Military in Netherlands New Guinea
(West Papua/Irian Jaya)

1. Dutch Military - KNIL
2. U.S. Navy
3. U.S. Airforce
4. U.S. Coastguard
5. U.S. Army
6. Links

1. Dutch Military - KNIL.
Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger, KNIL (Royal Dutch East Indies Army)
Originally the KNIL was part of the Dutch army. On March 10, 1830 the formation of the East Indies Army was approved by Royal Decree, consisting of 8 Mobile Corps, each with a battalion of Infantry, a company of Cavalry and four pieces mountain artillery, with a total strength of 600 European and 37 native officers and 12,905 non-commissioned officers and lower ranks. This grew to 20,000 in 1840, 29,800 in 1882 and 36,900 in 1930. Some of the action it was involved in: Padri War, (West-Sumatra) 1821-1845; Java War, July 1825-1830, Bali 1849; War of Aceh (Atjeh-oorlog) 1873-1901. After the pacification in the East Indies was completed, the "Defense Principles of 1927" formulated the task of the KNIL as 1. maintaining Dutch authority in the archipelago against unrest and resistance within its borders and guaranteeing order and calm; 2. performing of military duty as member of the community of people against other peoples. Depression and the fact that everything had to be imported made this a tough task. The newly formed Air Ministry of the KNIL however received 117 bombers form the US.
In May 1940 KNIL consisted of 1,345 regular officers and 35,583 non-commissioned officers and lower ranks. With reserve officers, local conscripts etc. the total could grow to 3,200 officers and and 73,000 non-commissioned officers and lower ranks. When The Dutch government declared war with Japan on December 8, 1941, KNIL was mobilized. On March 9, 1942 KNIL capitulated. Only a small units escaped to Australia.
On November 15, 1944, the First Battalion was formed and participated in some allied actions: Tarakan (May 1, 1945), Balikpan (July 1, 1945). Together with the Second Battalion, consisting of released POW's, they arrived on October 4, 1945 in the capital Batavia (Jakarta).
General S.H. Spoor combined the new KNIL with units from the Dutch Army and used it during both police actions July 21-August 4, 1947 and December 21, 1948-January 5, 1949. Its name was changed in 1948 to "Koninklijk Nederlands Indonesisch Leger" (Royal Dutch Indonesian Army).
On July 26, 1950 KNIL seized to exist. Its members either became part of the Royal Dutch Army, or the armed forces of Republik Indonesia Serikat, or were dismissed (with or without pension).
On July 1, 1950 a Royal Decree determined that "The tradition of the KNIL will be adopted and continued by the Regiment Van Heutz"
(source: Winkler Prins Encyclopedie 19..). Zie ook Het Vergeten Leger, Nederlandsch Indië 1945-1950, KNIL, KNIL Stamboeken, KNIL in Wikipedia (Nederlands), KNIL in Wikipedia (English), KNIL history.


