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    Cape Endaiadere (Maggot Beach) Oro Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Location
Cape Endaiadere is located to the east of Strip Point near Buna. After the battle, the beach area was nicknamed "Maggot Beach" due to the dead bodies and maggot.

Wartime History
During July-November 1942 the defending Japanese built extensive fortifications at this location including trenches, breastworks and coconut log bunkers.

Allied missions against Cape Endaiadere
November 18 - December 18, 1942

On December 5, 1942 Bren Gun Carriers were flown into Dobodura Airfield. The Australian Army launched an attack with these vehicles at Cape Endaiadere that failed miserably, all were knocked out. After the battle, Americans nickname the stretch of beach from Cape Endiadere to Buna "Maggot Beach". On December 18, 1942 the Australian Army supported by M3 Stuart tanks advanced again. One was destroyed by a Japanese magnetic mine.

On December 18, 1942 at 7am, the Australians Army 2/9th Battalion, supported by seven M3 Stuart tanks attacked towards Cape Endaiadere with the Americans on their left in support advanced north through the Americans, on a front of about 600 yards and with the sea on their right. However, the left company, attacking without tanks lost more than half its eighty-seven men in an advance of only about 100 yards and was pinned down. The attack did not resume until after the arrival of three tanks in the afternoon. The battalion lost 171 officers and men, about half the strength of the attacking companies. Two tanks were disabled on the battlefield.

An American Veteran recalled: "Just before dusk several of us walked down the trail that led us to Buna. All along Maggot Beach there were supplies scattered about, rifles, ammunition, rations and clothing. There were thousands of dead fish on the beach. This was caused by bombs dropping in the ocean and after the fish were dead the tide washed them ashore.”

M3 Stuart Hull Number 2300
December 18, 1942 destroyed by magnetic mine. Recovered in 1973, displayed PNG Museum

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Last Updated
January 8, 2014

 

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