During World War II, Barakoma Airfield on Vella Lavella was the home base for VMF-214 (the "Black Sheep," led by Gregory Boyington). For convenience, the TV series Baa, Baa, Black Sheep renamed the island to "Vella La Cava."
 overhead images show what may be the remains of the Marines' airfield.
Notable local people
- Milna Tozaka was elected to the National Parliament of the Solomon Islands to represent the North Vella Lavella Constituency on 5 April 2006. He is the current Foreign Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare; he has previously served as the Minister for Public Service.
- McGee, William L. (2002). "Occupation of Vella Lavella". The Solomons Campaigns, 1942-1943: From Guadalcanal to Bougainville--Pacific War Turning Point, Volume 2 (Amphibious Operations in the South Pacific in WWII). BMC Publications. ISBN 0-9701678-7-3.
- Morison, Samuel Eliot (1958). "Chapter XIII: Vella Lavella". Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, vol. 6 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Castle Books. ISBN 0-7858-1307-1.
- "My Journey to Vella Lavella" A travelogue by a rare Western visitor to the island, from September 1997.
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