  • Dienstmakkers heeft o.a. informatie over de volgende landmacht onderdelen sinds 1950: 11 TD, 17e infbat , 1e pel. A-cie 6IB Brignng, 21 Bat infanterie Biak, 41infbat Stoottroepen, 6 inf bat D compagnie Merauke, 6 inf bat, 6de infantrie battellon sorong, 6e inf. Bateljon, 7e Afd Lt.Lua, 928e Lichte Luchtdoelartillerie, 940e Lichte Luchtdoelartillerie, Detachement BIAK, Detachement KAIMANA, Drumbandpeleton, Kon Luchtmacht, Nieuw Guineacompagnie KCT, S2K5 inlichtingendienst, Staf en Staf Cie. Brigade NNG, Staf/Verz.Cie 6 IB Sorong, Veldpost Nieuw Guinea, Zelfstandig TD Detachement.
  • Geschiedenis Korps Commandotroepen
  • Dapperheidsonderscheidingen
  • Nieuw Guinea Herinneringskruis en certificaat
  • Indië-bataljons Garderegiment Prinses Irene
  • Bond van (Oud-)Stoottroepers
  • Ministerie van Defensie - Veteranen, hierbij inbegrepen het personeel van het voormalig Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (KNIL) en het vaarplichtig koopvaardijpersoneel uit de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Er is een pensioenvervangende uitkering voor dienstplichtigen die in de periode van 1936 tot 1962 vijf jaar of langer werkelijke dienst hebben vervuld en daar nooit een pensioen voor hebben ontvangen. Ook kunnen dienst- en reserveplichtigen en oorlogsvrijwilligers, die hun militaire dienst gedurende meer dan twee jaar, doch minder dan vijf jaar hebben vervuld, waarvan een gedeelte tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog, in voormalig Nederlands-Indië of Nieuw-Guinea, aanspraak maken op een eenmalige erkenningsuitkering. De uitkering geldt ook voor weduwen.
  • Wet buitengewoon pensioen Indisch Verzet (Wiv)
  • Nedvets (Dutch veterans)
  • Nieuw Guinea veteranen on-line
  • Gerard Kortekaas, militair Nieuw Guinea '61-'62
  • Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEI-AF) in Australia during World War II
  • KLU C 47 Dakota X-11 en KLU C 47 Dakota X-11
  • Embleem van Koninklijke Landmacht op Nederlands Nieuw Guinea: Embleem van Koninklijke Landmacht op Nederlands Nieuw Guinea

    2. U.S. Navy

  • Official reports to the Secretary of the Navy, by Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, U.S. NAVY, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, United States Navy Department 1946:
    Introduction, Report 1 (up to 1 March 1944, Report 2 (1 March 1944 to 1 March 1945), Report 3 (1 March 1945 to 1 October 1945), Appendix A (Japanese ships) Appendix B (New ships US Fleet) Appendix C (US ships losses

  • The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II, by Robert J. Cressman, Contemporary History Branch, Naval Historical Center.
    Selected from this U.S. Navy Chronology:

    April 19, Friday, 1940
    Japanese government informs United States that Japan has no aggressive intentions toward the Netherlands East Indies.

    December 7, Sunday, 1941
    Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

    December 8, Monday, 1941
    U.S. declares war on Japan.

    January 11, Sunday, 1942
    Japan declares war on the Netherlands; invasion of Netherlands East Indies begins as Japanese Central Force (Vice Admiral Hirose Sueto) lands Army 56th Regimental Combat Group and 2d Kure Special [Naval] Landing Force at Tarakan; naval paratroops (1st Yokosuka Special Landing Force) occupy Menado. Eastern Force (Rear Admiral Kubo Kuji) then follows up the airborne assault on Menado with 1st Special Landing Force going ashore at Menado and Kema, Celebes. These operations will secure control of the northern approaches to the Java Sea.

    January 15, Thursday, 1942
    American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Supreme Command is established at the Grand Hotel, Lembang, Java. General Sir Archibald Wavell, British Army, assumes supreme command of all forces in area; Lieutenant General George H. Brett, USAAF, is deputy commander; Admiral Thomas C. Hart is to command naval forces. ABDA Command is dissolved on March 1, as the fall of Java looms.

    January 22, Thursday, 1942
    Allied forces evacuate Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea.

    January 28, Wednesday, 1942
    Japanese land on Rossel Island off New Guinea.

    February 19, Thursday, 1942
    Japanese carrier striking force (Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi) attacks Darwin, Australia; 189 planes from carriers Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu bomb shipping, airfields, and shore installations.

    March 8, Sunday, 1942
    Japanese naval force (Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi) occupies Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea.

