WWII madness of Million Dollar Point: the USA dumped 1000’s of tons of vehicles into the Pacific
According to some historians, practically all of the participants had no idea when the Second World War would conclude, especially as more and more parties joined the fray.
As one of the most significant contributors to the Second World War, and having to fight in two theaters against equally ferocious opponents, the United States needed to spread its wings to far-flung battlefields toorder to maintain a firm grasp on the situation. Remember that the US established severalnumber of bases throughout the Pacific to assist the military in their war against the rebellious and aggressive Japan.
The Pacific’s bed is littered with tons of Second World War antiques placed there by the US Military not far from Espirito Santo’s shore, a small island in the Vanuatu Archipelago in the South-Western Pacific.
The site has now become a famous diving destination for aficionados, and it has been fittingly called the Million Dollar Point, according to the estimated worth of the equipment dropped. The divers saw enormous jeeps, six-wheeler vehicles, massive bulldozers, forklifts, semi-trailers, tractors, large bound sheets of corrugated iron, sealed boxes of apparel, and, of course, Coca-Cola containers
Because the British and French governments refused to pay for the items, the US decided to dump them rather than leave them on its greatest military post, located west of Pearl Harbour. The base was once a thriving mini-United States on the island, complete with 30 fully operational theaters.
Thousands of tons of military equipment discovered rusting on the bed were not abandoned there by the Vanuatu people or the Franco-British Condominium, who controlled the island from 1906 to 1980; all of material was purposely dumped in the waves by employees of the US military post erected during WWII.
When American personnel were ordered to leave the island after the post was closed, there was not enough capacity on the ships to transport all of the base’s equipment. The US military opted to give the excess to the local Franco-British administration at a very affordable price, which they declined.
The local administration saw the quantity of equipment that the US Army was unable to bring back and privately hoped that the US Army would leave the equipment on the island so that they could have it for free; however, the US military had other intentions.
Thurston Clarke, a travel writer, wrote extensively about the incident, claiming that the ‘Seabees’ created a big ramp that went into the sea, which was subsequently used virtually every day by Americans to drive vehicles, jeeps, bulldozers, ambulances, and tractors into the channel, never to be seen again. He stated that watching these technical wonders being pushed into the waves moved several Seabees to tears.
The villagers saw the odd deed by US military troops of destroying wealth they would never see again as insane.
Buttons was one of two US military stations erected on the archipelago in the aftermath of the Japanese rise after Pearl Harbour; the other facility was Roses, which was built on another nearby island called Efate.
The facilities were built very quickly, with structures completed and troops moving in within weeks, and within days, numerous islands became bustling American centers, much to the amazement of residents who had never seen such amount of activity on their islands.