Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks   Donate Now  
Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA)
 
    Milne Bay Milne Bay Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Click For Enlargement
5th AF March 7, 1943

Click For Enlargement
Roderick Eime Dec 2014

Location
Lat 10° 18' 0S Long 150° 25' 0E  Milne Bay is a twenty mile long bay, located at the southeastern tip of New Guinea. Japanese called the location "Rabi". To the east is China Strait and Samarai Island.

Wartime History
During late August 1942, the Japanese attempted to land two groups Milne Bay. The first group departed Buna before arriving, RAAF P-40 Kittyhawks from 75 Squadron strafed their barges and stranded the troops on Goodenough. The second group departed New Ireland successfully landed Japanese Naval Special Landing Forces (SNLF, Marines) at at three points inside Milne Bay during the night of August 25, 1942.  This assault was the southern most point of the Japanese advance on land in World War II. By the end of August. the remaining Japanese withdrew, to fight on Guadalcanal.

Allied and Japanese missions against Milne Bay
August 4, 1942 - August 9, 1943

After the battle, the area was then developed into a large Allied staging base. Several coastal villages were developed into military bases and naval installations after the battle. US Army base at Milne Bay was known as 'Base A'. By the middle of 1944 most naval installations were complete.  Due to the rapid advance of Allied forces.

   Milne Bay Area

Alotau

 Present day town on the north coast of Milne Bay

Rabi (Rabe)

 Village between Turnbull Airfield and Koebule Mission (KB Mission)

Ladava

  Located at the western end of Milne Bay Gurney Airfield
  Dock area east of Ladava and Turnbull Airfield
  Village on the southeast coast of Milne Bay
  Located inland from Milne Bay and No 2 Strip
  Located inland from Milne Bay
   Milne Bay Area Airfields

Gurney Airfield (No. 1 Strip, Fall River)

 Wartime airfield still in use today as Milne Bay Airport

No. 2 Strip (Unnamed, Waigani Airfield)

 Built by the Allies, never put into full use due to drainage problems

Turnbull Airfield (No. 3 Strip)

 Wartime airfield, Japanese reached the edge August 31, 1942

Samarai Seaplane Base

 Still in use today as Milne Bay Airport

A-29 Hudson Mark IIIA Serial Number A16-245
Ditched offshore Milne Bay

P-40E Kittyhawk Serial Number A29-110
Ditched on reef August 29, 1942, pontoon attempt failed, sunk

B-17F Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-24354
Pilot Webb MIA August 26, 1942

B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2635
Pilot Hancock MIA November 1, 1942 discovered 1999

A6M2 Model 21 Zero Manufacture Number 646
Crashed August 1942

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
November 9, 2017

 

Map
Map
Fallingrain
    All rights reserved.  
  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram
 
Forum Updates People Museums Reviews Submit Info How You Can Help