Malabeta Hill is located inland from Kangu near the coast on southern Bougainville. Wartime spelling "Malabita".
On May 1, 1942 Australian coastwatcher Paul
Mason established an observation post at this location, in time to report a concentration of Japanese ships massing for the Battle of the Coral Sea. Next, a RAAF Catalina attempted to drop supplies to him, but dropped 70 miles away, forcing Mason to trek to the drop site. Unable to find the drop, he returned to Malabeta Hill by early August. His station was coded "STO".
On August 7, 1942 at 11:37am, he radioed a report about 24 G4M1 Betty bombers heading southward in a message: "From STO 27, bombers headed southeast". This report alerted the Americans about the inbound Japanese air raid and allowed US Navy aircraft to be scrambled and ready to intercept.
Lonely Viigil mentions Mason's service at Malabeta Hill
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 4, 2018