Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers were today finally recognised for the role they played in World War II, through the presentation of the first Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers Medallion.
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, presented the first medallions to family members of former Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers at the Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers Memorial in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
“On behalf of the Australian Government, I am proud to recognise the service and sacrifice made by the Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers with this new medallion,” Senator Feeney said.
“They provided crucial and decisive support to the Allied victories of Guadalcanal and Tulagi during the Second World War and this new medallion reflects that support and sacrifice.
“Scouts and Coastwatchers looked for signs of attack from hostile forces, as well as performed a vital role in guerrilla operations and intelligence gathering. Their assistance and loyalty was essential.
“It is fitting that as we mark the 10th anniversary of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, we remember and recognise the long history that our two countries share,” he said.
The Guadalcanal campaign is often seen as the turning point in the war in the Pacific. During that campaign, the Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers provided invaluable assistance to the Allied forces by looking for signs of attack from hostile forces.
The Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers Medallion recognises that vital contribution.
The medallion recognises that 27 Coastwatchers and 20 Solomon Islanders made the ultimate sacrifice and were killed in action during the Second World War. In addition to this, 18 Coastwatchers and 40 Solomon Islanders were captured during the course of the war. The Coastwatchers were also credited with rescuing 501 Allied military personnel and 450 civilians during the Second World War.
Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers who served during the Guadalcanal campaign (or a member of their surviving next of kin) will be eligible to receive the medallion in recognition of acts done in service of the Allied war effort.
Senator Feeney's office: (02) 6277 3415