3°22'45.10"S Long 143°13'7.22"E Located on the north coast of New Guinea, to the
west of Dagua and Wewak. Pronounced "Boot". Also know as "Buteim" or "Butaim".
But Airfield (But West)
Japanese built airfield near But village. Netralized by Allied aerial attacks. Abandoned today.
Ki-46-II Dinah Manufacture
Crashed near But
Japanese Memorial at But
A Japanese memorial to
their war dead, on the road east of But Airfield.
The reverse side of the memorial reads in english: "To
console all countries. January 1971. Mrs. A.
Bravious Solderi's Soles"
"There is an interesting story here. When the Japanese arrived at But in
1942 they were greeted by the parish Priest who was German – and presumably
an ally of theirs. For reasons that have never been explained the German
priest was executed and to this day his remains have never been recovered. Then
in 1971 a party of Japanese arrived at But and asked the incumbent parish priest
if they could build their memorial on the missions land. When they spoke to the
priest they did so in broken English. The priest, who was Dutch, replied to them
in fluent Japanese. Impressed, the Japanese asked him where had he learnt their
language to which the priest replied ‘I learnt your language during 4 years
as a prisoner in one of your bloody concentration camps.’ The priest
then went on and told them the story of the wartime execution and concluded
by telling them that he would never give them permission to build their memorial
on his missions land. That is why you will find this memorial on village land
down by the road side near the beach.
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January 11, 2018