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    Florida Island (Nggela Sule, Big Gela) Central Province Solomon Islands

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Justin Taylan 2006

Location
Florida Island is the largest island in the Florida Island Group in Central Province in the Solomon Islands. Also known as "Nggela Sule" or "Big Gela". To the south is Tulagi Island and Iron Bottom Sound. To the southeast is Nggela Pile (Small Gela). To the northwest is Olevuga Island.

Wartime History
On May 3, 1942 the Japanese occupied this area to established a seaplane base at Gavutu / Tanambogo and occupy Tulagi. On August 7, 1942 at 7:45am U. S. Marines landed at Haleta on the southern tip

the tip of a peninsula at the southern tip of Florida Island,

Haleta
Located on the southern tip of Florida Island, south of Purvis Bay (Tokio Bay). On August 7, 1942 Haleta was the site of the first U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) landing in the area. This landing was to provide flank cover for the landing at to the nearby landing at Blue Beach on Tulagi. Due to coral reefs around this location, none of the landing craft in the first wave were able to reach shore. Instead, they unloaded roughly 30-100 yards from the beach as the Marines waded ashore in waist to armpit deep water. There was no opposition to the landing.

Halavo Bay (Balava)
Borders the southern coast of Florida Island and Halavo village, bordering Halavo Bay connected to Gavutu Harbor further to the west.

Halavo Seaplane Base (Halavo Bay, Balava)
Site of the American seaplane base, on shore were many large fuel tanks and of shore moorings for PBYs and other seaplanes.

Purvis Bay (Tokio Bay)
Located on the south central coast of Florida Island. Used by the Japanese and US Navy. Several shipwrecks are abandoned in the bay.

Turner City
Located on the southern coast of Florida Island, bordering Gavutu Harbor to the south. During 1943, U. S. Navy (USN) "Seabees" constructed camp facilities for 400 men and officers at this location plus a pier 10' by 130', a 2' x 12' pontoon finger pier for small craft, and two steel arch-rib warehouses. This location was dubbed "Turner City".

Carter City
Located on the southern coast of Florida Island on a peninsula west of Purvis Bay (Tokio Bay). During 1943, U. S. Navy (USN) "Seabees" constructed workshops and a marine railway and landing craft repair base at this location.

Calvertville
Located on the southern coast of Florida Island bordering Tulagi Harbor to the south is Macambo Island and Tulagi Island. During 1943, U. S. Navy (USN) "Seabees" constructed housing to support the nearby Tulagi PT Boat Base locations.

Watering Point
In 1943, the U. S. Navy (USN) built a water pipe to supply ships with drinking water, it runs from an underground stream inland, to the Watering Hole Cave.

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Last Updated
August 5, 2017

 

Map
Map 1943

Map
Map II
1943

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