Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
    Tatana Island National Capital District (NCD) Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement

US Army c1942
Click For Enlargement
8th PRS Dec 5, 1942
Click For Enlargement
5th AF c1943
Click For Enlargement
US Army July 1943
Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2000

Location
Tatana Island is located inside Fairfax Harbor to the west of Port Moresby.

Wartime History
During the war, there was a need for more deep water anchorages inside Fairfax Harbor. In September 1942, a survey was undertaken to check the feasibility of building a causeway from the mainland to the island.

During late 1942, a causeway was built by the US Army 96th Engineering Battalion (Colored) African American Negro soldiers. Initially, the causeway was wide enough for a single vehicle only. Later, the causeway was expanded to accommodate two lanes for vehicles with a turnaround area. Used to transport cargo unloaded from ships anchoring in deeper water off Tatana Island.

Today
The causeway remains in use continual use to this day.

References
A Caterpillar advertisement in the Saturday Evening Post February 12, 1944 includes a painting of this causeway under construction with bulldozers and US Army troops and the headline "They Pushed Back The Sea".
Love, War and the 96th Engineers (Colored) by Hyman Samuelson, pages 87-88
"September 15, 1942 - Completed a survey to see whether it is practical to construct a causeway from Tatana Island to the mainland. Tatana has six fathoms of water within 250 feet of its shore and there is a stretch between it and the mainland, about 700 yards, where the water is hardly more than six feet at its deepest. Colonel Mathews' idea may have merit after all. I think I'll try to get permission to make a reconnaissance in an attempt to find deep water, with a deep approach, within 300 feet or so of the mainland. That would eliminate the causeway construction, might mean building approach roads. The most interesting part of the whole survey was the coral reefs and marine life - what beautiful color and shapes!"

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 11, 2018

 

Maps
Map 1942

Photos
Photo Archive

  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram