He later served for two years in
While working in Saipan from 1995-2000, Bruce wrote his
Bruce and his wife, a pediatrician, now live in
This book was researched and written in
Bruce got his inspiration from ‘Mac’ Gregory, a retired
Australian naval officer who made him realise that most books written about the
Pacific war tended to focus on the
The book is in four parts, which Bruce refers to as “voices of NZ veterans of the Pacific War, voices from the NZ home front, voices of Americans in NZ, and voices from the next generation.”
It includes many references to the
I came home after my [
Bougainville] tour and I didn’t weigh very much. That was from flying hard, not getting enough food and perspiration.
You were only expected to do three tours. Some were discharged but two of us from our squadron were posted to instructor school at Woodbourne to learn to be flight instructors. We didn’t think much of this idea at all, but we had no option.
We flew down together in a Harvard, a two-seater, one behind the other. We did a particular hairy landing one day, and I said to Butch, “Christ, butch, what the hell you doing? That was a hairy landing!”
He said, “I wasn’t flying the damn thing, you were!” I said, “I wasn’t flying it!”
‘New Zealand and the Pacific War: personal accounts of World War II’ by Bruce M Petty, McFarland & Co Inc, 2008, 233 pp. Visit Bruce’s website here for purchase information