10° 10' 60S Long 148° 41' 60E Abau Island is a small island off the southern coast of New Guinea, approximately half way between Port Moresby and Milne Bay. It served as the prewar administrative headquarters for the area.
In April 1942, two spotters were based at Abau: David Marsh and Hannah. The US Army code named Abau "Boston".
Col. Hal Maull [13th Sqdn/ 3rd BG] memoir written 1992 via Edward Rogers:
"But we had to stop at Abau to pick up a Jap Zero which had landed on the beach. As it was [being] lightered out on two native canoes lashed together, I was saddened by the damage that had been done to it in moving it to the Matoma. I took some pictures nonetheless. Abau plantation looked like a set for a Dorothy Lamour movie. I wanted to see more of it but we had to move on."
John Douglas adds:
"I talked to David Marsh. In April 1942 he was at Abau as a WO with ANGAU, Chased the Japanese Val crews at Table Bay, Rescued Bender twice [Mullins Harbor and again as Bender tramped over the ranges after he crashed near Kokoda] went hunting for the flying Dutchman crew several times, rescued a P-39 pilot in the same area [near Imri] plus several others too. He's just started taping his memoirs, he's done 5 days last week talking to his old colonial typist from 1946. His memory is as clear as a bell."
Robert Piper adds:
"Abau is an interesting island, I've been there. Quite a few aviation stories connected with it. They built a small strip on one side and used to land Tiger moths and Piper Cubs. Also a U.S. dive bomber went in there during the war and the locals had to dive to get the bodies out. There was a U.S. radar station on the top. Two survivors of C-47 "Flying Dutchmen" 41-18564 walked into there from Mt Obree. The American writer Haugland who parachuted out of B-26 "Yankee Clipper" 40-1521 in 1942 was also brought into there after a month in the jungle."
Built during 1942, disused today
A-24 Dive Bomber 41-15771
Suspected to be this aircraft crashed offshore
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
May 3, 2016