Imperial Army howitzer, number 104.
Breech is still attached and still moveable. Barrel is angled slightly, missing shield, wheels present.
Emplaced at Tenaro near Cape
Esperence overlooking Iron Bottom Sound, protecting the Japanese landing areas. Abandoned when Japanese Army withdrew from Guadalcanal in February 1943.
Remained in situ until the late 1970s. Salvaged by Fred Kona to Vilu
War Museum. During the early 1980s, this gun was displayed outside a hut that formed the museum's sole building. Two 150mm shells are nearby, on display in loading
and readiness positions.
Ewan Stevenson adds:
"Two of the 150mm guns
were moved down from Tenaro 1976-1978. Certainly before 1980. Some people were not very happy with Fred for moving
them down. Moving these artifacts from
their original location destroys forever some of their inherent
value. Those Type 96 on the ridge above Tenaro were truly magnificent
in the kunai grass. A nice view and intriguing mysterious position never mentioned in
the books. I so wish I could have visited them and photographed
and videoed them in their original location. Who knows what fortifications / archaeological
remains may have been associated with them. Such archaeological
earthworks that remain today in the vicinity may now be inexplicable.
But that was how Fred was the only person that has been successful
in putting anything together on Guadalcanal. He over rode any protests
and just used his over bearing, colourful character and status."
Thanks to Peter Flahavin and Ewan Stevenson for additional information.
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 4, 2018