Manus Island is the largest Island in the Admiralty Island Group located in the Bismarck Sea. To the east is Los Negros Island.
On April 5, 1942, Japanese forces landed on Manus and established a relatively
small base on Manus and had minimal
contact with the people of Manus, aside from hiring villagers from Rossum as guides and scouts. The locals were told by the Japanese
that "the war was a fight amongst outside nations and the local people
were best advised to stay in the safely of the hinterland." German
colonist who remained on the island when then Japanese arrived were
either killed or imprisoned.
On March 25, 1944 US Army troops landed on Manus and met sporadic resistance that was quickly overcome. Immediately, Seadler Harbor was developed into a huge US Naval
anchorage with shore facilities built at Lorengau and Lombrum. This base
was a staging area for future operations in Dutch
New Guinea and later the Philippines.
Thousands of buildings, shops and sheds were erected. At Lorengau,
repair facilities were created. Wharves were constructed in the
Almost overnight, the Americans had built one of the largest aerodromes
and harbors in the entire Pacific region. Since the war, harvesting timber is dangerous because of shrapnel
and bullets still lodged into the trees around the battlefield areas.
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January 11, 2018