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    Florida Island (Nggela Sule, Big Gela) Central Province Solomon Islands

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Justin Taylan 2006

Largest island in the Florida Island Group, also known as"Nggela Sule" or "Big Gela". This large island surrounds the island of Tulagi. To the south is the large island Nggela Pile.

Wartime History
The Japanese occupied the area during May 1942, and established a seaplane base at Gavutu / Tanambogo and occupied Tulagi. On August 7, 1942 at 7:45am US Marines landed at the tip of a peninsula at the southern tip of Florida Island, south of Purvis Bay (Tokio Bay).

This was the first US Marine Corps landing during the August 7, 1942 attack. Its goal was to provide flank cover to the nearby landing at Blue Beach on Tulagi. The Haleta landing met no resistance. Not a single landing craft of the first wave was able to set its passengers directly ashore. All of them hung up on coral at distances from 30 to well over 100 yards from the beach line, and the assault personnel waded ashore against no opposition, through water initially from waist to armpit deep.

Halavo Bay (Balava)
Halavo village along Halavo Bay bordering Gavutu Harbor.

Halavo Seaplane Base (Halavo Bay, Balava)
Site of the American seaplane base, on shore were many large fuel tanks and of shore moorings for PBYs and other seaplanes.

Purvis Bay (Tokio Bay)
Located on the south central coast of Florida Island. Used by the Japanese and US Navy. Several shipwrecks are abandoned in the bay.

Turner City
In 1943, US Navy Seabees built camp facilities for 400 men and officers, a pier 10' by 130', a 2-by-12-pontoon finger pier for small craft, and two steel arch-rib warehouses.

Carter City
Located on a peninsula at the southern tip of Florida Island west of Purvis Bay (Tokio Bay). In 1943, US Navy Seabees built workshops and a marine railway and landing craft repair base at this location.

Located on the southern coast of Florida Island bordering Tulagi Harbor, north of Macambo and Tulagi. In 1943, US Navy Construction Battalion Seabees built PT Boat base housing facilities.

Watering Point
In 1943, the USN built a water pipe to supply ships with drinking water, it runs from an underground stream inland, to the Watering Hole Cave

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Last Updated
August 15, 2015


Florida Island Map 1943

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