top of page
Search

Pacific Memories, Chapter I

The Royal Viking Star visited islands in the South Pacific, most of us have probably never heard of. These were bloody theatres of war between the United States of America or its allies and the empire of Japan during the Pacific war. This story shows us most picturesque cruising destination as well as the tragic of the World War II. This article will appear in two chapters.

 

The logo of Puccini's opera 'Madama Butterfly' playing this summer on the lake of Constanze in Bregenz, our state capital, led me to the idea to write this story.


The stage setting on the lake.

Admittedly the story of the opera between a US marine and a Japanese geisha plays at the outgoing twentieth century. Nevertheless it is comparable with my story, I believe.

 

The Sea of Traquility as we call the Pacific Ocean in German has not always been this tranquil. For us in Austria Word War II took place merely in Europe and in Northern Africa. The Pacific war did not show in the curriculum of our schools.


Royal Viking Line's President Mr. Warren Titus was born in 1915. In 1938 he moved to Hawaii and joined the Marine Corps and witnessed the Pacific war first hand.


After several position held in the young cruise industry, he has been appointed president of the newly found Royal Viking Line in 1972 based in San Francisco. RVL has been sold to Norwegian Cruise Line in1984.


Before Titus left his post to Mr. Joe Watters in1985, he advised his departments to put his idea into a program, which went down in history in the cruise industry. The Pacific Memories Cruise was born.


Mr. Warren Titus at his San Francisco office in the seventies.

Many of the US combatant of the Pacific war have prospered and their kids, the baby boomer generation were old enough to afford a Royal Viking Line cruise to the South Pacific.


Now for the first time the veterans were able to visit these godforsaken places with their sweethearts and kids in order to show them, were they were stationed. On most of these island, one would never spend their vacation, some of them were out of reach without a ship.

 

Japan's expansion plans in the South Pacific became evident, before World War II begun. China fulnerable through its own civil war was occupied by the Japanese deep into Manchuria by 1937.

At the outbreak of Word War II by Hitler occupying Poland on the 1. of September 1939, the Japanese had already parts of Soviet Manchuria, the Kuril Islands, Formosa and almost all the islands of Micronesia and Melanesia under their rule.


The Americans were actually hardly present in the South Pacific and had no intention to engage themselves either. Exceptions were the chair of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the administration of a few tiny islands hailing from the American/Spanish war.

 

1940 Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese Emperor signed an alliance treaty, which is know as the axis Berlin Tokyo.


When in 1940 France surrendered to Germany, the so called Vichy government left Indochina with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia pretty much to the rule of Japan.


Great Britain and the Netherlands however had a great interest in South East Asia if you think of Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Japanese knew only too well, that the Americans would come to aid if any of the European and Australian territories in the Pacific would be occupied by the Japanese. Therefore Japans' prime goal was to hurt the US air- and sea force at a large scale.

 

For president Roosevelt it was an almost impossible task to sell any war to his pacifistic population at that time.


The attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii the 7. of December 1941.


A peaceful Pearl Harbor in October 1941.

The Japanese flew surprise air raids on the marine base in Hawaii. The Americans were totally unprepared an shocked.

The USS Arizona.



The losses speak a clear language.


Losses of the US.

2403 killed in action, 1178 wounded, 18 ships sunken or heavily damaged, 9 damaged ships, 188 destroyed air planes, 159 damaged air planes.

Losses of the Japanese.

About 65 pilots and submarine personell killed in action, 29 destroyed air planes, 5 sunken 2-men submarines, 1 prisoner of war.

 

One day after the attack President Frank D. Roosevelt signed a declaration of war to the Japanese Empire. This was the beginning of World War II for the United States. The following day Berlin and Rom declared war to the US.


For the US the surprising and deeply disparaging begin of the war led to a consensus and strengthening will of resistance in the US congress and amongst the population. This was a psychological factor the Japanese underestimated.

Coincidently Great Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Honduras, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua declared war to the Japanese.

 

In April 1941 Japan and the Soviet Union sign a bilateral non-aggression treaty.


The plan of a great Japanese Empire after 1941.


 

Now just about 40 years after the ending of World War II the Royal Viking Star set sail to all these sights in the South Pacific with its passengers, officers, staff and crew.

 


Royal Viking Star 1986 - 28 days voyage.


Teh destinations marked with a Star were so called 'maiden calls', where the ship has not been before.

