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World War II in Solomon Islands

 

 

Tetere Beach WWII Museum, Hell's Point, Alligator Creek

 

By Richard Moore

Pictures of Tetere Beach WWII Museum
Pictures of WWII Sites

Tetere Beach WWII MuseumThe island of Guadalcanal is rich in World War Two history which, we know, comes as no surprise as it was one of the key battlegrounds of the Pacific War.

On our last morning in the Solomon Islands we left Honiara heading east because I was desperate to see the araea around the Battle of Tenaru, or Alligator Creek, and I'd heard good things about an outdoor museum with huge numbers of US Amtracks.

The Amtracks were amphibious landing craft that could make their way inland to better protect seaborne troops.

At the Tetere Beach WWII Museum there are scores of the vehicles within its grounds.

They are in all sorts of conditions and make for quite an amazing sight, with many of them proving to be giant plant containers with now grown trees emerging from their interiors or twisting through gaps in their metal plates.

The museum also has a massive range of WW2-vintage softdrink bottles used by American troops.

One of the perks of visiting the museum is that you get to meet the owner of the museum, Sammy Basoe, who is the grandson of Sir Jacob Vouza.

Basoe is an enthusiastic expert on the war and he has put together a fascinating dossier detailing the fighting on land, sea and air.

Between Tetere Beach and Honiara lies Hell’s Point – a major ammunition dump during WWII – and a place that is off limits to visitors because of the dangers of live ordnance that still lies there.

It is a shame because not far from the road are several destroyed Japanese tanks.

Tetere Beach WWII MuseumJust down the main road from Hell’s Point we went across country to get to the site of the Battle of Tenaru, or Alligator Creek, where a Japanese night attack was destroyed by US machinegun fire after Vouza’s courageous warning.

Not far from the rivermouth is a shrine to the Japanese dead called the Ichiki Memorial after the colonel of the regiment.

A few kilometres further east we pulled up to Beach Red where the Allies first landed on Guadalcanal.

 

Copyright 2014 RICHARD MOORE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED