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    Laulasi Island Malaita Province Solomon Islands
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Justin Taylan 2004
Location
Lat 8° 52' 34S Long 160° 44' 16E  Laulasi Island is located inside Langa Langa Lagoon off the eastern coast of Malaita Island. This island is an artificial island created during the 1600s by an geologic uplift likely caused by an underwater earthquake. From the air, Laulasi Island has a neat rectangular shape and could be mistaken for the outline of a ship. Prewar and during the Pacific War part of the BSIP. Today located in Malaita Province in the Solomon Islands.

Wartime History
During August 1942 in the opening phase of the Guadalcanal campaign, Laulasi Island was mistaken as a "Japanese PT Boat Base" by U. S. Navy (USN) TBF Avengers from VT-8 from USS Saratoga led by Swede with Gene Hanson, John Taurman, Bert Earest. During the bombing 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
October 23, 2019

 

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