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    Torokina (Cape Torokina) Bougainville Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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USMC Nov 1, 1943

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USMC December 1943

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USN c1944

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USN c1944

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David Paulley 1982

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Harumi Sakaguchi 2003

Location
Lat 6° 13' 60S Long 155° 3' 0E  Torokina village is located at Cape Torokina (Torokina Point) on the western coast of Bougainville Island bordering Empress Augusta Bay. To the east further inland is Piva. Visible in the distance is Mount Bagana. Also known is "Torakina".

Prewar
Torokina plantation was established at this location planted with coconut palms harvesting copra.

Wartime History
During 1942, occupied by the Japanese. On November 1, 1943 the United States Marine Corps (USMC), 3rd Marine Division landed aboard LCVPs and LCI land craft along Empress Augusta Bay from the Koromokina Lagoon to Cape Torokina. The pounding surf was very rough and 84 landing craft (62 LCVPs and 22 LCIs) broached during the landing.

Allied missions against Torokina
November 1, 1943 - January 1, 1944

During the landing, four landing craft were sunk by a single Japanese 75mm regimental gun emplaced in a concealed bunker southwest of Torokina village on Torokina Point. While Marines fired ineffectively at the bunker, Sgt Robert Allen Owens managed to charge into the fire port of the bunker and disperse the gun crew, before he was mortally wounded and died. Later, he earned the Medal of Honor for his actions.

On December 17, 1943 the US Army Americal Division occupied the Torokina perimeter until January 12, 1944. On January 2, 1944 the 182nd Infantry Regiment took the line and the 132nd Infantry Regiment on January 9, 1943. Using intensive infantry and tanks, the immediate beachhead area was cleared of Japanese defenders.

On March 10, 1944 a Japanese counterattack from the interior and assaulted the south knob of Hill 260 defended by the 182nd Infantry Regiment. Later, they retook Hill 260 and drove the Japanese back. During April 1944, the US Army pushed the Japanese east of the Mavavia River and secured the Hill Mass of Hill 165, Hill 155, Hill 5500, and Hill 501 and extended the outpost line past the Torokina River. The division continued patrolling to the Torokina River, Numa Numa Trail, and across the mountain divide.

On December 10, 1944 the Australian Army 3rd Division took over Bougainville operations, to mop up the Japanese forces on Bougainville that were now concentrated in three main areas: Buka Passage in the north, Numa Numa and Kieta in the east, and Buin-Mosigetta in the south.

During November-December 1944 the Australian Army, II Corps (2 Corps) under the command of Lt General S G Savige, assumed responsibility for Bougainville, and continued offensive operations against the Japanese to the south until September 1945.

Cape Torokina
Located to the southwest of Torokina village. Torokina Airfield was built to the east along the road. Today, the remains of a pier extend near the point, also the rusting remains of a large pontoon. Ashore is the remains of another large pontoon.

Torokina Airfield (Cape Torokina Airfield)
Built by US Navy Seabees in forty days, based USN, USMC, USAAF and RNZAF aircraft

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Last Updated
January 11, 2018

 

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Oct 1944

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