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    Bonis Bougainville Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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December 15, 1942

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13th AF c1944

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AWM Sept 15, 1945

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Justin Taylan 2003

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Justin Taylan 2003

Location
Bonis is located on the northern tip of Bougainville Island bordering the Buka Passage and Buka Island to the north. The road along the eastern side of the island begins at Bonis going southward to Sorum and Ruri. Prewar, Bonis plantation planted with coconut palms harvesting copra. Also known as "Banis".

Wartime History
During April 1942, occupied by the Japanese and developed into a base area. During early 1943, construction was begun on Bonis Airfield and completed by October 1943. The Japanese Navy established a headquarters on the Bonis peninsula, with a portion inside a tunnel dug into the cliff face.

Allied missions against Bonis
October 29, 1943 - June 14, 1944

After the American landings on November 1, 1943 at Empress Augusta Bay, a three-pronged Allied offensive contained the remaining Japanese forces to the Bonis-Buka areas after the occupation of the road junction at Ruri Bay on May 11, 1944. A potential threat to the Australian flank was posed by Japanese artillery emplaced on offshore Saposa Island and Taiof Island.

By late May 1944, Australian forces formed a line to the south of Bonis by the 55th/53rd Battalion until relieved on May 19 by the 26th Battalion and on June 3, until the 31st/51st Battalion came forward from Torokina to strengthen the line, but no offensive operations were initiated to capture the Bonis area. Occupied by the Japanese until the middle of September 1945.

On September 14, 1945 surrender negotiations began between the Australian Army, 2 Corps and Japanese Navy Commander Takahashi and Captain E. Kato in command of the remaining troops in northern Bougainville and Japanese Army Lt. General M. Kanda. Negotiations lasted until September 16.

Today
The small town of Bonis has only a few buildings close to the beach, across from Buka.  A terminus for PMV bus traffic, and small boats crossing the  Buka Passage.

Bonis Airfield
Japanese built airfield, disused since the war.

Japanese Bunker
Located near the Buka passage. This large bunker had multiple entrances, and excellent construction. Today, a contemporary building is built nearby, and uses the bunker for storage.  Wooden doors are built over two of the entrances visible.

Australian Matilda Tank
Reportedly in the vicinity. Blown upside down by a the blast of a Japanese land mine that killed the crew.

Munitions Caches
Unexploded shells recovered by workmen widening the Buka Passage / Tinputz road in the early 1980's.

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Last Updated
March 11, 2018

 

Map
Map 1943

Map
Map
Oct 22, 1943

Photos
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