    March 10, Tuesday, 1942
    TF 11 (Vice Admiral Wilson Brown Jr.), which includes ships of TF 17 (Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher), on the heels of initial nuisance raids by RAAF Hudsons, attacks Japanese invasion fleet (Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi) off Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. SBDs (VB 2, VS 2, VB 5, VS 5) and TBDs (VT 2, VT 5), supported by F4Fs (VF 3 and VF 42) from carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Yorktown (CV-5) sink armed merchant cruiser Kongo Maru, auxiliary minelayer Ten'yo Maru, and transport Yokohama Maru; and damage light cruiser Yubari; destroyers Yunagi, Asanagi, Oite, Asakaze, and Yakaze; minelayer Tsugaru; seaplane carrier Kiyokawa Maru; transport Kokai Maru; and minesweeper No.2 Tama Maru (which sinks March 13). One SBD (VS 2) is lost to antiaircraft fire. USAAF B-17s and RAAF Hudsons conduct follow up strikes but inflict no appreciable additional damage. In a message to Prime Minister Churchill, President Roosevelt hails the raid as "the best day's work we've had." The success of the U.S. carrier strike (the first time in which two carrier air groups attack a common objective) convinces Japanese war planners that continued operations in the New Guinea area will require carrier support, thus setting the stage for confrontation in the Coral Sea (see 4-8 May).
    Japanese invade Finschhafen, New Guinea.

    March 17, Tuesday, 1942
    United States, in agreement with Allied governments, assumes responsibility for the strategic defense of entire Pacific Ocean.

    March 30, Monday, 1942
    Pacific War Council representing United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, and China is established in Washington, D.C., to plan war policy.
    Joint Chiefs of Staff order Pacific Ocean divided into two commands: Pacific Ocean Areas (Admiral Chester W. Nimitz) and Southwest Pacific Area (Lieutenant General Douglas MacArthur).

    April 3, Friday, 1942
    Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is named Commander in Chief Pacific Ocean Areas (CINCPOA); his command encompasses the North, Central, and South Pacific. He retains his position as Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC).

    May 7, Thursday, 1942
    Battle of the Coral Sea resumes as Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher's Allied force turns north to engage Japanese Carrier Strike Force (Vice Admiral Takagi Takeo). Support Group (Rear Admiral John G. Crace, RN) detached to intercept Port Moresby Invasion Force (Rear Admiral Abe Koso) is attacked by Japanese land attack planes carrying torpedoes (4th Kokutai) or bombs (Genzan Kokutai); destroyer Farragut (DD-348) is damaged by friendly fire while engaged in repelling air attack. Later, mistaken for Japanese Port Moresby Invasion Force, Crace's ships are bombed by USAAF B-26s that straddle Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (flagship) and near-miss heavy cruiser Chicago (CA-29) and destroyer Perkins (DD-377).
    The Battle of the Coral Sea is the first engagement in modern naval history in which opposing warships do not exchange a shot; all damage is inflicted by carrier aircraft. In halting the Japanese push southward and blunting the seaborne thrust toward Port Moresby, Coral Sea is a strategic U.S. victory.
    Japanese occupy Hollandia, New Guinea.

    June 4, Thursday, 1942
    The Battle of Midway, one of the most decisive battles in naval history, marks the turning point of the Pacific War.

    June 9, Tuesday, 1942
    Lieutenant Commander Lyndon B. Johnson, USNR, in the South Pacific theater on a congressional inspection tour, accompanies USAAF bombing mission, scheduled to attack Japanese installations at Lae, New Guinea. Johnson is to go along as a passenger in a B-26 (19th Squadron, 22d Bomb Group). Engine trouble, however, compels the pilot of Johnson's Marauder ("Heckling Hare") to abort the mission; the plane never sees combat. Inexplicably, however, Johnson receives Silver Star for "gallantry." He goes on to become the 36th President of the United States.

    July 21, Tuesday, 1942
    Japanese forces occupy Buna, New Guinea, having been frustrated in their attempt to capture Port Moresby by sea (first at Lae-Salamaua and then at the Battle of the Coral Sea) in the first step of an overland campaign to take the same objective.

    July 22, Wednesday, 1942
    USAAF planes (B-17s, B-25s and B-26s are utilized in the attacks) attack Japanese shipping off Buna, New Guinea, damaging destroyer Uzuki and sinking army cargo ship Ayatosan Maru, 08°50'S, 148°50'E.

    July 27, Monday, 1942
    USAAF B-26s damage Japanese transport Kotoku Maru off Buna, New Guinea (see 8 August).

