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    Natunga (Natunga) Oro Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Location
Unclear which is the wartime village: Natunga / Lat 9° 4' 0S Long 148° 16' 60E  versus Natunga 2 / Lat 8° 58' 0S Long 148° 16' 60E  Natunga is located in the interior of New Guinea, along the Kapa Kapa Trail (Kapa Kapa - Jaure Track) to the southwest is Jaure (Iaure, Taure). From this location, the trail continues northeastward towards Buna. A rough, difficult track spanned from Natunga to Pongani known as a the Natunga-Pongani Track.

Wartime History
On November 2, 1942 the first soldiers from the US Army, 32nd Infantry Division, 126th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion under the command of Major Smith arrived at Naunga and were forced to hold at Natunga and Bofu until early November while supplies were air dropped to them before continuing their advance towards the Japanese beachhead at Buna-Gona-Sanananda.

On November 5, 1942 three C-47 Dakotas: C-47 "Dumbo" 41-18568, C-47 41-18498 and C-47 "The Broadway Limited" 41-38615 (crashed) dropped supplies to U.S. Army troops in the Natunga to Bofu area. During the cargo drop, one crashed likely due to a supply parachute fouling the tail.

C-47 "The Broadway Limited" Serial Number 41-38615
Pilot Majure crashed November 5, 1942

References
HyperWar: US Army in WWII: Victory in Papua page 115, 121

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

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Natunga

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Natunga 2
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