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    Sarmi Sarmi Regency | Papua Province Indonesia
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U. S. Army 1944

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1998

Location
Lat 1° 51' 0S Long 138° 43' 60E  Sarmi is located on small peninsula on the north coast of New Guinea in Sarmi Regency in Papua Province of Indonesia. Prewar, part of Dutch New Guinea. Sawar is to the southeast. Offshore is Mondoeruaear Island.

Wartime History
During late April 1944, many of the Japanese from Hollandia fled west toward the Toem-Wakde-Sarmi area, where the Japanese Army 36th Division was dug in with 11,000 troops including seventeen Type 95 Ha Go Light Tanks from the 36th Division's tank unit under the command of Captain Fujimura.

American missions against Sarmi
April 21, 1944 - November 5, 1944

On July 3, 1944 two Type 95 Ha Go tanks encountered two amphibious tanks and fired on them, claiming one as destroyed and causing the other to flee. Several other minor tank engagements occurred in the Sarmi area, but there were mostly ineffective in the jungle and most of the tanks survived the war.

On July 5, 1944 the U. S. Army 124th Infantry landed at Aitape as the reserve force for Task Force Persecution. The 158th Regimental Combat Team (158th RCT), an independent unit created from the Arizona National Guard that came to be known as the "Bushmasters" was assigned the task of clearing out Japanese concentrations in the Wakde-Toem area. The 158th found itself in combat in the rugged hilly region southwest of Maffin Bay.

The 36th Infantry Division's 155th Infantry Regiment and 167th Infantry Regiment fought in the Wakde-Sarmi area. By May 18, 1944 the Americans captured Wakde. At Sarmi, the fighting was less intense. Both regiments accounted for more than 1,000 Japanese while on the Maffin Bay perimeter which guarded Maffin Bay Airfield (Maffin Drome).

On September 1, 1944 the 33rd Infantry Division "Illinois Division" 123rd Infantry Regiment landed at Maffin Bay to relieve the 31st Infantry Division "Dixie  Division". They also patrolled Wakde Airfield and Toem-Sarmi sector until January 26, 1945.

F-7B Liberator Serial Number 44-40422
Pilot Harms MIA September 30, 1944

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Last Updated
March 8, 2018

 

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