One of the more interesting phenomenon encountered by the U.S. servicemen stationed in the South Pacific was the strange cargo cult of John Frum. Primarily based on the New Hebrides island of Tanna, the islanders had long believed in a legend passed down by their ancients that foretold that at some point a mighty god would come from the air and the sea to establish a time of peace and prosperity. Their legend had also claimed that 50,000 warriors were waiting inside the volcano, Mount Tukomeru, to lead them into victory as well as prosperity.

When American servicemen began landing on the island during World War II, it strengthened the islanders' belief in the prophesy. Bizarre ceremonies were held to honor and worship the mythical John Frum. Carved figurines of American warplanes and military artifacts such as helmets and rifles made from bamboo were used as religious icons, and the islanders would march in parades with "U.S.A." painted, carved or tattooed on their chests and backs. Some of them burned their money, killed their cattle and abandoned their homes, awaiting the new life and world promised by the mysterious god.

When the last American G.I. left at the end of the war, the islanders gleefully predicted John Frum's return. To this day, there are still a number of natives who say, "John Frum, he still come." Each February 15 the islanders hold a religious ceremony where their John Frum members perform elaborate rituals in the hope of drawing the god down from the skies.

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