Wednesday, February 7, 2018


I have been living in South Tarawa for the past 9 days or so. I've had a week long orientation and started my volunteer job this week. I must say I am absolutely loving it so far. The country of Kiribati is very different to what I was expecting, hell I didn't really know what I was expecting, and am looking forward to the year ahead.

I've been pretty busy so haven't really had a chance to explore the WWII sites yet, but travel past many on my way to work in the morning. I am hoping to get some time to explore this weekend or next.

As part of my orientation on Monday we went past this WWII Japanese bunker in the Marine Training Centre where I am working. The duty officer's watch house is sited on top of it! It has been painted a nice dark green. There are still bullet hole pock marks on the surface.
Japanese Bunker in my place of work!
 Today at lunchtime I went for a walk along the road that passes Red 3 beach.
 Another view of Red 3, looking east. I'm not sure what that is in the water, possibly the remnants of some US equipment? The lagoon is pretty badly polluted by human waste and not recommended for swimming it, at least for foreigners. The locals don't seem to mind though.

The Japanese command bunker, about 200m from where I work! It is now surrounded by a Mormon school.

 The front of the command post, showing evidence of some pretty significant hits! Would love to get a look inside it.Today it is the backdrop to a basketball court.

I will hopefully have plenty more pictures to come.



  1. We wargamed Tarawa a few years back. What a great place to work!

    1. It sure is! It is amazing to me how narrow the island is in real life and how many men, on both sides, lost their lives fighting over such a small piece of land.

      Today Betio and South Tarawa is very, very densely populated. Am still settling in but really enjoying the opportunity to live and work in such a remote, seldom visited (at least by tourists) part of the Pacific.

  2. hi craig how big is the bunker length.width and height ?

  3. I've read accounts by vets who returned to the island years later and were surprised how small it is. They remembered it being bigger. I can understand that when you're hugging the ground most of the time and the next few yards of ground you had to move across no doubt looked like an excessive distance.