    August 7, Friday, 1942
    Operation WATCHTOWER: 1st Marine Division (Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift, USMC) lands on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo, and Guadalcanal, in the first American land offensive of the war. (November 12-15, Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.)

    August 25, Tuesday, 1942
    Japanese occupy Nauru, Gilberts, and Goodenough Island, off southeast coast of New Guinea.

    August 26, Wednesday, 1942
    Japanese land at Milne Bay, New Guinea; USAAF B-17s, B-25s, B-26s, P-40s, along with RAAF Hudsons, attack beaches and transports while Australian troops attack the invaders.

    August 29, Saturday, 1942
    Australian destroyer HMAS Arunta sinks Japanese submarine RO-33 ten miles southeast of Port Moresby, New Guinea, 09°36'S, 147°06'E.

    September 16, Wednesday, 1942
    Japanese overland assault on Port Moresby, New Guinea, "grinds to a halt" at Ioribaiwa.

    November 2, Monday, 1942
    USAAF B-17s sink Japanese army cargo ship Yasukawa Maru off Buna, New Guinea, 07°16'S, 156°00'E.

    November 16, Monday, 1942
    U.S. Army 32nd Division and Australian 7th Division land south of Buna, New Guinea.

    November 18, Wednesday, 1942
    USAAF B-17s damage Japanese destroyers Umikaze and Kawakaze off Buna, New Guinea.

    November 24, Tuesday, 1942
    USAAF B-17s and B-25s and RAAF Beaufighters sink Japanese destroyer Hayashio in Huon Gulf between Lae and Finschafen, New Guinea, 07°00'S, 147°30'E, and damage torpedo boats Otori and Hiyodori east of Lae.

    December 1, Tuesday, 1942
    Japanese destroyer Isonami is damaged by planes (USAAF B-25s, B-26s, A-20s, and P-400s are all involved in raids on Buna) off Buna, New Guinea.

    December 8, Tuesday, 1942
    USAAF B-17s and B-24s damage Japanese destroyers Asashio and Isonami off Buna, New Guinea.

    December 18, Friday, 1942
    Submarine Albacore (SS-218) torpedoes and sinks Japanese light cruiser Tenryu just off Madang harbor, eastern New Guinea, 05°12'S, 145°56'E, and torpedoes armed merchant cruiser Gokoku Maru, 05°10'S, 145°57'E. Albacore survives counterattacks by escorting destroyer (Sukukaze or Isonami).

    January 2, Saturday, 1943
    U.S. Army I Corps (Lieutenant General Robert Eichelberger) captures Buna, New Guinea, significantly reducing the threat to Port Moresby.

    January 5, Tuesday, 1943
    USAAF B-17s and B-24s bomb Japanese shipping at Rabaul, New Guinea.

    January 7, Thursday, 1943
    USAAF B-17s, B-24s, B-25s and B-26s, supported by P-38s and P-40s, and RAAF or RNZAF Hudsons and RAF Catalinas, set upon Japanese convoy bound for Lae, New Guinea. During these attacks, army cargo ship Nichiryu Maru is sunk off Lae, 06°30'S, 149°00'E, and army cargo ship Myoko Maru is forced aground south of Arawe, 06°49'S, 147°04'E (see 8 January).

    January 8, Friday, 1943
    USAAF B-17s, B-24s, B-25s and A-20s, supported by P-38s, attack Japanese convoy unloading off Lae, New Guinea. Army cargo ship Myoko Maru, forced aground south of Arawe, 06°49'S, 147°04'E, the previous day, is destroyed by bombs.

    January 17, Sunday, 1943
    Naval Base and Naval Air Station, Brisbane, Australia, are established. The Brisbane base will eventually become the largest Navy facility in Australia. It will not be disestablished until 14 January 1946.

    January 19, Tuesday, 1943
    Japanese land at Wewak, New Guinea.

