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    Buka (Buka Town) Bougainville Province 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  Located on the southern coast of Buka island. To the south is the Buka Passage and Bonis on Bougainville Island. Known as simply "Buka" or "Buka Town".

Prewar
Buka had a sizable Chinese population that lived in a Chinatown area at the eastern edge of Buka Town near Buka Airfield.

Wartime History
During 1941, garrisoned by the Australian Imperial Force, No. 9 Section, C Platoon, under the command of Lieutenant Leverett.  At the beginning of October 1941. No. 3 Section of the First Independent Company, Australian Imperial Force were assigned to Buka. After the Japanese attack on Rabaul, the Australian garrison evacuated to Bonis.

During the morning of March 9, 1942, a Japanese invasion force entered Queen Carola Harbor on the western side of Buka island. In addition to mine sweeping operations, a naval landing force landed on Buka and carried out mopping-up around the anchorage the following day.

The Japanese expanded the airfield at Buka and constructed another at Bonis. After the American landings on Bougainville, and the failed Japanese counter attacks, Japanese commanders withdrew to Buka Island and fortified three areas for defense. After the American landings at Torokina, Japanese destroyers landed reinforcements of 700 troops from the 17th Army Division, and 25 tons of supplies unopposed on November 6, 1943. Japanese forces occupied the island for the duration of the war, but were neutralized from the air.

Japanese and American missions against Buka
August 23, 1943 - June 15, 1944

Buka Airfield
Built prior to the war by Australians, occupied by the Japanese until the end of the war.

SBD-5 Dauntless Bureau Number 35931
Pilot McIntrye crashed November 10, 1943 wreckage found 2008, remains recovered

G4M1 Model 11 Betty Tail K-393
Wreckage scrapped sometime between 1997-1999

References
Buka Island, No. 3 Section, ’A’ Platoon, First Independent Company, Australian Imperial Force

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Last Updated
January 11, 2018

 

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