EVERYONE knows the severity of the World War two here in the Solomon Islands, but little do we know of some amazing relics that were left behind.
Historians probably know what needs to be discovered and what has been discovered.
A good example was the discovery of a fighter plane at the Gilbert Camp area in east Honiara this year, when a local discovered a fighter plane in his garden in an old pond with a soldier still stuck in his seat with all his amoured gears on.
Some of the heaviest battle grounds in the country are Western Solomons, Central Islands Province and Guadalcanal.
War relics are kept and are part of the country’s history and an attraction for visitors.
Last week, some amazing discoveries were made in the Western Province.
The Tahitu Settlement
Tahitu is a settlement situated on Gohigo Island near Kolobangara and New Georgia Islands. The Island was a 1hour drive by boat from Gizo.
During WW2, Tahitu settlement was the base for the Japanese soldiers. The island was occupied by the Japanese soldiers before US came to Western Province .That’s how the name Tahitu came about. There, the delegation from the visitors Bureau discovered a war tanker.
Manu Hudson whose Samule Dodongah leads Tahitu settlement assisted the delegation to the location of the tanker the remained there all these years.
He said some foreigners offered to buy the tanker off but they refused to sell it.
He said the story about the tanker was too related to his family.
“According to my grandfather, a US barge landed and the tanker tried to make its way inland but resistance by Japanese troops was rigid.
“It coulnd’t because of the strong resistance and it was taken here. It landed and makes its way towards the Japanese troops.
“According to my grandfather, the tanker was a deadly weapon. Its guns sprayed down anything that stands in its path as it moved.
“There were two people onboard and they successfully moved out the Japanese troops.
“The tanker then made its way through the bush to this side of the Island. Where it is now, was where it could no longer move because of heavy artillery fired by the Japanese resistance.
“The two US soldiers onboard could no longer stand the rain of bullets so they narrowly escaped into the jungle.
“My grandfather knows the story about this tanker, that is why it is an important sign of history to this Island.”
Niugani at Enogae
After we finish from Tahitu, we went to another Settlement called Niugani in Enogae, North New Georgia. There we discovered more war relics.
It took us about half an hour from Tahitu to Enogae by boat.
Thomas Talika a man from Reef Island Temotu Province was in charge of the area .We pay him $30 each person in order to visit the kept relics.
There were machine guns. They belong to the Japanese soldiers according to Talika.
“These machine guns were set here and are used to target US warships and planes.
“These four guns were some of the first setting to prepare for US troops.
“This was one of the Japanese strong hold. They are set to target oncoming warships and planes because it was overlooking the entry to Kolobangara Island and New Georgia.
“The US forces found it very difficult to enter here.
From Niugani settlement in Enogae, we went to see a Japanese marines boat called Kasi Maru at Baeroko .This was still on New Georgia Island. A 20 minutes drive by boat from Noro town .
We left there for Lola.
Skull Island in Vonavona
From Baeroko, we headed to Lola Island Resort for lunch. After lunch at Lola, we head straight to the Skull Island, near Madou Village, Vonavona Lagoon.
According to history, the Skull Island was where the Roviana Headhunters normally offer sacrifices before going out to kill. This island was where the headhunters normally bring back their catches from the war. Human skulls are still there today.
From Skull Island, we went to see a USA sunken plane at an island outside of Gizo. The war plane was visible from the ocean floor.
From there we continued our trip to Kennedy Island with snorkeling to wrap it up.
Australian Travel Writer
An Australian Travel Writer David D May who also accompanied us described the trip as an “amazing discovery”.
“I know there are a lot of historical stories attached to each items that’s left behind, but people to relay the stories are gone.
“I am truly amazed and intrigued. I am so into this and love stories about this historical war in the Solomon Islands.’’Mr May said.
Meanwhile another group of travel writers from Australia and New Zealand will arrived tomorrow to do more promotional visits to some historical sites.
By DENVER NEWTER