Humbolt Bay is located the north coast of New Guinea bordering Hollandia (Jayapura). To the north is Cape Soeadja. To the east is Hollandia (Jayapura) and the Cyclops Mountains and Tanahmerah Bay. Prewar and during the Pacific War known as Hollandia in Dutch New Guinea in the Netherlands East Indies. Today known as Yos Sudarso Bay, in honor of Indonesian Admiral Yos Sudarso who was killed during 1962 in a naval engagement against the Dutch at Vlakke Hoek (Etna 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. At the eastern end of Humbolt Bay the Germans had established a settlement known as Germania-Huk (German Corner) that was later abandoned. On March 7, 1910 the Dutch established Hollandia with Humbolt Bay providing access to the sea.
During April 1942, occupied by the Japanese Army. Humbolt Bay was used as a Japanese anchorage until late April 1944 when targeted by American bombers and fighters.
On April 22, 1944 during "Operation Reckless" U. S. Army troops from the 41st Infantry Division landed at Humbolt Bay along landing beaches code named White Beach 1, 2 and 3. Afterwards, Humbolt Bay became a major American staging base area and for other amphibious operations including the landings in the Philippines.
On April 22, 1944 the U. S. Army 162nd Infantry Regiment
landed at White Beach 1 and met only minor
resistance. Quickly, they secured the heights overlooking Hollandia. Immediatly, supplies were stacked onto the beach, craming the area with cargo. Meanwhile, a
single Japanese bomber managed to slip thorough the mountains to the south, avoided American air cover and appeared over White
Beach 1. This aircraft dropped four bombs, one scored a hit on an ammunition
dump, that in turn set a nearby gasoline dump on fire. Today, this area is known as "Tanjung Ria Beach" and is a popular beach with resorts and facilities. There are a few
rusted hulks of American vehicles either disabled or abandoned on the
On April 22, 1944 the U. S. Army, 186th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion made an unopposed landing at this location.
White Beach 3
On April 22, 1944 the U. S. Army, 186th Infantry Regiment along with the Regimental Cannon Company landed at this location and overcame slight resistance. In total, the Americans suffered six dead and 16 wounded, while the Japanese lost 48 killed an others were taken prisoner.
On Janury 12, 1945 Japanese submarine I-47 entered Humbolt Bay and successfully launched four Kaiten manned torpedoes piloted by Kawakubo, Muramatsu, Sato and Hara beginning at 4:15am at 5 minute intervals. At 5:21 a single explosion rocked the anchorage, damaging the Liberty ship USS Pontus H. Ross. The three Kaitens failed to do any damage.
Veteran George Walden adds:
"Coincidences like this keep amazing me; who would have thought I would live so close to where part of a ship was buried that was torpedoed in the same bay where our troop ship was anchored! It has taken me almost 60 years to find out what actually happened the morning of January 12, 1945 when we were jolted out of bed. I have tried to find the ship's log for the Holbrook, only to discover that all such logs were destroyed in the 1950's. The concrete filled bow of this ship is one of many buried in a Liberty Ship Memorial Park, Oregon on the southern bank of the Willamette river between the Freemont and Broadway bridges on Naito parkway."
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October 19, 2018