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    Komalu (Komolus, Komoles) New Ireland Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

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Jim Ridges 2005

Lat 3° 31' 60S Long 152° 13' 0E  Komalu is located on the southern coast of New Ireland, near the center of the island. Also know as "Komolus" or "Komoles".

Catholic Mission Station at Komalu
Established in the early years of the 1900s by Missionaries from Vunapope, with German Priests and Brothers established a school, dispensed medical aid, raised chickens, ducks and pigs. The missionaries patrolled up and down the coast on horse back, and followed bridle paths through the mountains to the east coast. Neighboring the Mission was a large coconut plantation run by a German family, and relations between mission and the plantation were very close and friendly. When the Japanese arrived there was just one priest in residence at Komalu Mission, Father Henry Kholstette, MSC who was taken away and interned at Kavieng. All of them were executed by the Japanese as the war came to an end. During the war, the Komalu Mission Station was totally destroyed by Allied bombing and was never been reestablished postwar.

Komalu Plantation
The Komalu Plantation was planted with coconut palms harvesting copra. During 1942 this plantation was managed by German Rudolf Diercke. His mother Nellie Hatton died in 1933. Her cousin Emma Kapple, and his grandmother, Phoebe Parkinsone. Also living on the plantation was a Japanese civilian overseer, Tadashi Imamura. In May 1942, there were no Japanese forces stationed anywhere in the local area. A year later, Diercke and his family were all removed by the Japanese and interned at the camp for civilian prisoners at Bopire Plantation a few miles north of Namatanai.

B-17F "Reckless Mountain Boys" 41-24518
Force landed, salvaged by the Japanese some wreckage remains

Native Cemetery
Local cemetery where several of the crew of the B-17 were buried: Oscar Linsley, Bleiler and Fleiger.

Thanks to Max Uechtritz for additional information on the residents of Komalu Plantation

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018


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