon, it was time to head off to Brisbane...

2 hours later we were unloading and loading again...

Until we got to the hotel... to unload..

Before heading to our room, who I was sharing with Jason, the drummer from the Cherries...

At dinner I was hooked up with Allira Cohrs the bikini model...

 

As we were too host the two shows together...

There are definitely harder ways to make a living...

After dinner I was able to hear the two bands, Left Field and The Cherries, have a bit of a jam...

It was sweet and I couldn’t wait for the concert...

Thursday morning first thing it was off to the Solomons...

Allira and I sat together...

And went over our plan of strategy...

While checking out the sweet views...

During dinner I worked on my shows... two nights... two different shows...

We landed at Honiara airport...

And our loading started again...

Before we were taken to GBR

Another brief was given about the base itself before we were taken on a tour...

We were told to drink lots of water and keep our fluids up... water was everywhere..

This was there church...

Each block had a breeze way, which is like there common room, or lounge area...

Our rooms were small but air-conditioned and a great place to get a good nights sleep...

As I relaxed with a nice coffee by the pool...

The Army techs were busy setting up for the 1st nights show...

I thought I'd help out with the seating...

The night was a great success with Allira and I opening the show...

I then performed half an hour of comedy and we brought Left Field on...

Who were amazing. The band consisted of Marshall and Lee on guitars and Jane on lead with her fantastic voice...

GBR loved them...

The boys also liked Allira...

Audience participation was encouraged...

And rewarded with this dude winning Allira’s calendar for his rythum on the shakey things...

 

The Cherries were on next and rocked the house...  

The night was a great success with excellent feedback from everyone...

7am Lee and I were up and out having breakfast overlooking the Pacific Ocean...

Another brief and we were off on a war tour of the area...

Guadalcanal Campaign, codenamed Operation Watchtower by the Allied forces, was a military campaign fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943 on and around the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre of World War II.

Our first stop took us to the U.S War Memorial...

WAR FACT 1:

The U.S War Memorial was opened in 1992 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the battle of Guadalcanal. It honours those Americans, and Allies, who lost their lives during the Guadalcanal campaign.

Here I’m standing on the tomb of the unknown soldier...

 

It was back into our ride...

And off to Alligator Creek...

 

We had a short stop to buy and check out some fresh local coconut on the way...

 

These dudes were selling red nuts everywhere...

It’s the Solomon drug... the white shaker you see on the table has ground up coral in it... they put this on their hand and rub it into their gums to bleed... then they chew on the red nut... also known as Solomon lipstick... don’t kiss the locals... HIV is very rampant...

WAR FACT 2:

In response to the U.S capture of the airfield, the Japanese landed about 917 soldiers at Taivu Point, east of the Lungga perimeter, on August 19. Underestimating the strength of the Allied forces on Guadalcanal, the Ichiki regiment conducted a night time frontal assult on Marine positions at Alligator Creek on the east side of the Lungga perimeter in the early morning hours of August 21. The Japanese offensive was defeated with heavy losses for the Japanese attackers in what became known as the Battle of Tenaru...

Next we made our way to were the Battle of Bloody Ridge took place...

a

WAR FACT 3:

In the battle of Bloody Ridge, during September 1942, U.S. Marines, under the overall command of U.S. Major General Alexander Vandergrift, repulsed an attack by the Japanese 35th Infantry Brigade, under the command of Japanese Major General Kiyotake Kawaguchi. The Marines were defending the Lungga perimeter that guarded Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, that had been captured from the Japanese by the Allies in landings on Guadcanal on August 7, 1942. Kawaguchi’s unit was sent to Guadalcanal in responce to the Allied landings with the mission of recapturing the airfield and driving the Allied forces from the island.

As we drove past the little villages to Bloody Ridge the kids and some ladies made their way up the hill and set up shop to sell World War II artefacts... old coke bottles, bullets, tags etc...

We weren’t allowed to buy any as it is now a federal offence to take any war relics from the Solomon’s...

This little dude was given a packet of lollies and told to share them, which he did to the delight of the other kids...

We drove a bit further up Bloody Ridge for a picnic lunch...

 

Eating lunch and picking up a piece of bullet ridden metal was sureal...

After lunch it was back to GBR....

We decided to relax by the pool for a bit before getting ready for our second show...

Check out the size of this ant...

Show 2 was another hit with Allira and I kicking it off once the rugby game between France and Wales was over (France won by 1 point)...

Left Field smashed it again...

With more audience participation taking place...

Nice work Henry...

The Cherries got up to rock the house and we all had a blast...

Time for another group shot on the finale of our second show...

Sunday was our first full free day... we were up at 7am and ready to head off on the days Army planned adventure...

Our first stop was the Lime Lounge coffee shop where we picked up some very tasty smoothies...

Then it was off to boneegee beach to do a bit of snorkelling and have another picnic lunch...

We got the chance to snorkel an old Japanese cargo ship now called boneegee 2...

After lunch we were off again... headed to the rain tree cafe to check out a few souvenirs...

These are whole chooks and prawns being cooked on 40 gallon drums on the side of the road... very cool...

souvenir time...

We had some iced coffees and had a surprise cake waiting for Allira as it was her birthday...        

Then it was off to Gifu Village to check out some more old war relics and another battle site...

Giving out lollies along the way...

WAR FACT 4:

Following the defeat of the Japanese offensive to retake Henderson Airfield during the battle of Lungga Point, the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters directed Hyakutake to increase the number of troops and artillery emplaced on Mount Austen to help prepare for the next planned attack on the Amerricans. Therefore, Hyakutake directed some of the units that were retreating from thr Henderson Field battle area to fortify Mount Austen and nearby hilltops.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Marines were pursuing the withdrawing Japanese west of the Mataniko. During the Battle of Mount Austen, which took place from December 15, 1942 to January 23, 1943, the U.S. attempted to destroy the Japanese forces on Guadalcanal. Meanwhile, the Japanese were trying to hold their defensive positions until reinforcements could arrive.

Back at the village it was time to entertain and put smiles on the faces of the little kids

This was a very moving and amazing experience...

Left Field and the Cherries got out their guitars and we all had a blast making the whole village erupt with laughter...

The chief elder Willie presented the Cherries and left Field with a statue of an octopus carved out of river stone for their entertainment, and then presented myself with a hand carved and shell embedded cross, a carved fish from river rock and two hand carved necklaces, one of wood and the other bone.

It was very amazing and unexpected...

This is for the balloon man, he said...

Back to GBR...

GBR was all geared up and ready for the New Zealand vs Australia world cup game...

Which New Zealand won... Chur!!

Monday morning, and it was time for our last breakfast over looking the Pacific...

It was time to say goodbye to GBR...

And the boys...

It was a case hurry up and wait Army style for our transport to the airfield for our trip back to Brisbane... killing time we were shown the Army flak jackets by James...

Checked out another local...

 

Wait...

It was a nice surprise when the CO called us all in for a final brief and presented us each with a certificate and commemorative coin from GBR...

It was time to say goodbye to more of the boys...

At the air field...

The Adventure was over but wouldn't be complete without one last group shot...

Cheers everyone... it was an amazing trip... good luck for all your future endeavours and may your lives be filled with happiness, joy and love always.

Keep on Laughing Loud my Friends... 

BYE... Honiara 

Till next time...


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