Happily, I can report that Emery & Tom both flew out just before the storm blew through, but during their stay, they ran into & spent some time with a team of army divers who were there to try to retrieve the remains of one of only two soldiers who lost their lives in the wartime tragedy of the Coolidge sinking (out of nearly 5,000 troops aboard the ship).
The story goes that a certain US Army Captain Elwood J Euart, who had already escaped the sinking ship during the morning of October 26, 1942, learned that there were soldiers who were stuck in the infirmary. Capt. Euart returned to the ship, which was lying on its side, and risking his own life he apparently safely rescued these men, but was unable to climb the rope to safety himself, due to the shifting angle of the ship.
A few years ago, rumors circulated that a dive guide in Santo had found a bone on the Coolidge. Others say that divers in 2012 found signigicant human remains and hid them. I can't tell you the "whole truth" but the team of American military divers that Tom & Emery met on their visit had been sent to dive the Coolidge to try to find .. and retrieve ... the remains of the Captain who had risked & lost his life saving his fellow soldiers.
The diving team did indeed find remains and recent DNA analysis has confirmed that they belong to Captain Elwood Euart, who has been officially honored for his bravery, and, has remains have been returned to his family.
Tom and Emery, by the way, reported superb diving and highly recommend the experience!
Check it all out here on our Vanuatu page and when you're ready to hear more, I'm an email away and will respond to your request with any additional details that you wish. Cheers, Dom