Paradise In Ruins

Paradise in Ruins offers readers a look at the Pacific Theater of World War Two by introducing them to military and naval leaders from both sides of the conflict, as well as local populations of the Pacific islands whose lives were suddenly disrupted by the brutal events that exploded eastwards from Japan in 1941.

Nevertheless, this book is basically a human interest story. Interwoven with the ongoing war is a love story that spans several islands and continents.

If you have occasionally wondered what Grandpa (or Grandma) did in the war, you are not alone. The generation that experienced the Pacific War is notorious for not speaking about what they learned in that previously unimagined multilingual, multicultural paradise. Most of them just didn’t know how to describe their adventures to loved ones at home afterwards, so they chose silence instead.

Like the other two books of this trilogy about World War Two in the Pacific, a cast of fictional characters interfaces with historical people to help make this an enjoyable human interest story as well as an important history. The chapters contain photos to help the reader relate to that long-ago era.

Below is a list of fictional people in their approximate order of appearance, that you can refer to while reading the book or ebook:

+Perry, Peter, English civil engineer and reserve army captain.

+ Perry, Wendy Joules, Peter’s Jersey-born wife.

+Perry, John, Peter and Wendy’s son.

+Overwood, Graham, British representative for the Phoenix Islands.

+Overwood, Lois , Graham’s English wife.

+Gordon and John, the Overwoods’ Gilbertese assistants.

+Chamorro Joe, Pan Am bartender and guitarist on Canton Island.

+Messrs. Fong and Naburo Sr., Hawaiian business partners.

+Cyril, the Nukulau postmaster in Fiji.

+Manuel, a Filipino waiter at NATS Canton Island.

+Smyth, Doris and Fred, the Perrys’ neighbors in Sydney.

+Perry, Edgar ‘Ned,’ Peter Perry’s younger brother.

+Perry, Marjorie Barrett, Ned’s Canadian wife.

+Lazet, Hans, Java-born Dutch civil engineer.

+MacAdam, Ralph, New Zealand-born Australian civil engineer.

+Beamish, Ronald, an Australian as US contracts manager in Nouméa.

+MacDougal, Hamish, Beamish’s managing director in Sydney.

+Orly,  Philippe, businessman and politician on Espiritu Santo.

+Orly Bardot, Yvonne, Philippe’s widowed sister.

+Bardot,  Stéphanie, André, and Raymond, Yvonne’s children.

+Mrs. Belfast, boarding house owner in Melbourne.

+Axelsson,  Roland, acting captain of M/V Mirrabooka.

+Malmgren, Thomas, a previous captain of M/V Mirrabooka.        

+Schroeder, Jurgen, Danish-born bosun of M/V Mirrabooka.

+Watanabe-san and the Spanish consul’s daughter in Melbourne.

+Carstens, Bruno , Anglo-Efaté businessman.

+Charles Rivens and Jean-Marc Forrester, colleagues of Carstens.

+Salas, Domingo, Roman Catholic archdeacon for Guam.

+Father Isaias and Bishop Benito, Domingo’s clergy colleagues.


+NZ Army Col. Percy McKee, commander of the Fiji defense garrison.

+US Army Col. Horace O’Reilly, commander of the Canton Island garrison.

+US Army Elias ‘El’ Crighton, Corps of Engineers at Santo.

+US Army 2d Lt. Thaddeus Jones, Co. B, 810th Bn., Corps of Engineers.


+IJN Lt. Naburo Jr., Hawaiian-born photography expert, conscripted by Japan.

+USNR Lt. Cdr. Elmer ‘Bongo’ Perkins, naval intelligence officer.

+USN Capt. ‘Hi-Yo’ Silvers, intelligence aide to Admiral Nimitz.

+USN Capt. Brian Weaver, naval operations in American Samoa.

+USN Lt. Cmdr. Starkey, NATS operations on Canton Island.

+USNR Lt. Mike Osborn, NATS operations in Fiji.

+USN Lt. Robert McGowan, naval intelligence officer.

+USNR Ens. Ellie Norbush, Nurse Corps, Efaté and Nouméa.

+USNR Ens. Andrew Culver, NATS Ops.  Canton, Nouméa, Okinawa.

+USNR Ens. Abigail ‘Abby’ Culver, Nurse Corps, Pacific Theater.

+USNR Lt. Joey Foster, shuttle pilot and presumed smuggler.

+USNR Lt. Franklin Jones, Harbormaster at Tulagi.

+USN CPO Martin Lubinski, asst. harbormaster at Tulagi.


Verisimilitude: All other named characters are historical, to whom various words or actions may have been attributed by the author with the utmost respect, to enliven their public personae.