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Lat 7° 4' 60S Long 157° 0' 0E Choiseul Island is a long narrow island on the eastern side of "The Slot". To the northwest is Bougainville. Choiseul Island is also known as "Lauru" in the local language. Offshore is Zinoa Island. Today located in Choiseul Province in Solomon Islands.
During 1942, Choiseul Island coastal areas were occupied by Japanese forces. During October 1942, USS Grampus (SS-207) landed several coastwatchers on the island. Coastwatcher Lt. Carden W. Seton operated from Choiseul during 1942 until October 1943, when he was removed by U. S. Navy PBY Catalina and joined the U. S. Marines during their raid on Voza during October 28 - November 3, 1943.
During late August 1943 until September 1943, "Tokyo Express" runs from Choiseul rescued more than 3,800 Japanese troops from Kolombangara to Choiseul. US Navy PT-Boats operated with success around the island as did larger ships, including USS Nicholas (DD 449) which patrolled between August 18 - 26, 1943.
Between October 28 - November 2, 1943 US Marines from the 1st Parachute Regiment landed at Voza to harass the Japanese and as a diversion for the landing at Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville. The Marines were evacuated by PT Boats. Afterwards, Choiseul was bypassed leaving the remaining Japanese forces isolated.
During January 21, 1944 until February 19, 1944 Technical Air Intelligence did a probe of Japanese aircraft wrecks on Choiseul. They were inserted at Ruravu Mission in the south of the island, and covered hundreds of miles by foot and in canoes with the help of locals and coastwatchers. They reported many wrecks including a Sonia, Oscar, Zero and Judy that was later recovered.
American missions against Choiseul
January 28, 1943 - March 4, 1944
Following Solomon Island independence on July 7, 1978, Choiseul was part of Western Province. On February 25, 1992 Choiseul Province was established. The administrative headquarters for Choiseul Province is located at Taro.
On November 2, 1943, US Marines from "Bigger's Force" of the 2nd Parachute Battalion, 1st Marine Parachute Regiment (Paramarines) were withdrawn this location. One LCVP landing craft hit a reef after leaving he beach and began to take on water. Then its engine died and it drifted toward enemy-held territory. PT-59 and PT-236 came on the scene and took aboard the men on that boat. Three aircraft appeared at the same time and covered the operation by strafing the shore.
Moli (Moli Point)
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