All photos and text are property of Dave Forney and may not be used without express permission.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Picnic at the Pillbox

A couple days ago when I was doing an inspection on my airplane, the whole family came down to the “pillbox” for a picnic lunch. The pillbox is what we call the WWII bunker that sits right on top of the little hill above our hanger. If you look closely you can see hundreds of divets from rounds that were shot at the bunker by Allied forces.

History buffs would really like it here. There’s quite a few bunkers around the island, and vegetable farmers often dig up old shells and shrapnel. In case you’re interested, the Japanese controlled Tarakan for several years, (actually they controlled much of Borneo,) until the Allied forces fought bloody battles to regain control just before the end of the war. Many Australians, and some Americans died right here in Tarakan, as well as other strategic port areas along the coast.
In the picture on the left, you can see the control tower in the background. The bunker closely overlooks the runway, which dates back to the war. That's one of the reasons it was defended and fought for so intensely.

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