Topographic Maps of the South Pacific Islands of WWII

I am looking for Topographic Maps of the Solomons, Noumea, Espirito Santos, New Zealand, and the other Islands in the SW Pacific (the Atolls in the Central Pacific are fairly flat, and due to having a sister who works on most of them cataloging endangered wildlife to remove or isolate, I have pictorial evidence that is enough to reconstruct their pre-WWII and WWII configurations).

But the Islands where the Allies fought in 1942 and 43 are principally of interest.

These would be all of the Southern Islands in the Solomons, plus Bougainville; New Guinea including New Britain and New Ireland plus the Manus Islands; the Islands that make up Vanuatu where Espirito Santos was used by the USA as a major Naval Base; New Caledonia, where Noumea was located, from which the war was directed for 1942 and early-1943; Celebes, now Sulawesi, and Borneo, both a part of Indonesia; and the Palaus.


  • You might also want to look at David Rumsey Map Collection that might have maps you are interested in.

  • Thank you for posting your question on History Hub.

    We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Published Topographic Maps, 1942-1972 (AMS Maps) in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (Record Group 77) that includes maps of the Solomons, Bougainville, New Guinea, New Zealand, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Borneo that may be of interest to you. This series is arranged alphanumerically by agency assigned map series (AMS) numbers and thereunder chronologically. Some AMS numbers may be partially restricted. The large majority of these records have not been digitized. A finding aid is available and can be provided digitally by contacting the Cartographic Branch.

    Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Cartographic (RDSC) at for access to and information about these records.

    We hope this is helpful.


    Cartographic Branch

    Special Media Division (RRS)

  • I had looked at their collection before, but did not notice that they did have a few maps that were “close enough” to some of the Pacific Islands, even if dating to the 19th Century. 

    They are not Modern Topographic Maps, but the way that the topography is depicted is good enough for the detail that is needed.


  • Thank you.

    I had known of a few of these, but they are not available online, and it will be a few months before I can physically get to NARA to get copies of them.

    Still… It is what I need in a pretty specific fashion for the most important (needed first for the project, which now that Apple’s Vision Pro has been released, is for an App related to that).

    We did not know that Apple Maps was going to include a full Topographic Feature, so that might well give us the maps we need in the other cases.

    But one of the things we needed (which the dates on the NARA maps indicates is better than a modern Topographic Map, no matter how accurate — although this might allow corrections of errors in older maps) is Maps dating to pre-1943, as the Topography changed rather radically in many of the islands due to our and Japan’s militaries “blowing them up” in the course of the war (The Airfield construction is really more consequential in all likelihood).

    But I know we might be able to order physical copies prior to my actual visit.