Captain: Peder Vebenstad, Hotel Manager: Dietmar Wertanzl, Chief Steward: Johann Furlan, Cruise Director: Derek Mann, Executive Chef: Manfred Schönleitner, Maitre d'Hotel: Arnold Deutschl, Provision Master: Frans van Walle.


The passengers have been set back in time by the Glenn Miller Revival Band.


 

I was not on this cruise, as I got onboard the Royal Viking Sky on the 10. of April 1986 as Provision Master. But I can rely on fotos and material from former colleagues.

 

In addition Halley's Comet guaranteed for a full ship. The comet could be seen especially in the Southern Hemisphere already since February. In a very smart and clever fashion this additional selling tool was built into the program. Already the three preceding cruises were sold as Halley's Comet voyages.


On each of these cruises a renowned Astrologer or Astrophysicist was onboard. They beamed our passengers in their lectures from the Bergen Lounge into space. At night they could watch the comet and the Southern Cross through the telescope from the Sky Deck.

v.l.n.r.: Dr. Carl Sagan, Dr. Steven Soter, below: Dr. David Morrison, Dr. William Kaufmann III.

 

Sydney, Australia.


In late May and early June 1942, during World War II, submarines belonging to the Imperial Japanese Navy made a series of attacks on the Australian cities of Sydney and Newcastle. On the night of 31 May – 1 June, three Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarines, (M-14, M-21 and M-24) each with a two-member crew, entered Sydney Harbour, avoided the partially constructed Sydney Harbour anti-submarine boom net, and attempted to sink Allied warships. Two of the midget submarines were detected and attacked before they could engage any Allied vessels. The crew of M-14 scuttled their submarine, whilst M-21 was successfully attacked and sunk. The crew of M-21 killed themselves. These submarines were later recovered by the Allies. The third submarine attempted to torpedo the heavy cruiser USS Chicago, but instead sank the converted ferry HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21 sailors.

Recovery of a midget submarine at Sydney harbor.


 

9. April 1986.

Sydney, Australia.


As always the Royal Viking Star stayed overnight in Sydney.


Harbour Bridge.

The Royal Viking Star left Sydney at 18:00 hours.


As always during sail away our beloved Royal Viking Star Waltz sounded on the open decks.


Sail-away wishes from the fire brigade boat.

Royal Viking Line has carved the program of these cruises to perfection. We offered shore excursions to the war sights, there were wreath-laying ceremonies at soldier cemeteries. There were Big Bands and the Stars from the fourties onboard. We invited world-wide renowned war heroes, who lectured our guests about the upcoming war sights.

 

These two gentlemen were onboard this voyage.


Thomas Hinman Moorer (February 9, 1912 – February 5, 2004) was an admiral and naval aviator in the United States Navy who served as the chief of Naval Operations from 1967 to 1970, and as the seventh chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1970 to 1974.

William Childs Westmoreland (March 26, 1914 – July 18, 2005) was a United States Armygeneral, most notably commander of United States forces during the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968. He served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1968 to 1972.


 

The following 3 days the ship was at sea. This was not unusual at the time. The passengers could enjoy the onboard services and the ship was also a destination in itself.

Hotel Manager Dietmar Wertanzl, very busy.


 

Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu.


During World War II, particularly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the island was used by American naval and air forces as a large military supply and support base, naval harbor, and airfield.

A shipwreck off Espiritu Santo, that of the SS President Coolidge, is also a popular diving spot. The SS President Coolidge was a converted luxury liner that hit a sea mine during the war and was sunk.


Luganville airfield at Espiritu Santo.


The sinking of the SS President Coolidge off Espiritu Santo.


 

13. April 1986.

Espíritu Santo, Vanuatu (New Hebrides). anchor: 8:00 - 16:00 hours.


Orientation map.

The shore excursion program for the veterans.


Relict from the Pacific war.


 

Perhaps the shipboard personell had a lifeboat drill this day (combined fire and rescue drill).


Chief Purser Signe Bjorndal and Chief Officer Reidulf Maalen.




The following day the Royal Viking Star was at sea.


 

Naki Ataman's Piano concert 'Around the World' has facinated me over and over again . In 68 minutes non-stop he took our passengers around the world.


Here comes the first half of the concert. The second half you can hear on Chapter II.

 

Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.


In the past, a legendary battle raged on the shores of Solomon Islands. This area played a crucial role in the allied offensive against Japan during World War II. Guadalcanal, in particular, became an epic battleground that triggered one of the most important turning points in WWII history. The tides turned for Japan at the Solomon Islands when it lost its first territory to the US.

