By Kim Abbey and Peter Vesely
It’s not every day that you get to imagine what it would have been like to be in Guadalcanal during World War 2, but you can start to imagine some of the experience with just a short drive west of Honiara. Close to Boneghi Beach, about 200m inland stands a well preserved M4A3 Sherman tank called ‘Jezebel’ used by the US army during the Battle of Guadalcanal. It later became target practice in the ravine that the US Army had set up just inland from the beach.
Usually open on a Friday, Saturday and Sundays (after 12pm), this tank is a sight to behold as you imagine the long trip up the steep hill that it had before it was abandoned along with its geri cans. The guide advises that there is also a Jeep in the area so you might want to see if you can go for an extended trek to find it and perhaps some other World War 2 relics.
To get there, head west from Honiara towards the Bonegi Beach entrance. Located about 40 metres before the Bonegi 2 Beach entrance, you will find a dirt track and small leaf hut located on the inland roadside. Greeting you will be your trusty guide, John the Baptist. If in doubt, ask the friendly locals at the Bonegi 2 leaf hut entrance for directions and perhaps leave your vehicle there for safety. The cost is around SBD 25.00 and John will walk you up to see the tank.