Jacob Charles Vouza
Solomon Island Scout
Jacob Charles Vouza was born around 1900 in Tasimboko village on Guadalcanal. During 1916, he joined the Solomon Island Police Force (SIPF) and retired in 1941.
During 1942 after the Japanese invaded Guadalcanal, he returned to active service as a scout. During August 1942, he was captured by the Japanese and tortured by the Japanese. Wounded, he managed to escape and reached the American perimeter at Tenaru (Ilu River) meeting U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) Wilbur Bewley on sentry duty. After recovering, he returned to service as a scout on Guadalcanal.
A gruesome photograph of Vouza holding the severed head of a Japanese solider at Henderson Field. Probably this was a posed photo, or the wartime caption was erroneous, claiming Vouza made a revenge killing to avenge his prior capture.
For his wartime service, he received the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, British George Medal, Police Long Service Medal and a Member of the British Empire in 1957.
In 1949 he became a district headman and President of the Guadalcanal Council from 1952-58. From 1950 -1960 he was on the Solomons protectorate advisory board. In 1968, he visited the United Sates with Coastwatcher Martin Clemens and was knighted in 1979.
On March 15, 1984 Jacob Vouza passed away and was buried in his Marine uniform with all
his medals in California village on Guadalcanal.
Postwar, the Jacob Vouza scholarship was funded by USMC veterans to provide educational opportunities to Solomon Islands students.
Thanks to Peter Flahavin for additional information.