American author to walk PNG’s war trail

(Original article posted June 18, 2017 4:51 PM via www.looppng.com, © 2017)

American author James Campbell is planning to walk the not so popular Kapa Kapa War Trail in the Southern Region next year.

The Kapa Kapa Trail was used by American soldiers during World War II in 1942.

Campbell wrote the book Ghost Mountain Boys, which is about soldiers who marched over the 10,000-foot Owen Stanley Mountains to protect the right flank of the Australian army during the battle for New Guinea.

In 2006, Campbell followed the footsteps of the Ghost Mountain Boys and shot a documentary film in the process.

His fascination with PNG, which he has visited five times, and the war in the South Pacific, led him to the story of the Ghost Mountain Boys.

Campbell will walk the trail alongside at least three relatives of the soldiers.

The Kapa Kapa trail was conquered for the first time by five well-seasoned trekkers in October 2016, led by expert trekker Peter Gamgee, on a 17-day expedition.

Gamgee, from the Getaway Trekking Company, completed the track alongside his son in 2011 and has also walked the famous Kokoda Track 12 times.

Gamgee said the author is also attracting interest from a US Discovery Channel, National Geography, and some forensic archaeologists, to put together the trip.

Kapa Kapa Trail runs roughly parallel and 30 miles southeast of the Kokoda Track and passes through about 20 villages, including Itokama, Arapara, Jaure, Natunga and Bofu.

2018 marks the 75th year anniversary that the Allied troops and the first U.S Army troops defeated the Japanese on the Northern Beaches of Buna and Sanananda.

Picture courtesy of www.ghostmountainboys.com