Honiara International Airport
For the military history of the airport, see Henderson Field Honiara International Airport known as Henderson Field, is an airport on Guadalcanal Island in the nation of Solomon Islands. It is the only international airport in the country and is located 8 kilometers from the capital Honiara. In 1942 the airfield was under construction by the Imperial Japanese Navy when captured by American forces, who went on to complete it. Control of the airstrip was the focus of months of fighting in the Battle for Henderson Field during the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II. Henderson Field was named for Marine Major Lofton Henderson, commanding officer of VMSB-241, the first Marine aviator killed in action at the Battle of Midway while leading his squadron in an attack against Japanese carrier forces; the field was reopened in 1969 as a modernized civilian airport. The airport is capable of accommodating Boeing 737s. Airport information for AGGH at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006
Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the eight islands in the Channel Islands and the largest island in California, located off the coast of California. The island, in the northern group of the Channel Islands, is 22 miles long and from 2 to 6 miles wide with an area of 61,764.6 acres. Santa Cruz Island is located within California; the coastline has steep cliffs, gigantic sea caves and sandy beaches. Defined by the United States Census Bureau as Block 3000, Block Group 3, Census Tract 29.10 of Santa Barbara County, the 2000 census showed an official population of two persons. The highest peak is Devils Peak, at 2450+ feet, it was the largest owned island off the continental United States but is jointly owned by the National Park Service, the Nature Conservancy. A central valley splits the island along the Santa Cruz Island Fault, with volcanic rock on the north and older sedimentary rock on the south; this volcanic rock was fractured during the uplift phase that formed the island and over a hundred large sea caves have been carved into the resulting faults.
One of these, Painted Cave, is among the world's largest. Santa Cruz Island is home to some animals and plants found nowhere else on earth, including for instance the Santa Cruz Island fox, a subspecies of the island fox. Archaeological investigations indicate that Santa Cruz Island has been occupied for at least 10,000 years, it was known as Michumash in the Chumash language. The people of the Chumash Indian tribe who lived on the island developed a complex society dependent on marine harvest, craft specialization and trade with the mainland population. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo first observed the island in 1542 estimated to be inhabited by 2000 to 3000 Chumash on the three northern channel islands, with 11 villages on Santa Cruz. In 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno led the last Spanish expedition to California, his map named Santa Cruz Island the Isla de Gente Barbuda. Between 1602 and 1769 there was no recorded European contact with the island. In 1769, the land-and-sea expedition of Don Gaspar de Portolà reached Santa Cruz Island.
Traveling with him were Father Juan González Vizcaíno and Father Francisco Palóu. Father Palóu wrote of Father Vizcaíno's visit to the Santa Cruz village of Xaxas that the missionaries on ship went ashore and "they were well received by the heathen and presented with fish, in return for which the Indians were given some strings of beads." The island was considered for establishment of a Catholic mission to serve the large Chumash population. When Mission San Buenaventura was founded across the channel in 1782, it commenced the slow religious conversion of the Santa Cruz Chumash. Beset by diseases such as measles, the Chumash declined in numbers until, in 1822, the last of the Chumash left the island for mainland California missions; the name of Santa Cruz for the island came about when Gaspar de Portola expedition visited the Chumash village Xaxas on the island. The Chumash on the next day returned a staff, topped by an iron cross, inadvertently left behind by the Spanish. Hence, the name La Isla de la Santa Cruz appeared on their exploration map of 1770.
George Vancouver used the same name on his 1793 map. With Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821, the Mexican government asserted its control over California. In an effort to increase the Mexican presence, the government began sending convicted criminals to California in 1830. Around 80 prisoners were sent to Santa Barbara where, upon arrival, 31 incorrigibles were sent to Santa Cruz Island, they lived for a short time in an area now known as Prisoners Harbor before escaping to the mainland. Governor Juan Alvarado made a Mexican land grant of the Island of Santa Cruz to his aide Captain Andrés Castillero in 1839; when California became a state in 1850, the United States government, through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, required that land granted by Spanish and Mexican governments be proved before the Board of Land Commissioners. A claim was filed with the Land Commission in 1852, confirmed by the US Supreme Court in 1860, the grant was patented to Andrés Castillero in 1867. Castillero transferred title to his agent William Barron in 1857.
