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USAAF April 1944
U. S. Army April 1944
USN April 22, 1944
Lat 2° 32' 5S Long 140° 42' 20E Hollandia is located at an elevation of 341' / 103m on the north coast of New Guinea. Borders Humbolt Bay to the east and the Cyclops Mountains to the west and further to the west is Tanahmerah Bay. To the southwest is Lake Sentani.
During the Pacific War, Hollandia was located in Dutch New Guinea in the Netherlands East Indies. On October 1, 1962 renamed Hollandia Kota Baru (Hollandia New Town) while jointly administered by the Dutch and Indonesians. On May 1, 1963 renamed renamed Sukarnapura by Indonesia honor of President Sukarno. In 1968 renamed Jayapura. Also known as Jaya Pur or Kota Jayapura. Today, Jayapura is located in Jayapura Regency, Papua Province in Indonesia.
Prior to European contact, a Melanesian settlement named Numbay was at this location near the mouth of the Numbay River that empties into Humbolt Bay. On September 28, 1909 a Dutch navy vessel commanded by Captain F. J. P. Sachse landed at Humbolt Bay near the mouth of the Numbay River and established a camp named Kloofkamp at this location. On March 7, 1910 the Dutch established a settlement at this location that they named Hollandia and from this location administered Dutch New Guinea.
American missions against Hollandia
By early 1944, the Japanese garrison at Hollandia consisted of the remnants of the Japanese Army 41st, 20th and 51st Divisions with many support and air personnel.
During March 1944, a reconnaissances party was landed by submarine USS Dace SS-247. Two groups were landed which included US Army CIC, Australian, Indonesian and four New Guinea natives: Mariba, Yali, McNicol and Buka. Only 7 of the 12 landed were recovered, but revealed a weak Japanese presence in the area.
General MacArthur planned a daring leapfrog operation to bypass stronger Japanese garrisons along the north coast of New Guinea for a landing further to the west at Hollandia which was weakly defended in an operation aimed at capturing the airfields in the area and development of Hollandia into a base for future operations including the liberation of the Philippines.
On April 22, 1944 an American amphibious task force code named "Operation Reckless" landed troops at Humbolt Bay and Tanahmerah Bay near Hollandia plus a landing to protect the eastern flank at Aitape. The landing included the U. S. Army 41st Infantry Division supported by M4 Sherman tanks from the United States Marine Corps (USMC) 1st Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion, Company A landed but a swamp beyond the beachhead prevented their use further inland. Advancing, the Americans faced muddy conditions, swamp and jungle that made the drive inland difficult. The Japanese were caught by surprise and weakened by aerial attacks and bombardment. The remaining Japanese retreated inland to escape westward. In the landing area, many Japanese who were starving or rear echelon troops were willing to surrender unlike in earlier landings and battles.
After the battle the Hollandia area was immediately repaired and developed into a major U. S. Army base and staging area for future operations including the landings at Biak, Leyte and Luzon. Hollandia was designated "Base G" by U. S. Army letter base designation. Hollandia remained an important American base until the end of the Pacific War.
Humbolt Bay (White Beach)
Hollandia Area Airfields
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