11° 39' 0S Long 166° 54' 0E Vanikoro Island is located
in the Santa Cruz Island Group (Santa Cruz Islands) in in the
Solomon Islands. Also known as "Vanikolo". This island is located furthest to the south in the Santa Cruz Group. On the southwest coast is Peou Bay (Pallu Passage). Located 1,100 miles from the Coral Sea
and 800 miles from Guadalcanal.
The Kauri Timber Company operated a powerful radio
set on the island. This same radio
was utilized during the war by the only female
in the Pacific,
Boye. When the Pacific war started,
all Europeans and women were evacuated from the island.
stayed, husband and wife: Ruby and Skov
Female Coastwatcher Ruby Boye
Ruby Boye was 51 years
old in 1942 and had been operating the radio on Vanikoro
since 1939. She was appointed as a coastwatcher by the RAN,
and broadcast weather
four times a
day. Here broadcasts often got through when other stations did
Third US Army Outpost
When the US Army arrived later in 1942, the
location was named the Third US Army Outpost, and Ruby was
then under US Navy command. Her role expanded to include sending
intelligence messages to coastwatcher, and U.S. Intelligence headquarters
in Port Vila. Boye's broadcasts
were vital and appreciated by Allied aviators and sailors. She was
visited by Admiral Halsey, who landed in a PBY Catalina and came ashore
to meet Ruby and thank her for here work. She was relieved in
of service, and was taken by PBY back to Sydney for treatment
for shingles. With the war moved further to the north, this ended
the service of the Pacific's only female coastwatcher.
Sunk off Vanikoro Island, details unknown.
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
October 23, 2019