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    Muschu Island (Mushu) East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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USAAF c1944
Location
Lat 3° 25' 0S Long 143° 34' 60E  Muschu Island is a flat island roughly 10 miles wide and 8 miles wide. Also spelled "Mushu". Muschu Island includes Sup (Cape Som, Cape Saum) and Cape Barabar on the eastern tip, Cape Warbu on the southern coast and on the western side is Cape Pausum, Muschu Bay and Cape Musokzlang. Borders Kairiru Strait and Kairiru Island to the north. To the south is the Muschu Passage and roughly two miles is Cape Pus on north coast of New Guinea and eight miles away is Wewak. Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in Wewak District of East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Wartime History
During December 1942 occupied by the Japanese. Used by the Japanese Navy for the duration of the Pacific War. During February 1944, the "Tomii Unit" commanded by Lt. Tomii was based on Muschu Island.

During 1944 until the end of the Pacific War, Muschu Island was bombed and strafed by Allied aircraft and vessels. Although the Japanese expected an amphibious landing, it was bypassed and never invaded aside from a single Australian Army Z Force commando raid that ended in disaster.

American missions against Muschu
February 6, 1944–September 10, 1945

On April 11, 1945 eight Australian Army Z Force commandos disembarked from HMAS HDML 1321 and paddled ashore in four folboats on the southern side of Muschu Island as part of "Operation Copper" (originally code named "Operation Ash"). Their objective was to land on the southern coast of the island, capture a Japanese soldier for interrogation, and to make a beach reconnaissance for a perspective landing area. Also, reconnoiter the island's deferences and locate two concealed naval guns, then rendezvous again with their launch.

The Z Force consisted of eight individuals: Lt. Alan R. Gubbay, Lt. Thomas J. Barnes, Sgt Malcolm F. M. Weber, L/Cpl Spencer H. Walklate, Sig Michael S. Hagger, Sig John R. Chandler, Pte Ronald E. Eagleton and Spr E. T. Dennis. Seven were killed and only Dennis escaped by swimming to coast.

On August 1, 1945 both ML 805 and ML 809 approached Muschu broadcasting surrender messages, without result. On August 17, 1945 two days after Japan signed the instrument of surrender, two Japanese boats with white flags approached ML 805, and a meeting occurred on the beach of Muschu to arrange the surrender of Navy personnel. On September 10, 1945 Rear-Admiral Sato boarded ML 805 in the Kairiru Strait and surrendered the remaining Japanese Navy forces under his command on Muschu and Kairuru by handed over his sword to Australian Army Major-General Robertson, commander of the 6th Division. Three days later, the Japanese Army garrison surrendered at Cape Wom.

Postwar
Starting in the middle of September 1945, the Australian Army used Muschu Island to detain Japanese Prisoners of War (POW) from the area, including Japanese from Muschu, Kairiru and the Wewak area. Many Japanese POWs who were already sick and weak died during captivity. During 1946, the remaining 10,000 Japanese prisoners were repatriated to Japan.

Sup (Som Point, Cape Saum)
Located on the eastern coast of Muschu Island.

Muschu Bay
Located off the west coast of Muschu Island

A-20G Havoc Serial Number 42-86621
Pilot McGaughey ditched June 10, 1944 off Muschu

A-20G "Shag On" Serial Number 43-9134
Pilot Sleeth crashed February 9, 1945 off the eastern end of Muschu near the beach

Bristol Beaufighter Serial Number A9-120
Pilot Hall crashed June 16, 1944

References
The Naval Land Unit That Vanished in the Jungle pages 75, 77-79

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019

 

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