BY ALEX DADAMU
THE Central Province Tourism Division has organized a commemoration program at the Blue Beach in Tulagi, Central Islands Province today Friday 7th August 2020 to Honour US Marines who landed on the same location on August 7th 1942 in their quest to secure Tulagi islands and surrounding Islands that Japanese had occupied 3 months earlier during the 2nd World War.
The Program involved speeches, laying of wreath and a minute of silence to remember soldiers who lost their lives during the battle of Tulagi, Gavutu and Tanambogo.
The Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu–Tanambogo was a land battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, between the forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied (mainly United States Marine Corps) ground forces. It took place from 7–9 August 1942 on the Solomon Islands, during the initial Allied landings in the Guadalcanal campaign.
According to a Wikipedia article on, “The Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu–Tanambogo” – U.S. Marines of the 1st Marine Division, under the overall command of U.S. Major General Alexander Vandegrift, with the USMC invasion force under the direct command of Brigadier General William Rupertus, captured the islands of Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo among which the Japanese Navy had constructed a naval and seaplane base.
The article revealed that the landings were fiercely resisted by the Japanese Navy troops who, heavily outnumbered and outgunned by the Allied forces, fought and died almost to the last man.
While the landings on Tulagi and Gavutu–Tanambogo were taking place, Allied troops were also landing on nearby Guadalcanal, with the objective of capturing the now Henderson airfield under construction by Japanese forces.
In contrast to the intense fighting on Tulagi and Gavutu, the landings on Guadalcanal were essentially unopposed. The landings on both Tulagi and Guadalcanal initiated the six-month-long Guadalcanal campaign.
In the meantime, according to Central Province Tourism Division, despite challenges faced with regards to the COVID-19 situation, the Division in a statement said that this year’s event will go ahead as planned but will be a a low key event due to the COVID-19 situation.
Meanwhile, in another related issue, the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra will be passing Solomon Waters this week and in her return from an exercise from Australia, HMAS Canberra and her crew will also conduct a commemorative ceremony over the site where her namesake ‘Canberra’ sunk in the Iron Bottom Sound during the battle of Savo on the 9th of August 1942.
HMAS Canberra will not dock nor will its crew disembark – adhering to Solomon Islands COVID-19 requirements, according to the a statement from the Australian High Commission in Honiara.