A Tiny WWII Museum in Port Vila Vanuatu
On our recent amazing South Pacific Cruise out of Sydney, Australia we paid a small visit to a tiny WWII Museum in Port Vila Vanuatu. For me, it was one of the highlights of our day spent in Port Vila for a number of reasons.
This tiny but very personal roadside museum on the island was started many years ago by a lovely now elderly gentleman named Eric. I was so impressed with him on how proud and eager to share his findings in this quaint museum dedicated to U.S and Australian soldiers stationed here in WWII. He said most of the artifacts in his collection he retrieved in the ocean.
WWII Museum Port Vila Vanuatu
The city of Port Vila is located on the south coast of the island Efate. It is the commercial and financial hub of Vanuatu. This island was occupied and established as a key American and Australian airbase during WWII, and as a result, many military artifacts have been found and still are around these islands.
A Tribute to the Islands Allies
Eric the Museum Owner in Vanuatu
Although the tiny museum is a popular roadside rest stop for the many tourists visiting the island, it’s still a worthwhile experience for a few minutes, listening to Eric talking about his life and childhood memories as a young boy on the island. During our visit, he also had a large supply of small collectible coke bottles for sale dating back to the war in the 1940’s.
Any donation to help Eric with his living expenses is greatly appreciated and well worth it after listening to his delightful presentation. I purchased one of the old coke bottles for just a few dollars. Such a bargain compared to what you would pay for one of this bottles in North America!
WWII Museum Vanuatu Items Include Hand Grenades – Bombs – Cutlery – Bottles
WWII Museum Pieces Vanuatu
His old wooden shelves in the small hut were lined with military surplus. From old bottles, dishes, binoculars to bullets and hand grenades that were disguarded by military personnel during the war, it was so interesting to see these pieces of the past displayed proudly by this gentleman.
With the recent Cyclone that devastated the islands this year, I can only hope that this tiny piece of history is still standing for other tourists and travelers to enjoy.
Witnessing Ships Arriving on the Island
Havana Harbour Port Vila Vauatu
Eric told me he was about 10 years of age when 2 ships arrived to the island in World War II. At first, he said that everyone feared they were been invaded by the Japanese and many islanders headed for higher ground well away from the shore. He remembers his father telling him not to worry, as they were Americans here to protect them.
Recovered Military Dishware
My wife and really enjoyed this brief stop on the regular circle tour of the island that your taxi driver or tour operator will take you on. We booked this shore excursion separately on our own, but the island circle tour is offered as a typical shore excursion on most cruise lines making port at Port Vila. Be sure to check out my latest post and pictures on our fantastic South Pacific Cruise!
Eric showing us an Old hand grenade
South Pacific WWII Museum
There is a fabulous state of the art world class WWII Museum planned for Luganville, Vanuatu. It is a 5 year project to be built and funded by Non-Governmental Organization in Espiritu Santo Island of Vanuatu. For those of you interested in this amazing project, check out this amazing video presentation by one of the founders of the project. Definitely worth a look or you history buffs!
I hoped you enjoyed this post and my photos of this quaint museum and if anyone has any updates on the fate of this tiny piece of history, I would love to hear from you!
If you enjoyed reading this article, make my day and share it on your favorite Social Media Site by clicking one of the icons below! Thanks 🙂