William Baron was a San Francisco co-owner of the company Barron, Forbes & Co.. Dr. James Barron Shaw was hired to manage things, charged by Barron to start a sheep operation, he expanded the road system. He imported cattle and sheep to the island and erected one of the earliest wharves along the California coast at Prisoners Harbor. Shaw was the first rancher to ship sheep to San Francisco by steamer, some selling at $30 per animal. By 1869, the year he left Santa Cruz, Shaw's island sheep ranch was well known, some 24,000 sheep grazed the hills and valleys of Santa Cruz Island. At that time, the gross proceeds from the ranch on Santa Cruz Island were $50,000. Barron sold the island for $150,000 in 1869, Shaw left for San Francisco and Los Alamos where he continued ranching; the island was purchased by ten investors from San Francisco, headed by Gustave Mahé, One of the investors, Justinian Caire, was a French immigrant and founder of a successful San Francisco hardware business that sold equipment to miners.
By 1886 Caire had acquired all of the shares of the Santa Cruz Island Company which he and his colleagues had founded in 1869. He implemented his vision of building a self-sustaining sheep and cattle ranch, vineyard and fruit grove operation on the island. Main Ranch was augmented with nine ot
Mono Airport is an airport on Mono Island in the Solomon Islands. Following the Allied invasion of the Northern Solomon Islands on October 25–27, 1943, an airstrip was built on Stirling Island by the 87th Naval Construction Battalion. Stirling Airfield was used to support a campaign to neutralize Japanese air power at Rabaul. Known as "Coronus Strip", the airfield was used by: 42d Bombardment Group, 20 January–August 1944 347th Fighter Group, 15 January-15 August 1944 Special Task Air Group STAG-1 VMB-413 operating PBJs VMD-254 operating PB4YsStirling Airfield is still in use today by the Solomons Airlines. USAAF in the South Pacific This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/. Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4. Maurer, Maurer, ed.. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History.
ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Solomon Airlines Routes
Santa Isabel Island
Santa Isabel Island is the longest in Solomon Islands, the third largest in terms of surface area, the largest in the group of islands in Isabel Province. Choiseul lies to Malaita to the south-east; the Pacific Ocean lies to the north, Guadalcanal to the south. The highest point in Santa Isabel is 1220 meters. River Marutho runs down that mountain into the ocean at Hofi. All the rivers or streams run down that center point except for those at the other tip of the Island, Katova side; the administrative centre is Buala. The nearest airport is Fera Airport on neighbouring Fera Island; the first European contact to the Solomon Islands was made at Santa Isabel Island, by the Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña on 7 February 1568. It was charted as Santa Isabel de la Estrella. A settlement was established by the Spaniards, a small boat was built to survey and chart the surrounding sea and islands; these local explorations led by Maestre de Campo Pedro Ortega Valencia and Alférez Hernando Enríquez resulted in the discoveries of the islands of Malaita, Savo, Choiseul, Ulawa, Malaulalo, Ali'ite, Ugi Island.
The Spanish came into contact with Solomon Islanders and at first the relationship was cordial. However, the Spanish expedition's need for fresh food and water led to tension and conflict, the Solomon Islanders’ subsistence economy being unable to provide continuous supplies to the Spanish. Having found no gold and little food, beset by attacks and sickness, the Spanish colonists shifted their colony to the site of today's Honiara on Guadalcanal, the settlement on Santa Isabel was abandoned. Santa Isabel islanders suffered attacks from blackbirding in the nineteenth century. In April 1885 a German Protectorate was declared over the North Solomon Islands, including Santa Isabel Island. In 1900, under the terms of Treaty of Berlin, Germany transferred the North Solomon Islands to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate in exchange for the British giving up all claims to Samoa. Missionaries settled on Santa Isabel Island under both protectorates, converting most of the population to Christianity.
