Home 2018-03-12T13:10:34+00:00

The excitement is building

The South Pacific World War II Museum will be unlike any museum in the world today. Not only will it be a fully immersive, interactive experience about the Pacific Theatre during World War II, it will stand in the middle of where everything took place – on the site of a former World War II US Navy base in Luganville, on the island of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. Not only will the museum be an exciting tourist destination, but it will create jobs and provide unique training opportunities for the local Santo people and bring a welcome source of income for the local economy.


A Piece of Espiritu Santo’s History Revealed

Following the demolition of a derelict building on Espiritu Santo, to make way for a new hardware store, a piece of what appeared to be World War II history was discovered. There, written on a timber beam was an inscription from a New Zealand soldier by the name of James Walcott. It listed his address in Dunedin, an identifying number, and his dates of service on Santo. Museum project Chairman Bradley Wood spotted the inscription and so began some detective work to see if we could trace it back to James’ family – assuming we could find them. Some initial research found that James was a storeman, he was the son of Ruby Doris Foord and Vernon Rupert Walcott and was baptised in Alexandra Parish in 1925. 

Kevin McCarthy, the museum’s new Fundraising, Marketing & Communications Advisor from New Zealand – thanks to New Zealand’s Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) – then sent the details of the find to the Otago Daily Times in New Zealand, hoping someone might know something. And someone certainly did.

Paul Gorman, who wrote the original story in the Times was contacted by Jude Walcott, James’ daughter and Senior Communications Advisor at Radio New Zealand. Jude’s cousin had seen the story and passed it on to her. Jude was thrilled that a piece of her family’s history had been discovered and we were just as thrilled to be able to solve a small puzzle of Santo’s hidden history.

Jude will be further researching her father’s time on Santo through the New Zealand Air Force Archives, and as she discovers more, we’ll post it here.

New Museum Video Launches

A new year and a new chapter for the museum project. 2018 sees the beginning of the major fundraising needed to progress the museum. With that in mind we thought it was an appropriate time to launch a new video that highlights what we’ve achieved so far and our plans for the future. A special word of thanks to Karl von Moller (http://karlvonmoller.com) for some of the footage in the video and Simon Baumfield (http://boomafilm.com) for the underwater shots. Hope you enjoy it.

“You could effectively say we will be the biggest museum in the world because it covers all of the south corner of Santo. You can go out, see it, feel it, and get that warm fuzzy feeling if you like for where it actually took place.”

Bradley Wood - Museum Founding Chairman

Where will the Museum be located?

The South Pacific World War II Museum will be built on the island of Espiritu Santo, one of the islands that make up the Pacific Islands nation of Vanuatu. You can zoom in to see just where that is on the map below.

Dreams and aspirations

Bradley Wood, Founding Chairman of the South Pacific World War II Museum, has been a passionate supporter and driver behind the establishment of a museum on Santo. In this interview Bradley describes the plans for the construction of the museum in Luganville, the major city on Santo in Vanuatu and the role he sees the museum playing in educating visitors.

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Come And Experience Espiritu Santo

Not only will the museum serve as a reminder of those who paid the
ultimate sacrifice, it will bring into focus the legacy they left behind.