The crux of the Allied victory happened on the Florida Island at Tulagi and Red Beach on Guadalcanal on 07 Aug 1942 wherewith simultaneous naval bombardments and amphibious landing – the expansion of the Japanese forces was put to a halt. The vicious conflict ran for six months across the archipelago. Guadalcanal was the stage for one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific. Thousands of lives were lost before the American forces prevailed in February 1943.

Landing of the US Marines.


Out of barbed-wire.


 

15. April 1986.

Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. anchor: 8:00 - 18:00 hours.

I was here before. I started on the Royal Viking Star on Christmas Day in 1983. The Christmas voyage brought us into the South Pacific. The black people with curly blonde hair in Honiara intrigued me at that time and I took a picture.


An up-to-date picture.


 

Like every evening our passengers received tomorrow's news letter delivered to their staterooms. When the historic Vikings went to sea with their longboats, there was always a man, who could read and write. He was the Skald.

The Skald Editor onboard produced all changing printed matters like the SKALD, the lunch and dinner menus and other shipboard information with the typewriter.

The Printer put this with an offset process to paper. At this time we had already an IMB PC onboard, but FAX machines were not invented yet.

The world news we received at the Radio Station via Telex. All communication from and to the head offices in San Francisco and Oslo went in telex mode. The shorter, the less expensive. In today's age of emails one longs for the good old days. For emergencies there was a satellite telephone. On board we had a pneumatic pipe mail installed from the Purser's Office on Atlantic Deck 5 and from the Engine Control Room on A-Deck to the Radio Station on Bridge Deck 8. You inserted the rolled message into a plastic tube, closed the lid and put in into the pipe. You pushed the button and off in went.


The Radio Station with Radio Offizier Johan Skeie.


By the way, LILY was the distress name of the Royal Viking Star.


On days in port the onboard services were somewhat limited.


But of course, there was always enough there to eat and drink. I find it remarkable today, that we did not have a breakfast buffet.


One can see, that for Americans breakfast appears to be a main meal.


Also the lunch buffet on Scandinavia Deck 6 aft was only available on days at sea with decent weather.


The Portuguese waiter Paolo and me on a hot day at sea in the South Pacific onboard the Royal Viking Star in1984 at the American Deck Luncheon.


 

Rabaul, New Guinea.

The Battle of Rabaul, also known by the Japanese as Operation R, an instigating action of the New Guinea campaign, was fought on the island of New Britain in the Australian Territory of New Guinea, from 23 January into February 1942. It was a strategically significant defeat of Allied forces by Japan in the Pacific campaign of World War II, with the Japanese invasion force quickly overwhelming the small Australian garrison, the majority of which was either killed or captured. Hostilities on the neighbouring island of New Ireland are usually considered to be part of the same battle. Rabaul was significant because of its proximity to the Japanese territory of the Caroline Islands, site of a major Imperial Japanese Navybase on Truk.

Following the capture of the port of Rabaul, Japanese forces turned it into a major base and proceeded to land on mainland New Guinea, advancing toward Port Moresby. Heavy fighting followed along the Kokoda Track, and around Milne Bay, before the Japanese were eventually pushed back towards Buna–Gona by early 1943. As part of Operation Cartwheel, throughout 1943–1945, Allied forces later sought to isolate the Japanese garrison on Rabaul, rather than capturing it, largely using air power to do so, with US and Australian ground forces pursuing a limited campaign in western New Britain during this time.

 

17. April 1986

Rabaul, Papua - New Guinea. dock: 7:00 - 14:00 hours.




Welcome at the port.



 

We offered a 5 days overland excursion. The passengers came back onboard in Port Moresby.

 

Especially on longer cruises the Sailor's Choir was evening filling entertainment in the Bergen Lounge.



 

Our Big Cheese from Switzerland Vice President Hotel Operations Ulrich Baur supplied us not only with new Elro galleys from Switzerland and Walter Gallati's cleaning chemicals from Switzerland, he also provided us with PIP. The permanent instruction program was implemented and the crew had to be present during there off time to go through the training modules.


 

Manus, Admiralty Islands.


In World War II Manus Island was the site of an observation post manned by No. 4 Section, 'B' Platoon, 1st Independent Company, Australian Imperial Force, who also provided medical treatment to the inhabitants. Manus was first bombed by the Japanese on 25 January 1942, the radio mast being the main target. On 8 April 1942 an Imperial Japanese force consisting of the light cruiser Tatsuta, destroyer Mutsuki and a troop transport ship Mishima Maru entered Lorengau harbour and several hundred Japanese soldiers of the 8th Special Base Force swarmed ashore onto the Australian-mandated island. The vastly outnumbered Australians withdrew into the jungle.


