|Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands|
|Type||Military Seaplane Base|
|Controlled by||United States Navy|
History[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
The first bases on Espiritu Santo were established as defensive bases to guard the existing facility at Efate and to support the Solomon Islands Campaign, however its strategic location led to its expansion into one of the largest advance bases in the South Pacific. The 7th Naval Construction Battalion arrived on Santo on 11 August 1942 and began construction of more extensive air facilities to support the Guadalcanal Campaign. The 7th Battalion constructed a parking area, two pre-fabricated 85 ft by 100 ft nose hangars, warehouses, quonset huts, and two seaplane ramps at Belchif Point on the Segond Channel between the Renee and Sarakata Rivers. The 57th Naval Construction Battalion later built two seaplane drydocks at the base.
US Navy units based at the base included:
- VP-11 11 August 1942 – 1 February 1943
- VP-12 14 June-30 July 1944
- VP-14 1 September-10 December 1943
- VP-23 15 July-1 October 1942 and 24 June-20 August 1943
- VP-24 1 February-29 September 1943
- VP-54 1 August-10 November 1944
- VP-72 4 September 1942 - 6 July 1943
- VP-91 4 September 1942 - March 1943
all operating PBYs.
US Navy ships supporting seaplane operations included:
- USS Curtiss (AV-4) 11 August 1942 – 9 July 1943.
- USS Mackinac (AVP-13) August–November 1942
- USS Tangier (AV-8) 28 February-12 August 1943
- USS Wright (AV-1) October 1945
Royal New Zealand Air Force units operating from the base included:
- No. 5 Squadron operating PBYs from 10 November 1944
- No. 6 Squadron operating PBYs from November 1943
Postwar[edit | edit source]
NOB Espiritu Santo disestablished on 12 June 1946. The base's onshore facilities are now overgrown and are under private ownership.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Stone, Peter (1997). The Lady and the President: The life and loss of the S.S. President Coolidge. Oceans Enterprises. p. 51. ISBN 9780958665728.
- Building the Navy's Bases in World War II History of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Civil Engineer Corps 1940-1946. US Government Printing Office. 1947. p. 230.
- Building the Navy's Bases in World War II History of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Civil Engineer Corps 1940-1946. US Government Printing Office. 1947. p. 232.
- Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons - Volume 2. Naval Historical Center. p. 402.
- Squadrons, p.115
- Squadrons, p.584
- Squadrons, p. 430
- Squadrons, p. 436
- Squadrons, p. 477-8
- Squadrons, p. 195
- Squadrons, p. 494
- Squadrons, p. 402
- Squadrons, p.757
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