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.Destroyer USS Tucker after nearly being blown in two by a mine getting towed by the stern toward shallow water by YP-346, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 3 Aug 1942.Minelayer USS Breese standing by as a motor launch tows the wreck of the destroyer USS Tucker toward shallow water off Malo Island after Tucker was nearly blown in two by a mine the day before, 4 Aug 1942.
See all 31 photographs of New Hebrides in World War II


1943 United States Army map of Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides Islands (now Vanuatu).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.1944 United States Army map of Efate Island in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu).

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:
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 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 relative’s 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:
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 don’t 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
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.
17. John Anderson says:
27 Jul 2019 09:39:01 AM

My mother was a nurse at the 25th Evac Hospital and my dad was in the 3119th Signal Battalion when they met and were married on Sancto
18. Anonymous says:
9 Oct 2019 05:18:14 PM

My father served on this island in an all black anti aircraft unit
19. Anonymous says:
30 Nov 2019 04:44:03 PM

My father was with the 35th Battalion of Seabees who arrived on Espiritu Santo on Jan 28, 1943, just before the Battle of Rennell Island. I have many letters he wrote home, but the censors forbid any discussion of what they were doing. I'm trying to find out what projects were underway Through the first half of 1943. If anyone can help, please write.
20. James Daniel Linley says:
26 Jan 2020 06:36:02 AM

My father was on Efate from June 20, 1943 until Dec. 12, 1944. He was an Army Engineer and worked with a unit of the Idaho National Guard, Company B of the 116th Engineer Combat Battalion (Idaho National Guard Unit) an element of the 41st Infantry Division that had been stationed there a year earlier. They were building roads for the most part because Efate had no road network before the war. By the end of 1944 they were rolling up the New Hebrides bases and he was shipped off to Leyte via Guadalcanal and Hollandia, New Guinea to be a part of Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa. The only guy he mentioned during his time on Efate was a Sgt. "Porky" Powell, one of the Idaho NG boys. Any info on him would be appreciated.
21. Rick jolley says:
24 Feb 2020 05:42:45 PM

Yup, that's my dad unit. That NG unit was assigned to US Army 4st infantry after the war started. Shipped out from Ft Lewis Wa. Departed from San Francisco for South Pacific Feb 1942. Co a and c of the 116th went to Australia for training company b went directly to Ephate arrived May4 1942. They hooked up with a detachment of Seebees and Marines and started building airstrip and roads. Dad was in the new Hebrides for the duration I don't know if he was always on Ephate. He was a heavy equipment operator
22. James Linley says:
22 May 2020 01:00:03 PM

Rick Jolley. Just saw your post. Any chance your father had any photos taken during his service on Efate? My father mentioned working with patrol graders, maybe your father was operating one. Pretty sure they must have known each other. A company is only about 100 men and my father was there for about a year and a half. If you have any photos or other info, email me at Thanks.
23. Anonymous says:
2 Aug 2020 05:21:45 PM

My father was an infantry officer on Efate during WWII commanding black troops. Later while serving in Vietnam, I served under a Sergeant that served under my father during WWII. Small world sometimes. Courage on the Mountain-
24. Duane says:
17 Oct 2020 09:19:06 AM

Does the name George Peacock mean anything to anyone here?
25. Anonymous says:
18 Apr 2022 01:52:59 AM

My grandfather save two pilots from a plane crush in tongariki I don't know what year exactly but the last words he said too the two pilots were " Go remember harry, Harry save your life"

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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, 1942
See all 31 photographs of New Hebrides in World War II

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