Josh Mcdade  Reports from Bougainville

November 11, 1999

Kieta Memorial Park
The park is near the Kieta Wharf on the junction of the beach road and the Aropa-Arawa sealed road. The name of the beach road is unknown. The beach road goes from the Kieta wharf down past the old Kieta Resort which is now in ruins and overgrown by jungle.

The beach road is a sealed road and within a hundred meters of the beach. It is a large park at the bottom of a the hill facing the sea. Directions I give are looking at the park from the beach  All relics appear to be WWII vintage and have had some repair work and repainting over the years.  Lately organized by PMG members.

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(l to r) Japanese Armstrong
76.2 mm naval gun, small portable cannon,
Zero (tail broken off, lying to side)

Japanese Tank
On the extreme left is a Japanese tank facing the left. It is burnt out, has no engine and is open to climb in. There seems little structural damage and minimal shrapnel damage. The track protectors appear to have been ripped off at some stage leaving the metal tracks exposed. Knowing little about WWII tanks I can't tell what type it is, only describe it.

   The tank is about eight feet high by about twelve feet long. The tank appears to be a two man crew, max of three. Minimal structure inside to help tell this information. There appears to be two ports on the left side of the turret.  

   One to the front and one rearwards. These appear to be ports for small arms or defensive weapons. The engine was in the rear compartments and not underneath the crew.

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Japanese tank in shade

Cenotaph and Obelisk
  Central to the park is a cenotaph. It comprises of three flag poles with an obelisk in front centrally. The obelisk is on three tier wide pedestals.

  In front of this is an oblong shaped footpath construction. Surrounding this all is white posts and chains on three sides, leaving the front open. In the middle of the oblong shaped path is a small pedestal with a plaque.

  Each side of this central construction are large bent and damaged propellers still structurally together though. These have been embedded in the ground standing up.
The plaque reads:

"TO A LOYAL NATIVE BAROS OF SIROUI WHO GAVE HIS LIFE JANUARY 1943
LEST WE FORGET, RSS & AILA BOUGAINVILLE SUB-BRANCH".

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Memorial oblisk and PMG ambulence

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(l to r) Japanese tank (in shade), memorial oblisk, Zero


Japanese Zero Figher
  To the extreme right is a Japanese Zero plane. The plane is apon a large metal pylon approx. five to six meters up. This plane was obviously badly damaged during the war.
Many spots of damage can be seen across the plane. The plane has quite clearly been welded together for display. Currently, the tail has fallen off and is lying on the ground in front.

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Zero with broken tail (lying in front)

Naval Gun and Small Cannon
On the extreme left is a Japanese Armstrong 76.2 mm naval gun designed by the British. It was also designated as an 8 cm naval gun. The relic on the right appears to be a portable small cannon also around the 60mm diameter. The cannon has been known to have been moved before.
Previous PMG photos have the cannon in different positions and angles. There is a large block of gray concrete and this appears as the original home for the cannon.

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(l to r) Naval Gun, small portable cannon,
Zero at edge of photograph

Kieta Wharf
   The Kieta Wharf has been cleaned and is back in use. There is still a half submerged wreck beside the wharf.

  The Christian book ship the MV DOULOS was here the other month and docked at Kieta Wharf as well as at Buka. The Aropa airfield has been repaired since the crisis and is the airfield used by the PMG.

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MV DOULOS at Kieta

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