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    Sup Muschu Island | East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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5th AF c1944

Location
Lat 3° 25' 0S Long 143° 37' 60E   Sup is located on the eastern coast of Muschu Island.

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 Japanese Naval Land Unit "Tomii Unit" commanded by Lt. Tomii. They emplaced a 12.7mm machine nest at Sup and emplaced two naval guns inland to defend the area.

American missions against Muschu
July 10, 1943 - August 23, 1944

140mm Naval Gun (No 1)
Emplaced into a hillside behind Sup

140mm Naval Gun (No 2)
Emplaced into a hillside behind Sup

Japanese POW Camp Area
Located at the highest elevation on the otherwise flat island, this is the area where the Japanese POWs had their main camp. There is not much left in the area today. The location has excellent views of the entire Wewak area.

Trans-Mushu Island Road
This road was supposedly begun by the Catholic missionaries that had set up on the west of the island. The road was completed and expanded by the Japanese. Today, it is still clearly visible. Some abandoned equipment and oil drums is in the regrowth to the side of the road. Japanese soldiers camped along side this area.

Disabled Japanese Trucks
There are three Japanese military trucks that were bogged down or disabled on the road and discarded by the Japanese. Their frames, engines and in some cases tires are still visible to this day.

Som Point (Cape Saum)
Som Point is located on the eastern corner of Muschu Island. Also known as Cape Saum.

During the night of April 11, 1945 the vessel HMAS HDML 1321 landed eight Z Special Unit (Z Force) commandos as part of "Operation Copper" (originally code named "Operation Ash"). Their objective was to capture a Japanese soldier for interrogation, and to make a beach reconnaissance for a perspective landing area on the southern coast of the island. Also, to conduct a ground reconnaissance of the southwest sector of the island.

The eight commandos included: 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. The commandos landed aboard four folboats, but were pushed southward by strong currents and were swamped and some equipment lost. The force made landfall near near Som Point and waited until morning.

Michael Sumari recalls:
"Australians [commandos] landed at Som Point, right over there. They had a Bren Gun and .303 rifles and went around the island shooting Japanese on the island. The Japanese were eating lunch and they caught them by surprise. Word spread that they were there and they tracked them down. When the Australians saw us islanders, they would say 'We have come here to save you' but we did not know what to do. The Japanese found them and killed three and one [E.T. Dennis] swam back to Cape Wom and he was safe."

Afterwards, the Japanese buried the remains of the three Australians killed. Postwar, during September 1945 the remains of the three Z-Force individuals were recovered and buried at Cape Moem before being permenantly buried at Lae War Cemetery.

Ki-61 Tony
Ditched in shallow water off Sup

Bristol Beaufighter Serial Number A9-185
Pilot Baldock crashed July 13, 1944

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

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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