Allied forces attacking.

Later in 1942, Japan established a military base on Manus Island. This was attacked by United States forces in the Admiralty Islands campaign of February – March 1944. An Allied naval base was established at Seeadler Harbor on the island and it later supported the British Pacific Fleet. The ammunition ship USS Mount Hood exploded in Seeadler Harbor on 10 November 1944 with a heavy loss of life of US Navy personnel.


General Douglas McArthur on the USS Phoenix attacking Manus.


 

18. April 1986.

Manus, Papua - New Guinea. anchor: 13:00 - 18:00 hours.


One tour went with our tender boats to the war sights.

The once German church in Lorengau, Manus.


The following days we had a day at sea.

 

The Royal Viking Star Dining Room brigade. This picture with Maitre d'Hotel Piero Staffieri was taken in 1985.


The gentlemen, who served 720 passengers in a single seating almost simultaneously three times a day.

1 Maitre d'Hotel, 4 Headwaiters, 72 waiters, 12 busboys, 1 Chef Sommelier, 7 Sommeliers.

2 waiters were assigned to 1 station and had to take care of approximately 20 passengers.



When I started in 1983 to have wine with dinner was not too common yet. The Americans referred to red wine as Burgundy and to white wine as Chablis. The two best selling wines were the rather sweet Mateus Rose in the pinch bottle from Portugal and Liebfraumilch Blue Nun from Germany. To have a double scotch and soda with the the prime rib was normal.


It took people like Wolfgang Puck from Austria to tell the Californians: Hey you grow the best fresh produce, you have the best seafood and meat, you have excellent wine growing areas. How come, you all eat burgers and drink Coke?

 

Milne Bay, New Guinea.


The Battle of Milne Bay (25 August – 7 September 1942), also known as Operation RE or the Battle of Rabi by the Japanese, was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II. Japanese marines, known as Kaigun Tokubetsu Rikusentai (Special Naval Landing Forces), with two small tanks attacked the Allied airfields at Milne Bay that had been established on the eastern tip of New Guinea. Due to poor intelligence work, the Japanese miscalculated the size of the predominantly Australian garrison and, believing that the airfields were defended by only two or three companies, initially landed a force roughly equivalent in size to one battalion on 25 August 1942. The Allies, forewarned by intelligence from Ultra, had heavily reinforced the garrison.


Despite suffering a significant setback at the outset, when part of their small invasion force had its landing craft destroyed by Royal Australian Air Force aircraft as they attempted to land on the coast behind the Australian defenders, the Japanese quickly pushed inland and began their advance towards the airfields. Heavy fighting followed as they encountered the Australian Militia troops that formed the first line of defence. These troops were steadily pushed back, but the Australians brought forward veteran Second Australian Imperial Force units that the Japanese had not expected. Allied air superiority helped tip the balance, providing close support to troops in combat and targeting Japanese logistics. Finding themselves heavily outnumbered, lacking supplies and suffering heavy casualties, the Japanese withdrew their forces, with fighting coming to an end on 7 September 1942.



 

20. April 1986

Milne Bay, Papua - Neu Guinea. anchor: 10:00 - 17:00 hours.


The following day the Royal Viking Star was at sea.

 

Bar Keepers.

Mustafa from Turkey und Heikki from Finland in the Neptune Bar.


 

Port Moresby, New Guinea.

The Battle of Port Moresby was an aerial battle fought between the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and United States Army Air Force (USAAF) on one side and the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy on the other between 3 February 1942 and 17 August 1943 over Port Moresby, Papua. At the start, the defenders consisted only of Australian Army anti-aircraft batteries and machine-guns, but by late March had been strengthened by the arrival of Kittyhawk fighters from No. 75 Squadron RAAF. However, in just nine days they lost 11 aircraft and only the arrival of replacements enabled the unit to maintain ten serviceable machines.


Japanese planes onboard the Zuikaku.


Australian war ship.

 

22. April 1986

Port Moresby, Guadalcanal, Papua - Neu Guinea. dock: 8:00 - 18:00 hours.





The Bomana war cemetery.


At the beach of Port Moresby.


Meanwhile also our overland tour guests were back onboard.

 

The following 4 day the ship was at sea. Cruising through the Torres Strait between Papua - New Guinea and the peninsula of Cape York towards the Timor and Flores sea.

