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   xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Nov 29 09:46 PM

Nov 30th, 2016: Espirutu Santo

During the big one, WWII, the island of Espirutu Santo was used by the Americans as their primary military supply and support
base second only to Hawaii. There were two bomber and two fighter airbases and massive aircraft and ship repair facilities, and
40,000 permanent troops. There was also warehouses full of food, clothing, and anything they might need in a war zone.

Then the war ended and shipping all this stuff home was expensive plus the priority was get the troops home quickly so they could
kick all those troublesome Rosies out of the factories. So they tried to sell the stuff to the British and French who had joint
sovereignty there. But the colonial authorities figured if they refused to buy, the Americans would have to leave everything behind.

The Seabees built a ramp running into the sea and every day Americans drove trucks, jeeps, ambulances, bulldozers,
and tractors into the channel, locking the wheels and jumping free at the last second. Engine blocks cracked and hissed.
Some Seabees wept. Ni-Vanuatu witnessing the destruction of wealth their island would never see again, at least in their lifetimes,
thought the Americans had gone mad.

But the natives blamed the British/French authorities, because the Yanks tried to give the food, clothing, lumber, and household
supplies to the natives but the authorities seized everything and burned or dumped it in the ocean. Natives caught with anything
were severely punished. Dickheads.


Leus  Wednesday Nov 30 08:55 AM

Ahh, bureaucracy.


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 30 09:09 AM

I imagine the American GIs got along with the natives better than the British/French Colonial Administrators.

Diaphone Jim  Wednesday Nov 30 12:50 PM

Not a very uplifting IOTD, Bruce, but I suppose we could have given them the Bikini treatment.
Dickheads, indeed.

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 30 01:06 PM

Well on the upside, that town/island has become one of the premier sites in the Pacific, for snorkeling and skin diving tourists.


Clodfobble  Wednesday Nov 30 11:30 PM

It's like Wal-Mart employees slashing apart the shirts that they throw out, except, you know, with tanks.

Griff  Thursday Dec 1 07:35 AM

thanks for the morning laugh Clod!

Pamela  Friday Dec 2 12:13 AM

Historical note: Espiritu Santo was the birthplace of the famous VMF-214 Black Sheep

The TV series was not very accurate, but hey, TV!

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