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    Biak Island Biak Numfor Regency | Papua Province Indonesia

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5th AF Assoc 1990

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MHLW 1999

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5th AF Assoc 1990

Lat 1° 0' 0S Long 136° 0' 0E  Biak Island is the located in the Schouten Island Group (Schouten Archipelago). To the south is Geelvink Bay (Cenderawasih Bay) and Yapen Strait (Japen Strait) and beyond is the north coast of western New Guinea.

Wartime History
During 1942, occupied by the Japanese who established three airfields on the southern coast. After the U. S. Army landing at Hollandia, American discovered the soil in the area was too soft for heavy bomber operations. Biak Island's firmer coral coast was sought for better airfield locations.

On May 27, 1944, the U. S. Army 41st Infantry Division made an amphibious landing at Bosnik on the southern coast of Biak. The defending Japanese were entrenched in natural limestone caves and concealed fortifications and provided stiff resistance that delayed the Army and and the use of Mokmer Drome.

A tank versus tank battle occurred on Biak, when Japanese Type 95 Ha Go tanks attempted to attack the beachhead. They were destroyed by US Army M4 Sherman tanks. Casualties on Biak were 435 Americans KIA and 2,360 WIA.  The Japanese lost an estimated 6,125 KIA, with  460 POWs, and 360 Formosan POWs.

American and Japanese missions against Biak
April 28, 1944 –  July 9, 1944

After securing Biak Island, U. S. Army designated Biak Island "Base H (Biak)" and developed the southern portion of the island with airfields and base areas. Biak was U. S. Army Post Office 920 (APO 920). Biak supported offensive operations in the rest of Dutch New Guinea and the liberation of the southern Philippines.

Black GI's
At Biak

245th, 246th, 247th Quartermaster Laundry
50th Ordnance Ammunition Co.
1932nd Quartermaster Truck Co.
745th Sanitary Co.
311th Quartermaster Battalion
325th Gas Supply Co.
603rd Port Co.

436th Aviation Squadron
91st Engineer General Service
85th Engineer Dump Truck Co.
738th Engineer Base Depot Co.
1315th Engineer Construction
993rd Quartermaster Service CO
1518th Engineer Water Supply Co.

Biak Island has a large Indonesian naval base and the island has better infrastructure than in most other places in the province. During the 1980-1990s, Biak was developed as a tourist destination when international flights landed at Mokmer Drome to refuel. Today, many parts of the island are off limits to visitors.

Biak Museum
Small outdoor museum with several relics on display.  It contains some old vehicles, guns, equipment, memorials and war relics.

Bosnik (Bosnek, Soriari)
Located on the southern coast of Biak, site of the U. S. Army landing on May 27, 1944

Borokoe (Boroekoe, Borokoe)
Located on the southern coast of Biak, Borokoe Airfield built by the Japanese and expanded by the American.

Sorido (Sorrido, Insirom, Insrom)
Located on the southern coast of Biak, Sorido Airfield built by the Japanese and expanded by the American.

Located on the southern coast of Biak, Mokmer Airfield built by the Japanese and expanded by the American.

Japanese caves are found near this village.

Japanese Cave (Goa Jepang)
The "Japanese Cave" (Goa Jepang) is the local name for a cave which used to be used as a defense fortress by Japanese soldiers. The Japanese discovered the three-kilometer-long cave in 1943. Its gate is located in Paray beach in Paray village on Biak. Japanese soldiers entered the cave from Paray beach.

The soldiers occupied three large rooms built inside the cave. The Japanese soldiers managed to shoot down a U.S. plane from their hiding place. However, eventually the US army came to know where the Japanese soldiers were hiding. So in the early morning of July 7, 1944, the US Army attacked the cave.  The cave was bombarded. The Americans also dropped drums of gasoline into the hideout and blasted them from the air, setting the cave into fire. The cave burned for several months. Some 3,000 Japanese soldiers were trapped and killed in the attack.

Located in a forest, the cave is one of Biak main tourist attractions. According to Yusuf Rumaropen, an Irianese who has been taking care of the cave for 20 years, the forest is kept intact; tree cutting is strictly forbidden to keep the historic site as it is. The cave is surrounded by fences.

P-47D Thunderbolt Serial Number 42-75940
Pilot Frankfort crashed April 27, 1944

Ki 43-II Oscar
Crashed on Biak

Ki-43-II Oscar
Crashed on Biak

Ki-43-II Oscar
Crashed on Biak

P-39 Aircobra
Crashed into the limestone hills in northern Biak

C-47 Dakota Serial Number 00728
Crashed on Biak, full details unknown

C-47A Dakota Serial Number 42-10047
Pilot McDowell crashed January 9, 1945

Ki-48 Lily
Ditched off Biak, attempted salvage in 1990s, accidentally destroyed

Ki-45 Nick
Pilot Takada crashed May 27, 1944 (first 'planned' Kamikaze suicide attack on an enemy ship

PBY Catalina
Sunk off Biak Harbor

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Last Updated
July 8, 2017


Map 1944

Map Fallingrain
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