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    Hell's Point Guadalcanal Province Solomon Islands

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US Army Nov 27, 1943

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Justin Taylan 2003

Location
Hell's Point is located on the north coast of Guadalcanal. Borders the Lunga Point Anchorage and Iron Bottom Sound to the north. To the east is the "Alligator Creek" and Tenaru (Ilu) and to the west is Lunga Point. To the southwest is Henderson Field and south was Fighter 1 (Lunga Field).

Prewar
The Hell's Point area was a coconut palm plantation owned by Leaver Brothers.

Wartime History
During the middle of August 1942, U. S. Marines (USMC) established defenses at this location to strengthen the American perimeter protecting Lunga Point and Henderson Field including barbed wire, foxholes and building weapon pits . The area was defended by Battery B, 1st Special Weapons Battalion strengthened by Company H.

During the Battle of the Tenaru on August 21-22, 1942 this area was at the western edge of the battlefield and many Japanese Army soldiers were killed on the beach nearby. Afterwards, the area was nicknamed "Hell's Point". A famous photo of Japanese dead was taken at this location (US National Archives photo 127-N-50963).

After the battle for the duration of the Pacific War, the Hell's Point area was used as an American ammunition dump for small arms ordnance, mortars, artillery shells, aerial bombs including captured Japanese ordnance.

On November 27, 1943 a grass fire accidental ignited ammunition stored at Hell's Point causing a huge explosion and fire that lasted for three days.

Postwar
Postwar to the present day, the Hell's Point area still contains ample ordnance from World War II. Previously, locals have collected explosives for illegal reef bomb fishing or improvised explosives that often result in accidental injuries or deaths.

Today
At this location today, there is ample wartime ordnance stored at this location. Generally, the area is off limits to tourists or visitors due to unexploded ordnance (UXO) that remain in the area.

During 2003 to the present day, unexploded ordnance clean up efforts by Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) have conducted efforts to clean up, render safe and safely detonate unexploded ordnance (UXO).

During 2011, the "Hell's Point Range" was established at this location to train Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). During 2013, Australian Operation Render Safe also conducted disposal in this area.

References
Guadalcanal Battle Sites - Hell's Point Ammunition Dump
PacLII - Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands - Lever Solomon Ltd v Attorney General (2013)
Golden West - Guadalcanal Project September 10, 2013
UXOInfo.com - Battle Area Clearance (BAC): Guadalcanal October 31, 2014

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Last Updated
July 27, 2017

 

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