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    Hollandia (Jayapura) Irian Jaya Indonesia

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USAAF April 1944

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U. S. Army April 1944

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USN April 22, 1944

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Carl R. Thien 1944

Location
Lat 2° 31' 60S Long 140° 41' 60E Hollandia is located on the north coast of New Guinea, inland from Humbolt Bay and Tanahmerah Bay. To the west is Lake Sentani. Today known as "Jayapura".

Wartime History
During April 1942, occupied by the Japanese Army. The area was developed into a base with three important airfields: Hollandia Drome, Sentani Drome and Cyclops Drome. Targeted by Allied aircraft, the airfields were neutralized by the middle of April 1944.

American missions against Hollandia
April 17, 1943 - April 25, 1944

By early 1944, the Japanese garrison at Hollandia consisted of the remnants of the Japanese Army 41st, 20th and 51st Divisions with many support and air personnel.

During March 1944, a reconnaissances party was landed by submarine USS Dace SS-247. Two groups were landed which included US Army CIC, Australian, Indonesian and four New Guinea natives: Mariba, Yali, McNicol and Buka.  Only 7 of the 12 landed were recovered, but revealed a weak Japanese presence in the area.

General MacArthur planned a daring leapfrog operation to bypass stronger Japanese garrisons along the north coast of New Guinea for a landing further to the west at Hollandia which was weakly defended in an operation aimed at capturing the airfields in the area and development of Hollandia into a base for future operations including the liberation of the Philippines.

On April 22, 1944 an American amphibious task force Code named "Operation Reckless" landed troops at Humbolt Bay and Tanahmerah Bay near Hollandia, plus a flanking landing further to the east at Aitape. Japanese resistance was light, but muddy conditions, swamp and jungle made the drive inland difficult. The US Army 41st Infantry Division landed , M4 Sherman tanks from the United States Marine Corps (USMC) 1st Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion, Company A were landed, but a swamp beyond the beachhead prevented their dive inland.

The landing caught the defending Japanese largely by surprise and many willingly surrendered, compared to earlier battles when Japanese never surrendered unless incapacitated. Most of the Japanese forces attempted to retreat inland to try to escape.

Immediately, the Hollandia area was developed into a major US Army base area and staging base used for future operations including the landings at Biak, Leyte and Luzon in the Philippines. Hollandia was designated "Base G" by US Army letter base designation. Hollandia remained an important American base until the end of the war.

Black GI's
at Hollandia

207th Antiaircraft Artillery AW
207th Antiaircraft Artillery AW
572nd Quartermaster Railhead

458th Aviation Squadron
593rd Port Port Co

415th Army Band
741st Antiaircraft Artillery Gun

Today
After Indonesian gain control of Western New Guinea, the Dutch name "Hollandia" was changed to "Jayapura".

Tanahmerah Bay (Red Beach)
Several US tanks hulks lie to the east of Depapre at the base of the track built be the Americans that connects Tanahmerah to Jayapura (Hollandia) to the East. Following a Navy bombardment, elements of the 24th Infantry Division, 19th and 21st Infantry Regiments landed at "Red Beach 1" and "Red Beach 2".

Humbolt Bay (White Beach)
Natural harbor located to the East of Hollandia town. The 41st Infantry Division landed against light opposition on April 22, 1944. After the invasion, the bay became a major American staging base, for future landings in the Philippines.

Hollandia Airfield (Hollandia Drome)
Japanese built airfield, occupied by US Army and further developed

Cyclops
Airfield and mountain near Hollanida, MacArthur's HQ at Hollanida.

Museum Jayapura
Located inside the Cenderawasih University campus.

Sentani
Located inland from Hollandia, site of Sentani Airfield, parallel, to the south Cyclops Drome. Also, Lake Sentani a large freshwater lake.

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Last Updated
April 12, 2014

 

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