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    Wau Morobe Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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John T. Harrison 1937

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Justin Taylan 2003

Location
Lat 7° 19' 60S Long 146° 43' 0E  Wau is located in Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG) at an elevation of 3,720'. Located to the north is Bulolo. Today, connected by road northwest to Bulolo and westward to Edie Creek and to the west is McAdam National Park.

Prewar
During the 1930s, Wau was a gold rush boom town full of prospectors. During 1930-1933, Errol Flynn lived in Wau during 1930-1933 working as a Patrol Officer (Kiap), trader, shipper, hustler and gold prospector. The Catholic church established a mission at Wau. In 1940, Father Glover was assigned to the mission.

Wartime History
After the Japanese defeats elsewhere in New Guinea, the Japanese Army hoped to strengthen their holdings in New Guinea by advancing from Salamaua on the coast inland to capture Wau. During February 1943, the Japanese offensive was defeated by the defending Australian forces, then pushed back towards the coast.

Japanese missions against Wau
February 6 - June 13, 1943

Wau Airfield
Built prior to the war, first used on April 18, 1927. Used heavily during the Wau campaign.

Bulolo No. 6 Dredge
Bulolo Gold Dredge that was overrun by the Japanese. This dredge is still abandoned outside of Wau, where it was used post-war, then abandoned.

Bulldog Track
The "Bulldog Track" was a walking path intended to link Wau to Bulldog on the southern coast of New Guinea following the Edie Creek. The trail was never completed to reached all the way to the coast. Although deteriorated it can be walked in about three days.

C-47 "Early Delivery" 41-38658 Nose 642
Pilot Schwensen crashed February 6, 1943 discovered 1988

Ki-43-I Oscar
Pilot Sato shot down February 6, 1943

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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