Caledonia Island is located in the South Pacific located to the east
of Australia. The island has tall
largest coral barrier reef in
the world. Today, divided into three provinces: North Province (province Nord), South Province (province Sud) and Loyalty Islands Province (province des îles Loyauté).
North Province (Province Nord)
Plaine Des Gaiacs located on the western coast of New Caledonia, Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield.
Koumac located on the western coast of New Caledonia.
Paita located inland and north of Gomen Bay, POW camp and cemetery.
South Province (Province Sud)
Nouméa capital of New Caledonia and the provincial capital of South Province.
Nouméa Harbor borders Nouméa.
Ousassio Hill (Kimball Hill) located near Nouméa.
Mount Mou located inland from Nouméa.
Bourail (Boureil, Burail) located inland from the western coast includes Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery.
Loyalty Islands Province (province des îles Loyauté)
Loyalty Islands located to the east of New Caledonia.
After the fall of France, New Caledonia had a Vichy French government. During late February 1942 the country was identified as a possible
to Australia and a small force from the Australian Army 2/3rd Independent Company (commando) led by Matheson who spoke French landed to ascertained
the island's loyalties and was deemed safe.
On March 12, 1942 the first American troops reached New Caledonia. The island was developed into a major American Allied staging base and a ferry
point for aircraft flying across the Pacific or bound for Australia. During its height, 40,000 American
servicemen were based in New Caledonia, and also as a rest and hospital
area for combat troops. As the war progressed, fewer came thru the
island, as other more forward bases were established. The local
people (Kanaks) were employed on the US bases observed relatively good
and were paid real wages for the
first time, one of the reasons the colony's status was changed
to 'French overseas territory' post war.
Caledonia has nearly two hundred thousand residents
are an ethnic blend of
Melanesian, European, Wallisian, Polynesian and Indonesians. Today, divided into three provinces: North Province (province Nord), South Province (province Sud) and Loyalty Islands Province (province des îles Loyauté).
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October 9, 2018