    January 23, Saturday, 1943
    Japanese planes bomb U.S. shipping in Milne Bay, New Guinea; fragments from near-misses damage freighter Stephen Johnson Field. One Armed Guard sailor and one merchant crewman are injured; there are no other casualties among the 23-man Armed Guard and 43 merchant seamen.

    January 24, Sunday, 1943
    Submarine Wahoo (SS-238) damages Japanese destroyer Harusame eleven miles west of Wewak, New Guinea, 03°23'S, 143°34'E.

    January 26, Tuesday, 1943
    Submarine WAHOO (SS-238) attacks Japanese convoy about 270 miles north of Dutch New Guinea and torpedoes and sinks army cargo ships Buyo Maru and No.2 Fukuei Maru, 02°00'N, 139°14'E. After dispatching the freighters, which are serving as transports, Wahoo (Lieutenant Commander Dudley W. Morton) surfaces to recharge her batteries and mans her guns. Firing er 4-inch gun at the largest of the craft draws Japanese return fire from automatic weapons. As Morton later writes, "We then opened fire with everything we had." Subsequently, Wahoo pursues and torpedoes armed merchant cruiser Ukishima Maru, 02°37'N, 139°42'E, and army cargo ship Pacific Maru, 02°30'N, 139°44'E (see 27 January).

    January 27, Wednesday, 1943
    Japanese ship No.2 Choko Maru rescues about 1,000 survivors of army cargo ship Buyo Maru, sunk the previous day by submarine Wahoo (SS-238).

    February 2, Tuesday, 1943
    USAAF B-24s (5th Air Force) sink Japanese cargo vessel Kenkoku Maru while en route from Kokope to New Guinea, between Lolobau Island and New Britain, 04°58'S, 151°12'E.

    February 14, Sunday, 1943
    Submarine Runner (SS-476) unsuccessfully attacks Japanese cargo vessel Tokyo Maru north of Biak, New Guinea, 07°31'N, 134°21'E.

    03/02 Tuesday.
    Battle of the Bismarck Sea (2-5 March) opens as United States Army and Australian aircraft bomb 8 Japanese transports escorted by 8 destroyers in Bismarck Sea en route to Lae, New Guinea. Aircraft and motor torpedo boast attacks continue until all transports and four destroyers are sunk.

    03/17 Wednesday.
    United States naval vessels sunk: Motor Torpedo Boat PT-67 and PT-119, by fire, eastern New Guinea area, 09 d. 02' S., 149 d. 20' E.

    08/08 Sunday.
    United States naval vessel lost: Motor Torpedo Boat PT-113, by grounding, eastern New Guinea area, 09 d. 12' S.,146 d. 29' E.; beached and abandoned.

    09/04 Saturday.
    United States naval force (Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey) lands Australian troops on Huon Peninsula, near Lae, New Guinea. United States naval vessels damaged: Destroyer CONYNGHAM (DD-371) by dive bomber, eastern New Guinea, 07 d. 28' S., 147 d.44' E. Tank Landing Ship LST 471 and Tank Landing Ship LST 473, by torpedo and dive bombers, eastern New Guinea area, 07 d. 45' s., 148 d. 01' E.

    09/08 Wednesday.
    Four United States destroyers bombard Lae, New Guinea.

    09/12 Sunday.
    United States naval vessel damaged: Tank Landing Ship LST 455, by dive bomber, eastern New Guinea area, 08 d. 59' S., 149 d. 10' E.

    09/17 Friday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: PT-136, damaged by grounding, eastern New Guinea area, 05 d. 55' S., 148 dl 01' E.; sunk by United States forces.

    09/22 Wednesday.
    United States naval force of destroyers and landing craft (Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey) puts Australian troops ashore at Finschhafen, New Guinea.

    09/30 Thursday.
    PT-68, damaged by grounding, eastern New Guinea area, 05 d. 56' S., 147 d. 18' E.; sunk by United States forces.

    10/03 Sunday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: Destroyer HENLEY (DD-391), by submarine torpedo, eastern New Guinea area, 07 d. 40' S., 148 d. 06' E.

