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    Volupai (Red Beach) West New Britain Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Location
Volupai is located on the western side of the the northern tip of the Willaumez Peninsula on the north coast of New Britain.   A track to the southeast led inland to Bitokara and Talasea to the southeast.

Prewar
Volupai Plantation was established at this location planted with coconut palms harvesting copra.

Wartime History
An Allied reconnaissance team landed prior to the American landing and confirmed light enemy defenses and only roughly 600 Japanese in the Talasea area. The beach at Volupai was selected as the site of the initial American landing.

On March 6, 1944 at 08:35 an assault force including LSTs and LCMs from Iboki landed U. S. Marines at Volupai code named "Red Beach". In response, the Japanese hit the beach area with 90mm mortars. Four Sherman tanks landed, two were lost, one disabled on the beach in soft sand, and the other damaged by a Japanese magnetic mine planted by a Japanese soldier that jammed the turret and stunned the crew. This same tank was disabled by a land mine when it pulled off the trail to allow the other two tanks to move forward. After the landing, the Marines occupied the Volupai Plantation area. As they pushed inland, there were casualties from friendly fire incident and booby traps. The Americans estimated they had killed 150 Japanese and lost 17 killed and 114 wounded.

References
USMC Historical Monograph The Campaign on New Britain Chapter 10 Talasea pages 153, 155-158, 161, 164, 168

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Map
Map USMC
March 6-11, 1944
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