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    Buka Island Autonomous Region of Bougainville Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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USAAF Dec 15, 1942

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13th AF c1944

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42nd BG c1944

Location
Lat 5° 15' 0S Long 154° 37' 60E  Buka Island is roughly 50 kilometers long by 20 kilometers wide in Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Bougainville Province) in Papua New Guinea (PNG). On the western coast is Queen Carola Harbor. On the southern coast is Buka (Buka Town) and Buka Airfield. Borders Buka Passage and Bonis on Bougainville Island to the south. Today located in Buka Rural LLG in Northern Bougainville District in Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Wartime History
During 1941, a small Australian Army force was assigned to defend Buka (Town) and Buka Airfield. During January 1942 Japanese flyingboats scouted Buka and Buka Airfield. After the Japanese attack on Rabaul on January 21, 1942 the Australian garrison on Buka evacuated to Bougainville. On March 9, 1942, Japanese warships entered Queen Carola Harbor and soon afterwards occupied all of Buka Island.

Starting in late August 1942 attacked by Allied aircraft until the middle of 1944. After the November 1, 1943 U. S. landing at Empress Augusta Bay, the Japanese initially believed it was a decoy and believed the real American objective was a landing against northern Bougainville and Buka and delayed launching a strong counter attack and instead attempted to reinforce Buka. Allied aircraft continued to bomb Buka until the middle of 1944. Although cut off from resupply the Japanese occupied Buka until the official surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945.

Japanese and American missions against Buka
January 3, 1942–June 15, 1944

Queen Carola Harbor
Located on the western coast of central Buka Island. Occupied by the Japanese on March 9, 1942 and used as an anchorage.

Buka (Buka Town)
Located on the southern coast of Buka Island with Prewar Chinatown area and Buka Airfield.

B-25H Mitchell 43-4???
Pilot Durkin MIA February 18, 1944 over northern Buka

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Last Updated
December 5, 2019

 

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