    11/19 Friday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: PT-147, damaged by grounding, eastern New Guinea area, 05 d. 55' S., 147 d. 20' E.; sunk by United States forces.

    11/23 Tuesday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: PT-322, by grounding, eastern New Guinea area, 06 d. 09' S., 147 d. 36' E.; sunk by United States forces.


    01/01 Saturday.
    United States naval vessels damaged: Destroyers SMITH (DD-378), by collision, eastern New Guinea area, 05 d. 00' S., 146 d. 00' E. LST 446, and Destroyer HUTCHINGS (DD-476) by accidental explosion, Solomon Islands area, 06 d. 15' S., 155 d. 02' E.

    01/02 Sunday.
    Army troops land at Saidor, New Guinea, under cover of cruisers and destroyers (Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey).

    01/04 Tuesday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: PT-145, damaged by grounding, eastern New Guinea area, 05 d. 34' S., 146 d. 10' E.; sunk by United States forces.

    01/26 Wednesday.
    Cruiser and destroyer task group (Rear Adm. R. S. Berkey) bombards enemy installations in Madang- Alexischafen area of New Guinea.

    02/01 Tuesday.
    United States Naval Base, Finschhafen, New Guinea, is established.

    02/10 Thursday.
    United States naval vessel damaged: Tank Landing Ship LST 170, by horizontal bomber, eastern New Guinea area, 08 d. 39' S., 148 d. 27' E.

    02/28 Monday.
    United States naval vessel damaged: Destroyer ABNER READ (DD-526), by grounding, eastern New Guinea area, 08 d. 44' S., 148 d. 27' E.

    03/01 Wednesday.
    United States Naval Base, Milne Bay, New Guinea is established.

    03/07 Tuesday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: PT-337, by coastal defense gun, eastern New Guinea area, 04 d. 09' S., 144 d. 50' E.

    03/18 Saturday.
    Destroyers bombard enemy in Wewak area, New Guinea; bombardment continues on 19 March.

    03/20 Monday.
    Japanese naval vessels sunk: Auxiliary submarine chasers Nos. 47 and 49, by Army aircraft, north of New Guinea, 02 d. 55' S., 143 d. 40' E.

    04/21 Friday.
    Naval task force (Vice Adm. M. A. Mitscher), including carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, bombs and bombards enemy airfields and defensive positions at Hollandia, Wakde, Sawar, and Sarmi areas of New Guinea; attacks continue on 22 April.
    Some of the US Navy ships which supported the Hollandia Landings April 21-24, 1944 (Source: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, DANFS): Baltimore (CA-68) cruiser, Bataan (CVL-29) carrier, Belleau Wood (CVL-24), carrier, Biloxi (CL-80) cruiser, Brown (DD-546) destroyer, Case (DD-370) destroyer, Chenango (CVE-28) escort aicraft carrier, Cowpens (CVL-25) carrier, Dyson (DD-672) destroyer, Ellet (DD-398) destroyer, Hale II (DD-642) destroyer, Levy (DE-162) escort aicraft carrier, Massachusetts (BB-59) battleship, Pyro (AE-1) ammunition ship, Swanson (DD-443) destroyer.

    04/22 Saturday.
    Army forces land at Aitape, Tanahmerah Bay, and Humboldt Bay in New Guinea. The assault operation is under the control of Rear Adm. D. E. Barbey and supported by gunfire and carrier-based aircraft from Vice Adm. M. A. Mitscher's carrier task force.

    04/27 Thursday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: Cargo ship ETAMIN (AK-93), by aircraft torpedo, western New Guinea area, 03 d. 09' S., 142 d. 24' E.

    05/17 Wednesday.
    Army troops land at Wakde-Toem area, New Guinea, preceded by cruiser and destroyer bombardment (Rear Adm. R. S. Berkey).

