August 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the United States landing troops at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, in a bid to thwart the Japanese from interrupting supply lines and establishing a forward base in the South Pacific. This was a sea, land, and air war with ferocious combat in seven major naval battles, numerous clashes ashore, and almost continuous air bombardment.
After six months, the Americans and Japanese left in a hurry, abandoning tons of munitions, oil, fuel, metals, and machinery. This detritus of war has been rusting, leaching, poisoning, and exploding in the lands and seas of this poor and underdeveloped nation ever since.
Honolulu Civil Beat has published an integrated multi-media investigative report series in cooperation with Solomon Islands-based reporter and editor Dorothy Wickham, of the Melanesian News Network, to understand how a war between the U.S. and Japan continues to impact Indigenous Pacific Islanders 80 years on.