Ok today I am telling you about Luganville, this is a small town situated around 50 kilometres south of Champagne Bay on Espiritu Santo’s south-eastern coast.
Espiritu Santo is Vanautu’s largest island and is part of the New Hebrides’ archipelago, Luganville is the provincial capital of Vanautu as well as its second largest town, it is part of over 300 islands scattered throughout Melanesia.
It has a population of around 14,000, the climate is suppose to be characterised by comfortably mild temperatures all year round with relatively little to no extremes so no snow or stinking hot days.
The inhabitants of Vanautu’s northern islands commonly refer to Luganville as “Santo”, Espiritu Santo’s rural inhabitants call Luganville “Kanal” which is derived from the French Segond Canal.
Most of the roads around Luganville have not been tar sealed and in fact most of the island’s roads are dirt roads or old cement paths that date back to the Second World War when the Americans laid the cement.
Many people walk around the town due to its small size and most of the town is suppose to be pretty flat thus easy for walking around, I do not know since I didn’t get off the ship but Tim did and he found the walk into town easy to do.
During the Second World War the U.S.S. San Juan cruiser sunk two Japanese patrol boats in October 1942 and the surviving Japanese crew became prisoner of war under the command of Luganville juggernauts and were forced to remain in a small jail facility which tourists can still visit.
In 1942 when the Americans arrived in Luganville the found no real structures existed to support the troops, so the Americans erected the BP Wharf as the most monumental wharf of its time. This wharf is still there.
After the war large amounts of American weaponry and gear was dumped into the sea and is still there resting at a depth of 40 meters beneath the surface, there are bulldozers, trucks, forklifts and containers.
Near the sunken S S President Coolidge there is an memorial to an American Army Captain Elwood J Euart who died while rescuing men from the sinking ship, the memorial was constructed at the end of the war a a tribute to his selfless heroism.