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    Laulasi Island Malaita Province Solomon Islands
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Justin Taylan 2004

Location
Laulasi Island is located inside Langa Langa Lagoon on the eastern coast of Malaita Island. This island is an artificial island created by an uplift during the 1600s. From the air, Laulasi Island has a neat rectangular shape and could be mistaken for the outline of a ship.

Wartime History
Bombed by American aircraft during the opening phase of the Guadalcanal campaign of August 1942, mistaken as a "Japanese PT Boat Base" by TBF Avengers from VT-8 from USS Saratoga, led by Swede with Gene Hanson, John Taurman, Bert Earest. During the attack, twenty-seven villagers were killed. Since then, there has been a long running compensation claim by the descendants of the victims.

Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight page 222
"[Swede] then saw what appeared to be boat moorings dotted around the harbor. Swede was now sure it was a Japanese torpedo-boat base disguised as a fishing village. To John Taurman, Bert Earest and Gene Hanson, the place appeared to be nothing more than a native settlement. A cluster of primitive huts ringed the lagoon. Tiny figures in canoes were paddling along the inlet that led towards the settlement. More canoes were beached along the shore line. Swede didn't wait to hear their opinions. Over the radio he ordered them to follow him down in another flat-hatting attack. Coming in low, he opened up on the huts with his nose machine gun before releasing his first bomb.

References
A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight page 222, 223, 225, 228

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018

 

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