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On August 7, 1942, the six remaining Rufes were moored roughly 30' from shore at Halavo Bay. Two were under repair ashore at Tananbogo. Strafed and destroyed by US Navy F4F Wildcats from VF-71's 1st Division including Lt. Commander Courtney Shands (claimed 1 VP, 4 float VF) and Ensign Samuel W. Forrer (claimed 1 VP, 3 float VF).
The First Team And the Guadalcanal Campaign page 37
Due to shortages of cement, marston matting (Pierced Steel Planking, PSP) was used for the ramp and apron instead. A temporary ramp, 25' wide made of marston matting was completed by May 1943. Another temporary ramp of steel mat was built for use by late June 1943. The marston-mat ramps were considered wholly satisfactory in service, and it was estimated that their substitution for concrete saved roughly two months construction time.
Construction of the 12,000 -barrel tank farm was completed, including a filling line to the beach and a delivery line to the ramp. Thirty wooden buildings for administration and shops were constructed as fast as the output of the local sawmill permitted.
By late 1943, the scope of the Halavo base was revised upward, with plans for an increase in apron area, structures more permanent than the original canvas-covered ones, and the reconstruction of housing facilities. In addition, two ramps made of marston mat, 50' wide with a coral apron measuring 150' by 850' were installed. Dock facilities were built including a small-boat wharf, 16' by 72' and a boat refueling wharf, 6' by 50'. Twelve screened frame wards with canvas roofing were provided for a 200 bed bas hospital.
By September 1943, ten quonset huts, 20 feet by 48 feet, were erected for quarters. The aviation-gasoline tank farm was filled to capacity through the newly completed sea-loading line.
Later, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) PBY Catalinas operated from Halavo Seaplane Base. On June 12, 1945 New Zealand Governor General, Sir Cyril Newell visited Halavo and inspected 6 Squadron. The last mission flown by RNZAF PBY Catalinas was on September 8, 1945 when pilots Wing Commander Smith and Flying Officer Regan dropped surrender leaflets on Japanese occupied Nauru Island and Ocean Island.
Allied units based at Halavo Bay / Tulagi Seaplane Base
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