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    Vunapope (Wunapope) East New Britain Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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Justin Taylan 2006

Location
Lat 4° 20' 60S Long 152° 16' 60E  Vunapope is located on the northern coast of New Britain Island bordering Blanche Bay to the north. Wartime spelling "Wunapope". To the east is Takubar and to the west is Kokopo.

Prewar
Vunapope Roman Catholic Mission was established at this location.

Wartime History
During January 1942, occupied by the Japanese until the offical surrender of Japan in September 1945.

Vunapope Roman Catholic Mission
Prewar. the Vunapope Roman Catholic Mission was established on the on the hilltop at Vunapope. During the war, civilian missionaries were detained at the mission in a 'concentration camp' guarded by Japanese Army Kempi-tai (military police), where Catholics, Lutherans and other religious people were grouped, including local followers and half-castes, numbering about 300 people. During the heavy bombing of February - March, the guards fled, but returned on March 30, 1944. On May 12, 1944 the prisoners were relocated inland to the Ramale Valley due to heavy Allied bombing of the area.

American missions against Vunapope
February 11, 1944 - June 25, 1944

Lock Katrine
Sunk around 1937 wreckage remains today

F4U-1D Corsair NZ5429
Pilot Thorburn crashed December 24, 1944

References
Prisoner's Base and Home Again describes captivity at the mission during 1943 to May 1944

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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