    05/27 Saturday.
    Army forces land on Biak in the Schouten Islands off New Guinea under cover of naval gunfire from cruiser and destroyer force (Rear Adm. W. M. Fechteler). United States naval vessel sunk: PT-339, damaged by grounding in western New Guinea area, 04 d. 01' S., 144 d. 41' E.; sunk by United States forces. United States naval vessel damaged: Submarine chaser SC-699, by suicide plane, western New Guinea area, 01 d. 12 S., 136 d. 13' E.

    05/28 Sunday.
    United States naval vessel damaged: Destroyer STOCKTON (DD-646), by coastal defense gun, Biak Island, Schouten Islands, off New Guinea, 01 d. 00' S., 136 d. 00' E.

    06/03 Saturday.
    United States naval vessel damaged: Destroyer REID (DD-369), by dive bomber, western New Guinea area, 01 d. 13' S., 136 d. 13' E.

    06/04 Sunday.
    Japanese aircraft attack Allied cruiser and destroyer force (Rear Adm. V.A.C. Crutchley, RN) off Biak, New Guinea; two United States light cruisers area damaged. United States naval vessels damaged: Light cruiser NASHVILLE (CL-43), by horizontal bomber, western New Guinea area, 01 d. 05' S., 136 d. 05' E., Light cruiser PHOENIX (CL-46), by horizontal bomber, western New Guinea area, 01 d. 00' S., 136 d. 00' E.

    06/07 Wednesday.
    United States Naval Advanced Base, Hollandia, New Guinea, is established.

    06/08 Thursday.
    Beginning shortly before midnight and continuing on 9 June, an Allied naval force (Rear Adm. V.A.C. Crutchley, RN), including 2 United States light cruisers and destroyers, intercepts and turns back 5 Japanese destroyers attempting to reinforce Biak Island, in the Schouten Islands off New Guinea. Japanese naval vessel sunk: Destroyer HARUSAME, by Army aircraft, Biak area, New Guinea.

    06/11 Sunday.
    United States Naval Base, Biak Island, Schouten Islands, is established.

    06/12 Monday.
    United States naval vessel damaged: Destroyer KALK (DD-611), by horizontal bomber, western New Guinea area, 01 d. 19' S., 136 d. 19' E.

    06/24 Saturday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: PT-193, damaged by grounding, western New Guinea area, 00 d. 55' S., 134 d. 52' E.

    07/02 Sunday.
    Allied naval force (Rear Adm. W. M. Fechteler, USN) lands Army troops on Noemfoor Island off Netherlands New Guinea.

    07/15 Saturday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: PT-133, coastal defense gun, eastern New Guinea, 03 d. 28'S., 143 d. 34'E.

    07/30 Sunday.
    Naval task force (Rear Adm. W. M. Fechteler) lands Army troops near Cape Opmarai, northwest New Guinea, and on off- shore islands of Amsterdam and Middleburg. The following day troops make shore to shore movement to Cape Sansapor.

    10/11 Wednesday.
    United States naval vessel sunk: PT-368, by grounding, western New Guinea area, 01 d. 59'N., 127 d. 57'E.

    11/07 Tuesday.
    United States naval vessel damaged: PT-301, by accidental explosion, western New Guinea area, 01 d. 15'S., 136 d. 23'E.

    Other ships that supported the operations in New Guinea: Bataan (CVL-29) Belleau Wood (CVL-24) Bunker Hill (CV-17) Cassiopeia (AK-75) (Hospitalship) Comfort (AH-6) Long Beach (PF-34) Phoenix (CL46) Skowhegan (PCE-843).


    3. U.S. Airforce
    USAF Museum - WWII Combat Pacific - Victory in New Guinea 1943-1944

  • Military airfields in Australia and the Western Pacific Area during World War II

