Mono island is a volcanic island in the northwest of the Solomon Islands. It is separated by the Blanche Harbour from Stirling Island and the other coral islands surrounding it. The village of Falamai is the main population centre of the island. The island is rimmed by limestone cliffs of more than twenty metres in height. The island's population is around 1,800.
The earthquake of April 1, 2007 and the tsunami following the earthquake caused considerable damage in Mono. Five houses and all school buildings collapsed and four people were reported missing.
World War II
The Japanese had occupied Mono during their invasion of the Solomons. On October 27, 1943 the 8th Brigade of the Third New Zealand Division and the U.S. 87th Navy Construction Battalion landed at two locations: at Falamai (site of the Japanese HQ on the island) in the south, and at Purple Beach at Soanotalu in the north. By November 7 the island was under Allied control. Twelve Americans and forty New Zealanders were killed during the campaign. For the New Zealanders, it was the first opposed amphibious operation since Gallipoli.
Stirling Island was turned into a huge airstrip by the allies, which was deserted after the War ended.
Mono Island is a diving paradise and is from time to time a port of call for cruising ships.
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