On the 24. of April Passover was celebrated by our jewish passengers. On the important holidays we alway had a priest or a rabbi onboard.

 

Also the crew enjoyed the warm climate on the days at sea. On the left picture there is Hubert Moosbrugger from Bizau, Bregenzerwald.


The officers and Staff were allowed onê'Monkey Island' on top of the Sky Deck.


The drinks were served by Deck steward by Kemal Unal from Turkey.


Hotel Manager Sigi Meier on the Paddle Tennis court in 1984.


Aparently Hotel Manager Dietmar Wertanzl showed only little interest in paddle tennis.

 

The Bar Personal.

1 Bar Manager, 8 Bar Keepers, 12 Bar Waiters, 4 Deck Stewards.


 

The Chef's Gala menu was most likely implemented on this voyage. This was a small revolution, as for the first time main courses were served on plates.


Executive Manfred Schönleitner with Sous Chef Werner Unterberger (both to the far right) and the 1. cooks and the Pastry Chef.


Up until now fish- and main courses were put on silver platters and then served by the waiters on the plates. Food presentation on the plate got more and more important.

Also the fine patisserie was gradually implemented. The times with pies and icecream and on formal nights a soufflé for dessert were definitely over.

 

Bali, Netherlands - East Indies.


The Battle of Badung Strait was a naval battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the night of 19/20 February 1942 in Badung Strait (not to be confused with the West Java city of Bandung) between the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDA) and the Imperial Japanese Navy. In the engagement, the four Japanese destroyers defeated an Allied force that outnumbered and outgunned them, sinking the Dutch destroyer Piet Hein and escorting two transports to safety. The battle demonstrated the Japanese Navy's considerable superiority over the Allies in night fighting which lasted until the Battle of Cape St. George.

 

27. April 1986

Bali, Indonesia. anchor: 8:00 - 18:00 hours.

Tender Service in Bali.





On the way to Singapore we had another two sea days.

 

On 29. April we crossed the equator and King Neptune visited us.



 

Singapore, British Crown Colony.


The Fall of Singapore, also known as the Battle of Singapore, took place in the South–East Asian theatre of the Pacific War. The Empire of Japancaptured the British stronghold of Singapore, with fighting lasting from 8 to 15 February 1942. Singapore was the foremost British military base and economic port in South–East Asia and had been of great importance to British interwar defence strategy. The capture of Singapore resulted in the largest British surrender in its history.


For the second time since the battle began, Yamashita demanded unconditional surrender and that afternoon, Percival capitulated. About 80,000 British, Indian, Australian and local troops became prisoners of war, joining the 50,000 taken in Malaya and many died of neglect, abuse or forced labour. Three days after the British surrender, the Japanese began the Sook Ching purge, killing thousands of civilians. The Japanese held Singapore until the end of the war. About 40,000, mostly conscripted, Indian soldiers joined the Indian National Army and fought with the Japanese in the Burma campaign. Churchill called it the worst disaster in British military history. The Sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse soon after the Japanese landings on Malaya, the fall of Singapore and other defeats in 1942, severely undermined British prestige, which contributed to the end of British colonial rule in the region after the war.


 

30. April 1986.

Singapore. dock: 8:00 hours. overnight. sail: 14:00 hours.

Probably one of the best street kitchens on the planet.



I was there a year before with waiter Roman Feurstein and Hotel Purser Mai-Britt.


The Royal Viking Star overnight in Singapore.



At the Raffels Hotel the Singapore Sling cocktail was first created.


On the way to Manila we had another two sea days.



 

The Royal Viking Star brigade with Executive Chef Urs Keller and Sous Chef Manfred Schönleitner only month later in Alaska.


 

Manila, Philippines.


The Battle of Manila was a major battle of the Philippine campaign of 1944–45, during the Second World War. It was fought by forces from both the United States and the Philippinesagainst Japanese troops in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The month-long battle, which resulted in the death of over 100,000 civilians and the complete devastation of the city, was the scene of the worst urban fighting fought by American forces in the Pacific theater. Japanese forces committed mass murder against Filipino civilians during the battle and American firepower killed many people. Japanese resistance and American artillery also destroyed much of Manila's architectural and cultural heritage dating back to the city's founding. Manila became one of the most devastated capital cities during the entire war, alongside Berlin and Warsaw. The battle ended the almost three years of Japanese military occupation in the Philippines (1942–1945). The city's capture was marked as General Douglas MacArthur's key to victory in the campaign of reconquest. To date, it is the last of the many battles fought within Manila's history.



