World War II holds an important part in the History of Solomon Islands. Guadalcanal, Iron Bottom Sound and Tulagi are familiar to war veterans. 2012 saw the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Pacific War.
Some of the fiercest fighting of the war took place in and around Honiara. In 1942, here, during World War II’s bloodiest and longest campaign saw the loss of nearly 38,000 lives, which was the turning point of the war in the Pacific.
Many battle sites and relics of the war are found not only in Honiara but throughout the Solomon Islands.
On Peleliu Island, which is south of the stunning Rock Islands, are steep limestone cliffs that hide caves, as well as World War II planes, tank and war paraphernalia scattered about the island. The surrounding reef island measures 4.6 miles in length, and are somber reminders of the titanic battle that was fought on the island between American and Japanese forces in 1944. Derelict tanks, amphibious landing ramps, airplane propellers, bomb casings and steel helmets now dot the landscape and a War Museum has been set up for viewing smaller artillery and other items of interest.