Local Island is located inside Joyce Bay off Koki (2-Mile) near Port Moresby. Known as "Manubada" in Motu meaning "big bird island" due to the island's birdlike shape.
Ray Fairfield recalls from the 1960-1970s:
"Bombs were dropped seemingly indiscriminately, either for practice or to unload before landing. I was in the SCUBA club, and we had a standing arrangement if we found any ordnance in relatively shallow water or where it might be a problem. If the area could be cleared an [Australian] Army Sergeant would bring a selection of explosives, & we would set a demolition charge and 'light the blue touchpapaer'. We found bombs of varying sizes on most islands, including Local Island and Idihi Island. I still remember the safety radius for a 500-pounder was two miles."
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
January 11, 2018