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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
Occupied by the Japanese during July 1942. During July-November 1942 the Japanese built extensive defensive fortifications at Cape Endaiadere including trenches, breastworks and coconut log bunkers.

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

During early December, C-47 Dakotas transported five Bren Gun Carriers as cargo from Port Moresby to Dobodura Airfield for the Australian Army. On December 5, 1942 the five Bren Gun Carriers with infantry support launched an attack against Japanese positions, but were repulsed and all five vehicles were knocked out. Afterwards, the stretch of beach from Cape Endiadere to Buna was nicknamed "Maggot Beach".

On December 18, 1942 at 7am, the Australians Army 2/9th Battalion, supported by seven M3 Stuart tanks attacked Cape Endaiadere with the U. S. Army on their left flank in support. Advancing to the north through on a front of about 600 yards and with the sea on their right. During the attack the left company, attacking without armored support 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 more tanks in the afternoon. The battalion lost 171 officers and men, about half the strength of the attacking companies. Two tanks were disabled: one by a magnetic mine.

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
May 3, 2016

 

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