In the early 20th century several British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Navy established a seaplane base at Rekata Bay on the northeast coast; the base was bombed by American forces from August 1942 to August 1943. In the following month, the Japanese evacuated the base. With the independence of the Solomon Islands in July 1978, Santa Isabel Island has been administered as part of Isabel Province. In May 27, 2011, 17 men were arrested for burning down the houses in Ulubea riverside settlement, 33 houses in all, as a result of a property dispute; the number was expanded to 31. The population of Santa Isabel speak as many as eight languages in addition to English and Solomon Islands Pijin. Blablanga language Bughotu language Cheke Holo language called Marine or Maringe Gao language Kokota language Laghu language Zabana language Zazao language Geoffrey M. White, Identity through History.
Malaita is the largest island of the Malaita Province in Solomon Islands. South Malaita Island known as Small Malaita and Maramasike for Areare speakers and Malamweimwei known to more than 80% of the islanders, is the island at the southern tip of the larger island of Malaita. A tropical and mountainous island, Malaita's pristine river systems and tropical forests have not been exploited. Malaita is the second most populous island of the Solomon Islands, with a population of 140,000, or more than a third of the entire national population; the largest city and provincial capital is Auki, on the northwest coast and is on the northern shore of the Langa Langa Lagoon. The people of the Langa Langa Lagoon and the Lau Lagoon on the northeast coast of Malaita call themselves wane i asi ‘salt-water people’ as distinct from wane i tolo ‘bush people’ who live in the interior of the island. Most local names for the island are Mala; the name Malaita or Malayta appears in the logbook of the Spanish explorers who in the 16th century visited the islands, claimed that to be the actual name.
They first saw the island from Santa Isabel. One theory is that "ita" was added on, as the Bughotu word for up or east, or in this context "there." Bishop George Augustus Selwyn referred to it as Malanta in 1850. Mala was the name used under British control; the name Big Malaita is used to distinguish it from the smaller South Malaita Island. Malaita was, along with the other Solomon Islands, settled by Austronesian speakers between 5000 and 3500 years ago. However, Malaita has not been archaeologically examined, a chronology of its prehistory is difficult to establish. In the traditional account of the Kwara'ae, their founding ancestor arrived about twenty generations ago, landed first on Guadalcanal, but followed a magical staff which led him on to the middle of Malaita, where he established their cultural norms, his descendents dispersed to the lowland areas on the edges of the island. First recorded sighting by Europeans of Malaita was by the Spaniard Álvaro de Mendaña on 11 April 1568. More the sighting was due to a local voyage done by a small boat, in the accounts the brigantine Santiago, commanded by Maestre de Campo Pedro Ortega Valencia and having Hernán Gallego as pilot.
In his account, Gallego chief pilot of Mendaña's expedition, establishes that they called the island Malaita after its native name and explored much of the coast, though not the north side. The Maramasiki Passage was thought to be a river. At one point they were fired at with arrows. However, after this discovery, the entire Solomon Islands chain was not found, its existence doubted, for two hundred years. After it was re-discovered in the late 18th century, Malaitans were subjected to harsh treatment from whaling boat crews and blackbirders. Contact with outsiders brought new opportunities for education; the first Malaitans to learn to read and write were Joseph Wate and Watehou, who accompanied Bishop John Coleridge Patteson to St John's College, Auckland. From the 1870s to 1903 Malaitan men comprised the largest number of Solomon Islander participants in the indentured labour trade to Queensland, Australia and to Fiji; the 1870s were a time of illegal recruiting practices known as blackbirding.
