Lat 9° 19' 60S Long 149° 10' 0E Wanigela is a coastal
village on the northern coast of New Guinea bordering Collingwood Bay, near Cape Nelson and Dyke Ackland Bay to the south of Tufi. Also spelled Wanigela, Komabun and Kamabun. Wartime references also spell the location "Waingela", "Waigela" or "Wanagilla".
During early July 1942 a small party of coastwatchers aboard HMAS Paluma charted the shipping
channels from Waigela to Cape Nelson. During October 1942 Wanigela became vital to the Allies as a forward staging
base for troops and equipment to support the campaign against the Japanese beachheads at Buna-Sanananda-Gona. From Wanigela, smalls ships would transport supplies and troops along the north coast of New Guinea to Pongani.
During October 1942, a pier was built to facilitate the unloading of small ships and supplies. Wanigela was visited by Australian Army General Thomas Blamey and U. S. Army Brigadier General Hanford "Jack" MacNider, commander Buna Task Force.
Prewar, an Anglican mission was established at Wanigela led by Reverend Dennis J. Taylor. After the Japanese landing at Gona during late July 1942, forty members of the mission evacuated by foot.
Prewar Anglican mission at Waigela.
B-25C "Pistoff" 41-12830
Pilot Lett ditched January 8, 1943
HyperWar US Army in WWII - Victory in Papua pages 105-108, 109 (photos) 124
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
January 11, 2018