|Island group||Shortland Islands Group|
World War II
The island was the scene of a Japanese war crime during the Second World War. A work party of 517 British prisoners of war from various artillery regiments captured after the Battle of Singapore were transported to the island under the command of Lt.Col. John Bassett to build an airfield. When the airfield was completed the prisoners, including their commander Bassett, were executed. The mass graves were discovered after the war. Japanese authorities claimed that the prisoners were lost at sea when their transport was torpedoed.
This base was the intended destination from Rabaul of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto when his inspection flight was intercepted and shot down on April 18, 1943 near the later site of Buin, Bougainville Island, killing Yamamoto.
Sale of relics
In 2007, the Solomon Islands Government agreed to the arrangement for the sale of all World War II relics at the community of Balalae in Shortlands to an international group. The agreement gave way for removal of 11 remains of Japanese planes that had been in place since World War II.
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