Malaitans are known to have volunteered as indentured labourers with some making their second trip to work on plantations, although the labour system remained exploitative. In 1901 the Commonwealth of Australia enacted the Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901 which facilitated the deportation of Pacific Islanders, the precursor to the White Australia policy; however many islanders formed the South Sea Islander community of Australia. Many labourers that returned to Malaita had become Christian; the skills of literacy and protest letters as to being deported from Australia was a precedent for the Maasina Ruru movement. Many of the earliest missionaries, both Catholic and Protestant, were killed, this violent reputation survives in the geographic name of Cape Arsacides, the eastward bulge of the northern part of the island, meaning Cape of the Assassins; the cape was mentioned in Herman Melville's epic novel Moby Dick by Ishmael, the novel's narrator. Ishmael talks of his friendship with the fictional Tranquo, King of Tranque.
However, some of the earliest missionaries were Malaitans who had worked abroad, such as Peter Ambuofa, baptised at Bundaberg, Queensland in 1892, gathered a Christian community around him when he returned in 1894. In response to his appeals, Florence Young led the first party of the Queensland Kanaka Mission to the Solomons in 1904. Anglican and Catholic churches missionized at this point; as the international labour trade slowed, an internal labour trade within the archipelago developed, by the 1920s thousands of Malaitans worked on plantations on other islands. At this time, there was no central power among the groups on Malaita, there were numerous blood feuds, exacerbated by the introduction of Western guns, steel tools which meant less time constraints for gardening. Around 1880, one of the chiefs, negotiated with labour recruiters to receive a supply of weapons in exchange of workers, based on a similar negotiation made by a chief on the Shortland Islands. However, labour recruitment was not always smooth.
In 1886, the vessel Young Dick was attacked at Sinerango, Mal
Guadalcanal is the principal island in Guadalcanal Province of the nation of Solomon Islands, located in the south-western Pacific, northeast of Australia. The island is covered in dense tropical rainforest and has a mountainous interior. Guadalcanal's discovery by westerners was under the Spanish expedition of Álvaro de Mendaña in 1568; the name comes from the village of Guadalcanal, in the province of Seville, in Andalusia, birthplace of Pedro de Ortega Valencia, a member of Mendaña's expedition. During 1942–43, it was the scene of the Guadalcanal Campaign and saw bitter fighting between Japanese and US troops; the Americans were victorious. At the end of World War II, Honiara, on the north coast of Guadalcanal, became the new capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. A Spanish expedition from Peru under the command of Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira discovered the island in the year 1568. Mendaña's subordinate, Pedro de Ortega Valencia, named the island after his home town Guadalcanal in Andalusia, Spain.
The name comes from the Arabic Wādī l-Khānāt, which means "Valley of the Stalls" or "River of Stalls", referring to the refreshment stalls which were set up there during Muslim rule in Andalusia. In the years that followed the discovery, the island was variously referred to as Guadarcana, Guarcana and Guadalcanar, which reflected different pronunciations of its name in Andalusian Spanish. European settlers and missionaries began to arrive in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the year 1893, the British Solomon Islands Protectorate was proclaimed which included the island of Guadalcanal. In 1932, the British confirmed the name Guadalcanal in line with the town in Spain. In the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Japanese drove the Americans out of the Philippines, the British out of British Malaya, the Dutch out of the East Indies; the Japanese began to expand into the Western Pacific, occupying many islands in an attempt to build a defensive ring around their conquests and threaten the lines of communication from the United States to Australia and New Zealand.
The Japanese reached Guadalcanal in May 1942. When an American reconnaissance mission spotted construction of a Japanese airfield at Lunga Point on the north coast of Guadalcanal, the situation became critical; this new Japanese airfield represented a threat to Australia itself, so the United States as a matter of urgency, despite not being adequately prepared, conducted its first amphibious landing of the war. The initial landings of US Marines on 7 August 1942 secured the airfield without too much difficulty, but holding the airfield for the next six months was one of the most hotly contested campaigns in the entire war for the control of ground and skies. Guadalcanal became a major turning point in the war. After six months of fighting, the Japanese ceased contesting the control of the island, they evacuated the island at Cape Esperance on the north west coast in February 1943. After landing on the island, the US Navy Seabees began finishing the airfield begun by the Japanese, it was named Henderson Field after a Marine aviator killed in combat during the Battle of Midway.