The destroyed Manila.

 

4. May 1986.

Manila, Philippines. dock: 8:00 - 17:00 hours.

Port of Manila.


Crew members on the way into town.



Roxas Boulevard, Manila.


We had yet another day at sea.

 

Pink Party at the Crew Bar.


Shaker and Hollywood Butcher Horst Katschnig from Austria.


Horst was an avid sportsman and was the first to have a skateboard on board. On seaday in the afternoon he would practice on the A-Deck corridor. Once he managed to jump over the watertight door ledges, he drove everyone crazy.

 

Hong Kong, British Crown Colony.


The Battle of Hong Kong (8–25 December 1941), also known as the Defence of Hong Kong and the Fall of Hong Kong, was one of the first battles of the Pacific War in World War II. On the same morning as the attack on Pearl Harbor, forces of the Empire of Japan attacked the British Crown colony of Hong Kong, without declaring war against the British Empire. The Hong Kong garrison consisted of British, Indian and Canadian units, also the Auxiliary Defence Units and Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps (HKVDC).


The Japanese occupation of Hong Kong ended in 1945, after Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945. Hong Kong was handed over by the Imperial Japanese Army to the Royal Navy on 30 August 1945; British control over Hong Kong was thus restored. 30 August was declared as "Liberation Day" and was a public holiday in Hong Kong until 1997.

General Takashi Sakai, who led the invasion of Hong Kong and subsequently served as governor-general during the Japanese occupation, was tried as a war criminal, convicted and executed on 30 September 1946.


After the liberation of Hong Kong the Chinese flag and the Union Jack were flying.


 

7.May 1986

Hong Kong, Great Britain. dock: 8:00 hours.

The Ocean Terminal in Hong Kong


The market next to the Star Ferry Terminal in Kowloon, Hong Kong.


A most successful first Pacific Memories Cruise ended here. For many of our passengers it was a very emotional affair. The concept masterminded by Mr. Warren Titus worked very well and drew a lot of new customers to our company.

 

Another cruise - this time for 27 days.



This time I was onboard as Chief Steward. Captain: Helge Brudvik, Staff Captain: Reidulf Maalen, Hotel Manager: Hannes Furlan, Cruise Director: Peter Longley.

 

From now I will add the historic war facts only on new ports of call.

 

Also this cruise General Westmoreland informed our guests about the war sights of World War II.


Lionel Hampton and his Big Band were in charge for the good swing. He took our passengers down memory lane. After all he was the last living Band Master of the legendary Big Bands in the US.


Ventriloquist Dawson Chance and his gay kangaroo from Queensland were also onboard.


 

26.March 1987.

Sydney, Australia.


The Royal Viking Star arrived the day before and stayed overnight in Syndey.


Only the most beautiful ships were allowed to dock at Circular Quay.

At 17:00 hours we left Sydney and sailed for the next 2 days up along the coast.

 

The Captain's Welcome Party in the Bergen Lounge with Paul Newman or perhaps with Captain Brudvik.


A Captain's Welcome menu, borrowed from the Royal Viking Sky.


 

Mackay, Queensland, Australia


The Bombing of Darwin, also known as the Battle of Darwin, on 19 February 1942 was the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. On that day, 242 Japanese aircraft, in two separate raids, attacked the town, ships in Darwin's harbour and the town's two airfields in an attempt to prevent the Allies from using them as bases to contest the invasion of Timor and Java during World War II.

Darwin was lightly defended relative to the size of the attack, and the Japanese inflicted heavy losses upon Allied forces at little cost to themselves. The urban areas of Darwin also suffered some damage from the raids and there were a number of civilian casualties. More than half of Darwin's civilian population left the area permanently, before or immediately after the attack.

The two Japanese air raids were the first, and largest, of more than 100 air raids against Australia during 1942–43. The event happened just four days after the Fall of Singapore, when a combined Commonwealth force surrendered to the Japanese, leading to the largest surrender in British history.


Bombs over Darwin.


 

29.March 1987.

Mackay, Queensland Australia. anchor: 8:00 - 17:00 hours.


 

The following 2 days the Royal Viking Star was on her way to Honiara.


 

Single Party at the Galaxy Club.


Chief Steward Klaus Riezler, guests, Cocktail Pianist Robert Keene, Commedian David Reid.


 

1 April 1987.

Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. dock: 8:00 - 17:00 hours.