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    Tarakan Island East Kalimantan Province | Borneo Indonesia

Lat 3° 17' 60N Long 117° 37' 60E  Tarakan Island is located off the northeast coast of Borneo. Prewar, Tarakan Island was an important oil producing centre in the Dutch East Indies. Since 1915, the Imperial Japanese Navy began importing oil from Tarakan when the fleet switched to oil from coal.

Wartime History
On January 11, 1942, occupied by the Japanese it until late April 1945.

American missions against Tarakan
January 7, 1942 - June 12, 1945

Operation OBOE 1
The first of three amphibious landings by the Australian Army on Borneo at Tarakan was code named "Oboe 1" . with two preliminary operations - consisting of the 2/4th Commando Squadron and one Battery of the 2/7th Field Regiment took place on April 30, 1945. Both units landing on nearby Sadau Island at 08:00 and provide support for engineers attempting to breach eight gaps in the defences along the landing beaches.

On May 1, 1945, U. S. Navy Amphibious Group Six landed the Australian Army troops on Tarakan. The landing was covered by a U. S. Navy Task Group commanded by Rear Admiral Russell S Berkley. Additional naval elements were provided by the U. S. Navy 7th Fleet, including Australian ships. The Australian Army Force was based around the 9th Division, 26th Infantry Brigade plus supporting units

The main assault begin at 08:15am with a two battalion front - the 2/23rd Battalion on Green Beach to the right; and the 2/48th Battalion on Red Beach to the left. The 2/24th Battalion in reserve would later land on Green Beach. Naval cover was to provide covering fire until landing craft were 400 yards off shore, and aircraft would attack the beachhead until fifteen minutes before the landing.

The landing was met with very little resistance, but began a bitter struggle against the Japanese defenders who had withdrawn inland. The fighting continued until August 1945, by which time neither the airfield, nor the island's oil producing capablities had been made fully operational.

Tarakan Airfield
Used during the war by the Japanese, liberated by Australians, used by RAAF.

YMS-51 Motor Minesweeper
Sunk by mine April 29, 1945

YMS-329 Motor Minesweeper
Sunk by mine April 28, 1945

YMS-363 Motor Minesweeper
Sunk by mine May 1, 1945

YMS-364 Motor Minesweeper
Sunk by coastal defense gun May 1, 1945

YMS-481 Motor Minesweeper
Sunk by coastal gun on May 1, 1945

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Last Updated
July 28, 2019


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