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    Jacquinot Bay East New Britain Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

PacificWrecks.com
AWM April 9, 1942

Location
Jacquinot Bay is a wide harbor located on the southern coast of New Britain. Located to the west is Gasmata and Wide Bay and Rabaul are to the north-east.

Prewar, Palmalmal Plantation (Pal Mal Mal) was established at this location growing palm trees for copra. Also established at Mal Mal (Malmal) was a Catholic Mission run by Father Edward Charles "Ted" Harris.

Wartime History
During early April 1942, MV Laurabada rescued 156 Australian soldiers and civilians that had gathered at Pal Mal Mal after fleeing Rabaul and transported them to Port Moresby. Afterwards, occupied by the Japanese until abandoned during the middle of 1944. 

American missions against Jacquinot Bay
December 30, 1942 - May 16, 1944

During August 1944, the Australian Army 6th Brigade landed at Jacquinot Bay and began construction of an airfield, base and divisional areas around Jacquinot Bay. The only means of moving from one point to another was by barge, and these were fully employed unloading the larger ships. Company "B" of the US 594th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment, was the only American unit involved in the operation.

By the end of November 1944, advanced headquarters of the Fifth Division, under the command of Major-General A. H. Ramsay was established at Jacquinot, and 6th Brigade had handed over the defense of the area to the 13th Brigade, which arrived from the Northern Territory.

During late 1944, the 594th Engineer Boat & Shore Regiment "B" Company was based at Jaquinot Bay and used to transport troops and supplies along the southern coast of New Britain, including landing the 14/32nd Infantry Battalion at Keip Plantation at Wide Bay on January 28, 1945.

During January 1945 the Australian Army 13th Brigade, commanded by Brigadier E G H McKenzie) were camped at Jacquinot Bay. At the end of the war, RAAF No. 311 radar station arrived at Jacquinot Bay.

Jacquinot Bay Airfield
Built by Australians, used by RNZAF until the end of the war, still in use today

Gasvala Lagoon
Lagoon off Jacquinot Bay

E13A Jake Manufacture Number 4326
Surrendered in October 14, 1945, sunk in Gasvala Lagoon

C-47 Dakota Serial Number A65-54
Pilot Hanrahan crashed November 15, 1945

A6M3 Model 22 Zero 3479
Flown to surrender on August 18, 1945, ditched on test flight afterwards

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Last Updated
August 27, 2014

 

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