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    Espiritu Santo (Santo) Sanma Province Republic of Vanuatu (New Hebrides)
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USAAF October 12, 1943

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RNZAF c1943
Espiritu Santo is the largest island in the New Hebrides island chain. Espiritu Santo is Spanish meaning "Holy Spirit". Also known as simply "Santo" or "Santos". Prewar and during the Pacific War located in New Hebrides. Today located in Sanma Province in the Republic of Vanuatu (Vanuatu). Espiritu Santo is Spanish for "Holy Spirit". Also known as simply "Santo" or "Santos". Borders St. Philippe and St. James Bay to the north. To the east is Turtle Bay and to the southeast Segond Channel, Aore Island, Tutuba Island, Bokissa Island and Malo Island (Mallo). Offshore are many small islands off the southeastern including Matte Vulu Island, Mavia Island (Mafia), Aesi Island and Palikulo Island.

Wartime History
During the Pacific War, Espiritu Santo was code named "Ampersand" and during February 1943 renamed "Buttons" and finally "Ebon". On May 28, 1942 the first American forces arrived on Espiritu Santo and began developing the island into a staging base and support area with naval facilities, airfields and a seaplane bases.

Japanese missions against Espiritu Santo
September 14, 1943

Espiritu Santo Airfields and Seaplane Bases
Lungaville Seaplane Base  located in Segond Channel with ramp and facilities at Belchif Point
Bomber 1 (Pallikulo Field, Fighter 1)  located near Lunganville at the southeastern corner of Espiritu Santo
Bomber 2 Airfield (Pekoa Field)  located near Lunganville at the southeastern corner of Espiritu Santo
Bomber 3 (Luganville Airfield)  located near Lunganville
Turtle Bay Airfield located near the eastern coast of Espiritu Santo

Lunganville (Santo)
Located at the southeastern corner of Espiritu Santo. Major American logistical base, port and dry dock area during the Pacific War. Today the second largest town in Vanuatu.

Camp Elrod
American camp area on a hill in the middle of a coconut grove. Named in honor of Captain Henry T. Elrod, the first U.S. Marine who earned the Medal of Honor defending Wake Island.

African American units based on Espiritu Santo Island
U.S. Army, 54th Coastal Artillery, 2nd Battalion

PV-1 Ventura
Abandoned on the island

PBY-5 Catalina Bureau Number 2389
Pilot Smith crashed August 6, 1942 wreckage found 1994 remains recovered

TBF Avenger Bureau Number 6240
Pilot Esterl crashed August 22, 1943

SBD-5 Dauntless Bureau Number 35946
Pilot Phillips crashed November 10, 1943

SBD-4 Dauntless Serial Number NZ5037
Pilot Moore crashed February 11, 1944 recovered and displayed at RNZAF Museum

SNJ-4 Texan Bureau Number 7008
Pilot Crocker crashed March 25, 1944

PBJ-1D Mitchell Bureau Number 35087
Pilot Lallathin crashed April 22, 1944

World War II Pacific Island Guide: A Geo-military Study (2002) pages 76-79

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Last Updated
February 15, 2023


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