The Outdoors Blog

Bora Bora’s Place in World War II

January 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Phin Upham,

Once the United States decided to enter World War II, the army was in need of a site to resupply. The Pacific theater was in for a long period of fighting, so the commanders chose Bora Bora and inhabited the island under the name “Operation Bobcat.”

The island of Bora Bora in the South Pacific never saw any combat. It was used almost entirely as an oil depot, airstrip, seaplane base, and defensive fort throughout the conflict. The base at Bora Bora was a useful depot for the allies, supplying a force consisting of nine ships, 20,000 tons of equipment and a fighting force of nearly 7,000 men. Artillery guns that are still present on the island today were set around the island to prevent attacks that would never come.

The influence of the American army can still be felt today. Few of the GIs stationed in Bora Bora actually went back to the US, and those that stayed had a heavy impact on culture. Natives on the island developed a taste for the canned foods brought over by American GIs, and you can still hear American colloquialisms like “swell” and “okay” in the island vernacular.

The military bunkers still scattered on the island tell a story of a past movies only hint at. Visit these structures to see the most visible predictions of what is to become of our world when humans have moved on. These derelict bases are slowly becoming a part of the jungle, leaving a rusted husk of World War II history behind.

Also see some pics from Bora Bora by Phin Upham on Daily Motion:

Phin Upham Presents Bora Bora by dm_52022698b459b

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.


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