Photographer's Note

A solitary traditional fishing canoe resting at the end of a hard days work, photographed from a small fishing village in Daruba on the western coast of Morotai Island facing Molucca sea with Halmahera Island in the backdrop. I simply love what nature has offered before my eye as the sun is about to dip at end the day, a peaceful and calm brief moment and the atmosphere is begging to be caught by my lens.

Brief infor about Morotai Island:
Least known even among the Indonesians, Morotai Island is located at the northern end of North Maluku Province or known as the Moluccas in what was then the Dutch East Indies and is part of the Halmahera Group and directly adjacent to Pacific Ocean. Visiting this scarcely populated island - the native Gallela and Tobello are the major ethnic groups here- is like taking a journey back in time to World War II. This island was a minor Japanese base, leapt to prominence when it was captured in September 1944 by the Allies and used as their headquaters.

Morotai became famous as the important base from where Gen MacArthur launched his assault against the Japanese to liberate the Philippines with his famous pledge "I shall return" His command base is located at Zum Zum atoll, about 25min ride from Daruba village. US Forces operated many different type of fighter aicrafts such Spitfires, Beauforts etc including B17 bombers from two parallel 3km air strips at Wama and Pitoe not far away from where this picture was taken. Interestingly both are still in good condition but of little strategic value nowadays.

The island is mostly ringed by mangroves, but on its small, spongy white-sand beach youll still find the rusty foundations of a wartime pier. Unfortunately there is little left to see from this period - the once plentiful war relics have now mostly been sold for scrap metal. During my scouting around I could see the islanders still fish for WWII metals from machine guns, shell casings and other valuable scrap such as, steel helmets, dog-tags etc An amphibious US tank still lies rusting sadly in a hidden palm grove

Among the Japanese defenders who retreated to Morotais crumpled mountain hinterland was the famous Private Nakamura, the last soldier, the absolute last soldier of WWII, a man who never surrendered who spent more than twenty years in complete isolation, did not know the war was over, and was convinced he would be killed if he was found. Nakamura was coming out of his little hut on the morning of 18 December 1974 when he found himself surrounded by Indonesian soldiers. He handed over a well maintained rifle and his last five rounds of ammunition. He was a Formosan who had been drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army early in 1944, and he was repatriated to Taiwan and died three years later

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 8742 W: 136 N: 21264] (95869)
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