    4. U.S. Coastguard
    The Coast Guard and the Pacific War
    In April 1944, MacArthur decided to push 250 miles to the northwest of Finschafen, and seize the coastal area at Hollandia and Aitape. At dawn April 22, amphibious forces landed on the shores of Humbolt Bay and Tanahmerah Bay with little or no opposition. The Coast Guard had 21 manned or partially manned LSTs (Tank Landing Ships), transports and frigates attached to the invasion forces. These landings completely surprised the Japanese who fled into the interior and lost towns and airfields with little or no fight.
    On the night of April 21, 1944, the Coast Guard-manned cargo ship Etamin (AK-93), sailed as part of a 161-vessel task force, including 20 other Coast Guard vessels, organized to make landings at Hollandia, Tanahmerah Bay and Aitape. At 5:45 a.m. the vessel entered the harbor with the rest of the Eastern Attack Group.
    On the night of April 27, Japanese torpedo planes attacked the amphibious vessels at anchor. At 11 p.m. one swung in low off the starboard side of the Etamin and released a torpedo. It struck the starboard side about 10 feet above the keel in the number-five hold and ruptured the shell plating and the shaft alley. The blast sprayed gasoline over the after part of the ship, but the gas did not immediately catch fire. As the hold and the engine room flooded, gas fumes came in contact with the boilers and ignited. The engine room exploded in flames and all hands fought the fire as the stern rapidly settled. The crew abandoned ship with the loss of only two of the ship's complement of 200 Coast Guardsmen and 150 Army troops. Fortunately, this was the only serious damage suffered by any of the naval vessels during the Hollandia operation.
    In May, naval units approached Wakde Island, 115 miles west of Hollandia. On May 17, American and Australian warships bombarded the island before the Naval and Coast Guard LSTs amphibious units landed their men. There was no opposition to the landing and by evening the Allies established an eight-mile beachhead. The Americans had to kill the Japanese to the man before finally securing the island and its airfield on the evening of May 19.
    On July 2, several weeks after the Normandy invasion and with a great amphibious force striking the Marianas, the Coast Guard participated in the landings at the island of Noemfoor which lies between Biak Island and New Guinea. Here eight Coast Guard-manned LSTs landed troops. At the edge of the reef that lay around the island, cargoes had to be transferred from the LSTs into smaller and more shallow-draft LCIs (Landing Craft Infantry). The Coast Guard-manned frigates El Paso (PF41), Orange (PF43) and San Pedro (PF37) also served to screen the landing operations from enemy submarines and aircraft, and provided close fire support. On July 2, the landings went off as planned and the island and its three airfields were in Allied hands within four days. Mopping-up actions lasted until the end of August.
    At the end of July, MacArthur sent an amphibious expeditionary force to Cape Sansapor, New Guinea. By doing so he made a 200-mile jump from his previous most advanced position. For all purposes this would finish his amphibious operations in New Guinea and he would be ready to strike the Philippines and fulfill his earlier promise to the Philippine people to return. The Coast Guard-manned LSTs 18, 22, 26, 66, 67, 68, 170, 202, 204 and 206 all took part in the landings and the follow-up activity. The Coast Guard-manned frigates Bisbee (PF46), Coronado (PF38), Eugene (PF40), Gallup (PF47), Glendale (PF36), Long Beach (PF34), San Pedro (PF37), Van Buren (PF42) performed offshore patrols during the landings.
    The conquest of the Marianas and New Guinea cleared the approaches to the Philippines except for two groups of islands. Before proceeding, the Allies needed to capture the Caroline group that included Peleliu, Angaur, Ngesbus, Ulithi and Ngulu, and the islands of Morotai and Halmahera in the Moluccas.

    5. U.S. Army.
    WWII: War against Japan American Military History, Office of the Chief of Military History, Unites States Army
    Invasion of Wakde Island, American Army troops of the 163rd Infantry Regiment storm the beach. May 17, 1944.

  • Army Ribbons - United Nations Security Forces, Hollandia: ribbon

    6. Links.

  • Quartermaster Corps - Care of war dead
  • Quartermaster Corps - Bundles from the sky
  • 368th Harbor Craft Company, "Deck Devils"
  • Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1940-1945
  • Jack Heyn's photographs, Group Photo Section, 3rd Bomb Group (aka 3rd Attack Group), Charters Towers

    Last updated May 19, 2005
    © 2000-2005 Peter van der Heijden. All rights reserved
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