Stuart Tank on Tahitu Island
the way back to Gizo by longboat we stopped at two really
the island of Tahitu we had an extraordinary find. We
landed at a small inlet and walked up a barely recognisable
track to find our guide waiting to take us to an abandoned
Clearing the track of overhanging vines with a machete,
Hudson led us to what turned out to be a US Stuart tank.
Stuarts were one of the best light tanks of the war,
but after almost 70 years out in the tropical climate
this one needs a bit of a spruce up.
our journey over the lagoon we stopped midway to Gizo
for a truly memorable spot of snorkeling.
seven metres below us was the near-intact remains of
an American Hellcat fighter, shot down in a dogfight
by its own side.
sky was dark and it was late afternoon but despite that
we hopped over the side with mask and fins and got to
see the wreck close up.
was a magnificent adventure and, for military history
buffs, a real buzz.
So was another place we passed by – Kennedy Island,
the piece of land that saved Lt John F Kennedy, later
to be US president, from a watery death after his PT-109
was sliced in two by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri
on August 2, 1943.