Gavutu is a small islet in the Central Province of the Solomon Islands, some 500 metres (550 yards) in length. It is one of the Nggela Islands.

Gavutu Island
Gavutu Island
Location in the Solomon Islands
Coordinates: 009°07′00″S 160°11′20″E
CountrySolomon Islands
ProvinceCentral Province
Island groupNggela Islands Group


The first recorded sighting by Europeans was by the Spanish expedition of Álvaro de Mendaña on 16 April 1568. More precisely the sighting was due to a local voyage done by a small boat, in the accounts the brigantine Santiago, commanded by Maestre de Campo Pedro Ortega Valencia and having Hernán Gallego as pilot.[1][2]

World War II

Along with the nearby island of Tanambogo, it played an important role in the Guadalcanal campaign during World War II. In 1942 the Japanese attempted to establish a seaplane base on the island. On 7–9 August 1942, in the Battle of Tulagi and Gavutu–Tanambogo, the 1st Marine Parachute Battalion and elements of the U.S. 2nd Marine Regiment assaulted and occupied the island.[3][4]


  1. Sharp, Andrew The discovery of the Pacific Islands Oxford, 1960, p. 45.
  2. Brand, Donald D. The Pacific Basin: A History of its Geographical Explorations The American Geographical Society, New York, 1967, p. 133.
  3. "Conquest of Tanambogo & Gavutu Islands". Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  4. "Second Marine Division". Retrieved 20 October 2012.
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