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    Bulolo Morobe Province¬†Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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Justin Taylan 2003

Location
Lat 7° 12' 0S Long 146° 39' 0E ¬†Bulolo is located in Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Borders the Bulolo River to the south and Wau to the southeast. Further to the southeast is Black Cat. Today, connected by a road northward to Mumeng and southward to Wau and the McAdam National Park to the west.

History
Bulolo was the center of dredging activity for the Bulolo Gold Dredging Ltd., a company that operated eight dredges flown into the area from Lae Airfield aboard Junkers G.31 Trimotors. Gold dredging operation was in operation until January 21, 1942 when the threat of attack to the town was eminent. When the war in the Pacific started, women and children were evacuated by Christmas of 1941, being flown to Port Moresby and Australia. Most men were part of the NGVR (New Guinea Volunteer Rifles) and participated in the war.

Japanese missions against Bulolo
January 21 - February 5, 1942

Destruction of Bulolo Gold Dredging Ltd. Facilities
Japanese aircraft bombed the gold field areas at intervals, and the company's machine shop was damaged by bombing, which set off demolition charges two days before the Japanese landing at Lae. After the Japanese landing at Lae, the power station were demolished in a 'scorched earth' policy, followed by the destruction of all houses, offices and stores in the town four months later in May 1942. The gold dredges were not destroyed, but were damaged by requisition of parts by Allied forces.

Bulolo Airfield
Built in 1930, attacked by the Japanese at the start of the war, disused today

Bulolo War Memorial
A small memorial was built in Bulolo's main camp to honor those former Bulolo Gold Dredging employees when served in the NGVR and regular Australian Army during the war, and were killed. Memorial services are observed each ANZAC day at the memorial. A small radial engine is displayed nearby, as well as wheels and buckets from the gold dredges. Photo by Justin Taylan 2003. The memorial plaque reads:

These men died that we might be free

Frank Anderson
Lenn Bayliss
Charley Duchatel
Jack Doran
Jack Goodwin
Tom Huxley
Cam Irvine
Dick Lapham
Harry Lumb
Bill McDonald
Souibbs O'Reilly
Perce McKee
Doug Phillips
Ron Smith
Frank Thomas
Phil Tuckey
Dick Vernon
Bryan Fraser
Bryan White
Noel McKenna

We Shall Remember Them

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Last Updated
January 11, 2018

 

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