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    Sanananda (Sanananda Point) Oro Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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22nd BG July 21, 1942

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US Army January 1943

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Justin Taylan 2005





























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Justin Taylan 2005

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2005

Location
Lat 8° 8° 37' 60S Long 148° 22' 0E  Sanananda is located on the north coast of New Guinea, connected by the Sanananda track inland to Soputa.  To the east is Girewo (Giruwa). The Sanananda area includes Sanananda village and Sanananda Point located on the coast. Several natural swamps limit the routes of approach by land. Further inland at the junction of the Soputa Track and Sanananda Track was the Huggins Road Block. The 1951 eruption of Mount Lamington, ash deposited on the coast extended the coastline beyond where it was during the war.

Wartime History
On July 22, 1942 Occupied by the Japanese Army after their landings at Buna and Gona. At Sanananda, the Japanese constructed a system of strong defenses including bunkers, machine gun nets and sniper positions along a 20km beachhead spanning from Gona, Sanananda and Buna

Japanese forces under the command of General Yokomata included a mix of force including the 1/14th Battalion, plus a company from the 111/41st Battalion, 15th Independent Engineers and about 700 Formosan laborers, mountain gunners and some anti-aircraft gunners who transferred to Sanananda after the fall of Gona. After the capture of Gona, the Allies began advancing on Sanananda, and met stiff resistance. On December 28, 1942 commander Yokomata was ordered to transfer his remaining troops from Gona to Sanananda.

The Reduction of Sanananda
On November 28, 1942, US Army 32nd Infantry Division arrived at the Sanananda Track from Wairopi. Along the trail, a road block named Huggins Road Block was established outside Sananada blocking the Japanese. The 126th Infantry Regiment force on the Sanananda Track was commanded by executive officer Major Richard D. Boerem, O-253857

After the fall of Buna U. S. forces from the 128th Infantry Regiment attacked beginning on January 5, 1943 northwest along the coast toward Tarakena as preliminary moves for an all-out assault on Sanananda. Australian forces with three Stuart tanks M3A1 2561, M3A1 2565 and M3A1 (Hull Unknown) advanced from the south through a swampy area. This was the last battle where enemy fire was encountered by M3 Stuart tanks in the Gona-Buna-Sanananda area.

The main Japanese garrison was evacuated by the Japanese Navy. By January 13, 1943 only pockets of resistance remained and were being enveloped and eliminated. All Japanese resistance ended on January 22, 1943. In total, 600 Australians, 274 Americans and over 1,600 Japanese were killed in action at Sanananda.

American missions against Sanananda
September 5, 1942 - January 13, 1943

Today
The original coastline is now located behind a strip of land created by tidal action and ash deposited by the 1951 eruption of Mount Lamington.

White Tree Camp
Large white colored tree that existed next to the Australian camp site.

Sanananda Memorial Plaque
Brass battlefield history plaque written in English and Tok Pidgin, dedicated in 1994.

Sanananda 53, 55, 53/53 Memorial
The plaque reads: "To the memory of the 161 members of the 53, 55, 55/53rd Australian Infantry Battalion (A.I.F) who gave their lives in Papua New Guinea 1942-1945.

Diahatsu Landing Craft
Remains of at least five Japanese Diahatsu landing barges are present along the old coastline of Sanananda.

CA-9 Wirraway A20-492
Pilot Hart shot down January 17, 1943

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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Jan 15-22, 1943

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