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    Biak Island Irian Jaya Indonesia














































Click For Enlargement
1990

Click For Enlargement
1999
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
1990

Location
Lat 1° 0' 0S Long 136° 0' 0E  Large island located to the north of the New Guinea mainland. To the south is Geelvink Bay.

Wartime History
Occupied by the Japanese Army. On May 27, 1944, the US Army 41st Infantry Division landed on Biak and feirce fighting followed as most of the Japanese were entrenched in natural limestone caves and fortifications. These entrenched troops fought an excellent defense, delaying the reopening of Mokmer Drome.

American missions against

A tank versus tank battle occurred on Biak, when Japanese Type 95 Ha Go tanks attempted to attack the beachhead. They were destroyed by US Army M4 Sherman tanks. Casualties on Biak were 435 Americans KIA and 2,360 WIA.  The Japanese lost an estimated 6,125 KIA, with  460 POWs, and 360 Formosan POWs.

After finally securing the island, American developed southern Biak into a large airbase and staging area, coded APO 920.

Japanese missions against Biak
May 27, 1944

Today
The island has a large Indonesian naval base and the island has better infrastructure than in most other places in the province. During the 1980-1990s, Biak was developed as a tourist destination when international flights landed at Mokmer Drome to refuel. Today, many parts of the island are off limits to visitors.

Base H (Biak)
US Army letter base designation.

Black GI's
At Biak

245th, 246th, 247th Quartermaster Laundry
50th Ordnance Ammunition Co.
1932nd Quartermaster Truck Co.
745th Sanitary Co.
311th Quartermaster Battalion
325th Gas Supply Co.
603rd Port Co.

436th Aviation Squadron
91st Engineer General Service
85th Engineer Dump Truck Co.
738th Engineer Base Depot Co.
1315th Engineer Construction
993rd Quartermaster Service CO
1518th Engineer Water Supply Co.

Bosnik
Located on the southern coast of Biak. The beach at Bosnik was the site of the American amphibious landing on May 27, 1944. Today, there are some bits of landing craft and remains of docks still visible. Today, the beach is popular for swimming and diving.

Japanese Cave (Goa Jepang)
Goa Jepang (Japanese Cave) is the local name for a cave which used to be used as a defense fortress by Japanese soldiers. The Japanese discovered the three-kilometer-long cave in 1943. Its gate is located in Paray beach in Paray village, Biak city. Japanese soldiers entered the cave from Paray beach.

The soldiers occupied three large rooms built inside the cave. The Japanese soldiers managed to shoot down a U.S. plane from their hiding place. However, eventually the US army came to know where the Japanese soldiers were hiding. So in the early morning of July 7, 1944, the US Army attacked the cave.  The cave was bombarded. The Americans also dropped drums of gasoline into the hideout and blasted them from the air, setting the cave into fire. The cave burned for several months. Some 3,000 Japanese soldiers were trapped and killed in the attack.

Located in a forest, the cave is one of Biak main tourist attractions. According to Yusuf Rumaropen, an Irianese who has been taking care of the cave for 20 years, the forest is kept intact; tree cutting is strictly forbidden to keep the historic site as it is. The cave is surrounded by fences.

Ambroben
Japanese caves are found near this village.

Mokmer Airfield (Mokmer Drome)
Japanese airfield liberated by the US Army and used by the USAAF, still in use today

Borokoe Airfield (Borokoe Drome)
Japanese airfield liberated by the US Army and used by the USAAF

Sorido Airfield (Sorido Drome)
Japanese airfield liberated by the US Army, today a housing area

Biak Museum
Small outdoor museum with several relics on display.  It contains some old vehicles, guns, equipment, memorials and war relics.

P-47D Thunderbolt 42-75940
Pilot Frankfort crashed April 27, 1944

Ki 43-II Oscar
Crashed on Biak

Ki-43 Oscar
Crashed on Biak

Ki-43 Oscar
Crashed on Biak

P-39 Aircobra
Crashed into the limestone hills in northern Biak

C-47 Dakota Serial Number 00728
Crashed on Biak, full details unknown

C-47A Serial Number 42-10047
Pilot McDowell crashed January 9, 1945

Ki-48 Lily
Ditched off Biak, attempted salvage in 1990s, accidentally destroyed

Ki-45 Nick
Pilot Takada crashed May 27, 1944 (first 'planned' Kamikaze suicide attack on an enemy ship

PBY Catalina
Sunk off Biak Harbor

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Last Updated
January 8, 2014

 

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