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    Kavieng Harbor New Ireland Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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AWM 1914

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David Paulley 1982

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Claude Gibson 2001

Location
Lat 2° 34' 0S Long 150° 48' 0E  Kavieng Harbor borders Kavieng located at the western tip of New Ireland. Kavieng Harbor borders Nusa Harbor and Nusa Island and Nusalik Island to the west. Also known as "Kawieng Harbor".

Prewar
Kavieng was settled by the Germans who built a government station, developed Kavieng Harbor and constructed a network of roads and copra plantations on New Ireland. During World War I, occupied by Australian forces and afterwards administered by Australia.

By 1941, the Kavieng Harbor waterfront included a Chinese Boat slip, Saunders Jetty, B. P. Store and the Main Wharf (Kavieng Wharf).

Wartime History
During July 1941, a small Australian Imperial Force from No. 3 Section and a force of 250 commandos of the 1st Independent Company arrived at Kavieng and began construction of Kavieng Airfield. On December 25, 1941, as the threat of the Pacific War became imminent, white women and children were evacuated by the administration.

On January 21, 1942 over sixty Japanese carrier aircraft attacked Kavieng without opposition. During the night of January 21-22 most Australians were evacuated from Kavieng by 10:30pm. A few opted to stay behind to destroy installations then planned to escape aboard two small ships Navanor and Shamrock.

During the night of January 23-24, 1942, a Japanese force from Truk landed at Kavieng and found virtually no opposition. Afterwards, the Mai No. 2 Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) was transported to New Hanover, Mussau and Emirau looking for Allied soldiers but found no opposition then returned to Rabaul later in January.

During the Japanese occupation, Kavieng Harbor was developed into an anchorage and Kavieng Seaplane Base was used by seaplanes. Many Japanese veterans recalled the Kavieng area was "a beautiful place as the heaven."

During the middle of 1942, American aircraft began bombing Kavieng, culminating in heavy aerial attacks in early 1944 that neutralized the area. Bombing neutralized Kavieng and cut it off from the resupply by sea or air.

During early 1944, Japanese Navy Rear Admiral Ryukichi Tamura, commander at Kavieng ordered all prisoners killed if an imminent invasion was expected. At least 25 Australian civilians were executed at Kavieng Wharf (Main Wharf).

Japanese and American missions against Kavieng
January 21, 1942 - April 8, 1944

Today
Kavieng Harbor remains in use as an anchorage and port for Kavieng.

Kavieng Seaplane Base
Japanese seaplane anchorage on the shore of Kavieng and Kavieng Harbor

B-25D "Gremlins Holiday" 41-30041
Pilot Cavin ditched February 15, 1944 rescued by PBY "Arkansas Traveler" 08139

B-25C "Pissonit" 41-30370
Pilot Bensonm ditched February 15, 1944 rescued by PBY "Arkansas Traveler" 08139

B-25D Mitchell 41-30531
Pilot Cavoli ditched February 15, 1944 rescued by PBY "Arkansas Traveler" 08139

Unknown Japanese Freighter
Sunk in Kavieng Harbor

Aichi E13A Jake
Sunk at its mooring in Kavieng Harbor, upright on a sandy bottom

Aichi E13A Jake
Sunk in Kavieng Harbor, upside down with the floats torn off nearby

F1M2 Pete (Deep Pete)
Discovered in April 2004, nicknamed "Deep Pete" upside down on a sandy bottom

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Last Updated
January 11, 2018

 

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