Aircraft operating from Henderson Field during the campaign were a hodgepodge of Marine, Army and allied aircraft that became known as the Cactus Air Force. They defended the airfield and threatened any Japanese ships that ventured into the vicinity during daylight hours. However, at night, Japanese naval forces were able to shell the airfield and deliver troops with supplies, retiring before daylight; the Japanese used fast ships to make these runs, this became known as the Tokyo Express. So many ships from both sides were sunk in the many engagements in and around the Solomon Island chain that the nearby waters were referred to as Ironbottom Sound; the Battle of Cape Esperance was fought on 11 October 1942 off the northwest coast of Guadalcanal. In the battle, United States Navy ships intercepted and defeated a Japanese formation of ships on their way down'the Slot' to reinforce and resupply troops on the island, but suffered losses as well; the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in November marked the turning point in which Allied Naval forces took on the experienced Japanese surface forces at night and forced them to withdraw after sharp action.
Some Japanese viewpoints consider these engagements, the improving Allied surface capability to challenge their surface ships at night, to be just as significant as the Battle of Midway in turning the tide against them. After six months of hard combat in and around Guadalcanal and dealing with jungle diseases that took a heavy toll of troops on both sides, Allied forces managed to halt the Japanese advance and dissuade them from contesting the control of the island by driving the last of the Japanese troops into the sea on 15 January 1943. American authorities declared Guadalcanal secure on 9 February 1943. Two US Navy ships have been named for the battle: USS Guadalcanal, a World War II escort carrier. USS Guadalcanal, an amphibious assault ship. To date, the only Coast Guardsman recipient of the Medal of Honor is Signalman 1st Class Douglas Albert Munro, awarded posthumously for his extraordinary heroism on 27 September 1942 at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal. Munro provided a shield and covering fire, helped evacuate 500 besieged Marines from a beach at Point Cruz.
During the Battle for Guadalcanal, the Medal of Honor was awarded to John Basilone who died on Iwo Jima. After the Second World War, the capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate was moved to Honiara on Guadalcanal from its previous location
Munda Airport is an airport in Munda on New Georgia Island in the Solomon Islands. A Japanese directive in late October 1942 called for an air base to be built at Munda Point, about 150 miles northwest of Guadalcanal and Henderson Field. Construction began in mid-November with a great emphasis on keeping the forward airfield secret; the majority of airfield work done before clearing the main runway and surfacing it with crushed coral. By wiring the tops of palm trees to keep them in place, allowing work to escape detection; the trunks were cut away, runway completed. Despite these efforts, reports of the strip were relayed to Guadalcanal via coastwatcher Danny Kennedy and aerial reconnaissance spotted increased barge traffic and evidence of crushed coral being prepared at the strip, but the Japanese succeeded in buying enough time to complete a single 1,094 feet by 44 feet all weather runway for fighters operational on 17 December 1942. Opened on 1 December 1942, it was used by the Japanese Navy and Japanese Army Air Force as a forward operating base.
As soon as it was operational, the airfield was hampered by the observation of coastwatchers in the area, including Kennedy and D. C. Horton, observing the airfield from Rendova, it was bombed from the air by the Allies prior to the American landing. Munda airfield was the principal objective of the Central Solomons campaign known as Munda or Munda Point Airfield, it was captured by the US Army XIV Corps forces after 12 continuous days of fierce fighting in the jungle area. The high ground around the airfield fell on August 5, 1943. Once seized, the Americans expanded the airbase for their own operations; the first American aircraft landed at Munda on August 14, 1943 with landings by F4U Corsairs piloted by Robert Owen of VMF-215, a 44th Fighter Squadron P-40 Warhawk and a J2F Duck with Marine Brigadier General Francis P. Mulcahy aboard. Known American air units stationed at Munda Airfield were: After the war, the airfield was turned into a commercial airport, used for regional flights by Solomon Airlines.
Ondonga Airfield USAAF in the South Pacific This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/. Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4. Maurer, Maurer, ed.. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Specific Solomon Airlines Routes