Sulphur Creek is located on the eastern edge of Rabaul. The mouth of Sulphur Creek empties into Simpson Harbor This area has natural hot springs. Directly to the south was the northern edge
of Lakunai Airfield. Today located in East New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Sulphur Creek was developed as Sulphur Creek Seaplane Base area. The natural hot springs were used by Japanese as baths. During the war, they constructed ceramic tubs and fixtures still
present to this day.
Sulphur Creek Seaplane Base (Rabaul, Simpson Harbor)
Japanese seaplane ramp and servicing area
Japanese Volcano Observatory
The Japanese Navy took an interest in seismic and volcano activity at Rabaul, and how it might impact ship movements. Civilian Dr. Takashi Kizawa of the Japanese Central Meteorological Observatory was assigned to Rabaul in May 1942. The Japanese Army built a volcano observatory at the northern edge of Sulphur creek, with two seismographs and tromometer housed in an underground shelter. Bombing made later readings imprecise, and forced it to be relocated. The only activity recorded was a minor eruption on November 24, 1943. Hit several times by bombs and rebuilt,
Kizawa moved to tunnels dug into the ridge beneath Tovanumbatir. During December 1944, he established a new facility near Vunakanau that operated until January 1945, but achieved poor readings. Dr. Kizawa survived the war, was repatriated in 1946 and retired to Funabashi City near Tokyo.
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
June 15, 2019