WHEN I met him in the United States, Barney Nelson, a jovial 72-year old, told me where his friends were killed in New Guinea.
Lt Barney Nelson was a veteran of the war in the Pacific – and he was to become my instant hero.
After all those years Barney still remembered two Melanesian Pidgin words - kaikai (food) and meri (woman).
He rang me quite unexpectedly one morning as I began to settle down to work at The Plain Dealer, a newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. He was excited and fired questions at machine-gun pace.
“How are you doing? Where in New Guinea do you come from? Buna? Aitape? Is Port Moresby still the capital? Do you know Milne Bay? Is…”
“Now, wait a moment sir, how did you know my name?” I interrupted.