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    Stirling Island (Sterling) Western Province Solomon Islands

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1944

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1994

Location
Lat 7° 20' 60S Long 155° 34' 0E Part of the Treasury Island Group, located to the north is Blanche Harbor and Mono Island, Stirling is about 4 miles long. Located roughly 17 miles south of Shortland. During the war, Allies code named the location "Island X". Some wartime references spell this location as "Sterling".

Wartime History
As part of "Operation Goodtime", the Allies made a diversionary landing in the Treasury Islands prior to the main landing at Torokina. On October 27, 1943, Allied forces including the 3rd New Zealand Divsion, 8 New Zealand Brigade, plus a company of 87th Construction Battalion "Seabees" landed at Falamai on Mono. Facing minimal opposition, the island was secured by the end of the day.

After the Allied landing on Stirling, it was evident that Stirling was perfect for an airfield because the island was naturally flat, coral surfaced, fresh water and good landing beaches nearby. A reconnaissance crew from the 87th Naval Construction Battalion "Seabees" arrived on Stirling on November 1, 1943 to survey the area, and four days later submitted a favorable report about the area. Based on this report, construction of a bomber strip "W", originally planned for Bougainville was initiated here.

Stirling Airfield (Coronus Strip)
American built airfield used by 13th AF and USMC, still in use today with regional fights

Stirling PT Boat Base (Treasury)
After the Allied landing, on October 28, 1943 PT Boat Squadron 9 arrived to setup a temporary base at Stirling. Facilities built by 87th Construction Battalion "Seabees".

References
The Earthmovers pages 61-80

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Last Updated
April 23, 2016

 

Map
1943

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