The war in pictures

South Pacific WWII Museum Historical Galleries

We’re on our way to creating what we hope will become the largest photographic archive of World War II Pacific Theatre images in the world. We’ve recently added a large collection of new photographs to this page, but we’ve got to the point where we can’t show them all at once. So each gallery will be accessible via a clickable key images that will bring up each gallery individually.

USS ABSD-1 Floating Dry Dock

A massive dry dock shipped to Espiritu Santo in 10 sections from various shipyards in the USA during 1943.

The 25th Evacuation Hospital

The 25th Evacuation Hospital was built four miles from bomber strip #1 in the middle of the jungles of Santo to treat 750 patients.

Aore Island

Aore Island was home to massive ammunition dumps, fuel storage facilities, a sea mine assembly area and every sailor’s favourite, the Navy’s Fleet Recreation Center.

Elwood J Euart Memorial

The Elwood J Euart Memorial was erected to remember the brave US Army Captain who lost his life rescuing sailors from the USS President Coolidge.

Navy Aviation Maintenance

The US Navy constructed extensive maintenance and repair facilities to service the many types of aircraft based on Espiritu Santo.

US Navy Bakery

With tens of thousands of personnel making Santo their home, massive bakeries were constructed that baked thousands of loaves of bread every day.

US Navy Hospital No. 3

The US Navy Hospital No.3 was one of the many hospitals built on Santo during World War II to treat injured allied soldiers and sailors. 

US Navy Hospital No. 6

US Navy Hospital No. 6 was another of the many hospitals treating sick and injured Allied servicemen and women brought back from the front lines of combat. 

Jungle Combat Training Centre

To prepare US soldiers and sailors for the hazards of jungle warfare, a training centre was constructed to teach them everything about jungle survival.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s Visit

In 1943 US First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt visited Espiritu Santo as part of a goodwill tour for personnel stationed there during the war.

Ship Replenishment

When ships needed resupply, the Aore island fuel farm and wharf provided the necessary fuel and ammunition prior to setting sail.

Signal Tower

The signal tower on one of the main wharves in Luganville kept an eye on ships entering and leaving the main Segond shipping channel

The Fuel Farms

A massive fuel farm was constructed on Aore Island for the refuelling of US and Allied ships going to and leaving from the combat areas of the Pacific Theatre.

Simonson’s Wharf

One of the many wharves constructed along the southern reaches of Espiritu Santo on the Segond Channel, that are still in use today.

Vehicles On Santo

As with any major US base during World War II, Espiritu Santo had thousands of vehicles supporting the war effort on the Santo and the neighbouring islands.

Santo Wharves

Espiritu Santo certainly didn’t have a shortage of wharves and docking facilities supporting every aspect of US Navy operations during World War II.

Other Santo Wharves

Docks, jetties and wharves weren’t confined to Segond Channel. Many more were built around Santo and other islands to support the US Navy. 

Boat Repair Dock

The Boat Repair Dock was a major US Navy facility built right in the heart of Luganville for repairing US Navy vessels.

Bomber Airfield No 1

The first of three huge bomber airfields, Bomber Airfield No 1 was built right next to Palikulo Bay to the north east of Luganville.

Bomber Airfield No 2

Bomber Airfield No 2 was the closest to Luganville and today is home to Luganville’s international airport.

Bomber Airfield No 3

The third bomber airfield built on Santo, Bomber Airfield No 3 was built in an elevated position looking down towards Segond Channel.

SS President Coolidge

The SS President Coolidge was a passenger ship turned troop transport that sank upon entering Segond Channel after hitting two sea mines.

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