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New Hebrides

Full Name 108 New Hebrides Condominium
Alliance Allies - Minor Member Nation or Possession
Possessing Power United Kingdom
Entry into WW2 8 Dec 1941
Population in 1939 43,000


ww2dbaseEuropeans first arrived at the New Hebrides islands in 1606, and by the 18th century the island group was colonized by both the British and the French. In 1906, the two European powers agreed to share the islands. Britain and France each appointed one resident to oversee the administration of the New Hebrides, each with equal power to enforce the laws of their respective countries, thus making the Condominium a unique one in the history of European colonialism. The British administration set up its capital at Hog Harbour, while the French ruled from Segond. When France was defeated by Germany in 1940, despite the continued presence of a French resident (now answering to the non-belligerent Vichy France), the British resident became the one with more influence over the course of the war. In early 1941, the Australian military established the New Hebrides Defense Force based on the island of Malekula in New Hebrides; this force would later grow to the size of 2,000 Australians and colonials. When the Pacific War began in Dec 1941, because of New Hebrides' strategic location between Australia and the United States, and later the proximity to the Solomon Islands, the islands of Espiritu Santo, Efate, and others in the island group became important military bases for the Allied war effort, hosting airfields and naval anchorages. Espiritu Santo, for example, saw the establishment of a 6,000-foot long airfield early in the war, carved out of dense jungle by men of US Navy construction battalions. The New Hebrides were defended by troops of the US Army, although ultimately these islands would face no threat of invasion by the Japanese. After the war, Britain and France continued to administer New Hebrides until 1980 when the islands were given independence, forming the new republic of Vanuatu.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Mar 2014


WW2-Era Weather Data for New Hebrides


PBY Catalinas on the ramp of the Luganville Seaplane Base, Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 1942A tractor pulling an SBD Dauntless dive-bomber from a pier on Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, mid-1942. Note LCVPs.
See all 12 photographs of New Hebrides in World War II


United States Hydrographic Office July 1943 map of Efate Island, New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) showing friendly aircraft approach bearings.United States Hydrographic Office July 1943 map of the New Hebrides Islands (now Vanuatu) showing friendly aircraft approach bearings.

New Hebrides in World War II Interactive Map

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Don Davis says:
16 Mar 2016 07:50:41 AM

Does anyone have any information on any conflicts fought on these islands? My wife's uncle was KIA on 12 DEC 1943 at New Hebrides. His name was Thomas Harding Jessup. Any information will be appreciated. email: [email protected]
2. Anonymous says:
17 Dec 2016 09:21:49 AM

My father was stationed there during the war. He was in charge of the cameras in the wings of the fighters. They were Bell & Howell; he is responsible for ALL South Pacific dogfight videos from that time!
3. Penny Wightman says:
24 Jan 2017 10:57:33 AM

My father, Jack Owen Beal, was an aircraft mechanic stationed on these islands. If anyone has any information my email is [email protected] Thank you.
4. Anonymous says:
25 Feb 2017 01:09:09 PM

At Luganville Santo a large WW2 museum building is currently being constructed . It will be an incredible site to visit . People living in Santo want to commemorate the huge efforts and sacrifices made here in WW2
5. Mike Holden says:
19 Apr 2017 11:59:36 PM

My father was likewise stationed here Naval aviation repair and he had many stories about his time there.
6. Anonymous says:
6 Jun 2017 03:44:33 AM

So was my father. but I just discovered this. Navy Airforce, where can we get more informatioin
7. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
6 Jun 2017 10:50:41 AM

To Anonymous (above): -[and anyone else]- To learn more about a relativeís service during WWII, I cannot recommend highly enough the value of requesting a copy of his service record. For US servicemen, most of these records still exist and copies can be requested from the National Archives, which is easier than it sounds. See: http://ww2db.com/faq/#3
8. Samuel Bruce Jovinmal says:
17 Jan 2018 04:53:28 PM

Am looking for grand father picture went their recruit as army during second world war is name is Meletele from North East Malekula, please cant you send me some of picture ol a people of New Hebrides who part during that date?
9. Shane Frownfelter says:
4 Apr 2018 08:02:14 AM

My Grandfather was stationed at Espirtu Santo with VS-55 scouting squadron. I believe he was there from late '43 to early '45. He worked on SBD-Dauntless dive bombers mostly. Don't believe they saw much in the way of combat but the squad was responsible for sinking at least 1 enemy sub that I have been able to find. My father still has a lot of the information. I will have to reach out to him and see if I can find more.
10. Albert Peter says:
26 Sep 2018 04:32:34 AM

There is a crash plane from the war on Lelepa Island Vanuatu know as new Hebrides during world war 2. can you please give me some information about it? also there are machine gun placement on the beach on the island with this name Richardson 28th November 1943. can you give us more information about them please?
11. Lynn says:
13 Oct 2018 04:26:34 PM

My grandfather Joesph E Webster aka Jack died in Port Villa in 1944. I donít really know what he was doing there but the story is he was working for the Americans. He apparently was working for Burns Phillip. He had previously been in the Solomons and New Guinea. Any help would be appreciated.
12. Kelly Kuettner says:
11 Nov 2018 06:35:45 PM

My dad was stationed in New Hebrides during WWII. His name is Robert Kuettner. He was an army officer.
13. Rick Jolley says:
15 Dec 2018 08:29:58 PM

Which New Hebrides island was the116 combat engineers company b stationed on? My dad was in that unit and company. They built airstrips he ran a dozer among other equipment.
14. Peggy Case says:
7 Jan 2019 01:42:49 PM

My dad was in Marine Raiders, 4th Division; went to New Hebrides Island Feb 1943 for 5 months.
Any information you have would be appreciated. email [email protected]
15. wendy naughton says:
8 Jan 2019 11:15:29 AM

My grandfather was captain jack white and he Was there for four year and led an all black battalion which he said were incredibly brave and dedicated soldiers. Everyone took malaria pills and when they came home they were all yellow from
The pills
16. Jim Linley says:
7 Jun 2019 12:44:40 AM

Rick Jolley. My father was on Efate for over a year starting around July 1943. He worked with the 116th Company B of the Idaho National Guard building roads and other various infrastructure projects. He mentioned a Sgt "Porky" Powell that was from Idaho. It's possible, if it's the same unit, that your father and my father worked together.

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New Hebrides in World War II Photo Gallery
PBY Catalinas on the ramp of the Luganville Seaplane Base, Segond Channel, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 1942A tractor pulling an SBD Dauntless dive-bomber from a pier on Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, mid-1942. Note LCVPs.
See all 12 photographs of New Hebrides in World War II

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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal