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    Wirui Wewak District | East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

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Catholic Church c1937

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90th BG c1943

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5th AF Sept 9, 1943

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5th AF Nov 18, 1943

Location
Wirui is located on the north coast of New Guinea.  To the west is Cape Wom. Borders Wewak Town (Wewak Point) to the northwest. To the northeast is Wewak Harbor. To the east is Mission Point. To the south is Mission Hill (Boy's Town).

Prewar
Wirui was occupied by the Catholic church as the site of the Catholic mission at Wirui, also known as "Wirui Mission" or "Wewak Mission". The missionaries built a church, buildings and a Wewak Airfield to support their religious activities.

Wartime History
During late 1942, most colonial officials and families fled the Wewak area, fearing a Japanese attack. On December 18, 1942 the Japanese Army landed at Wewak when four ships landed unopposed between 8pm and 2am unloading roughly 2,000 troops from the 20th Division and supplies onto the beach from Wewak to Wirui. Afterwards, troops used barges to move down the north coast to occupy Madang.

Immediately, the Japanese developed the Wirui area into a major base area and expanded the prewar airfield for military usage during January 1943 until May 1945.

By the middle of May 1945, the Australian Army approached the Wewak area. On May 10, 1945 after the Australian Army captured Wewak Town (Wewak Point) the 2/4th Infantry Battalion swung inland towards Wirui and Mission Hill (Wirui Mission) to clear the foothills of the the Prince Alexander Range.

Wewak Airfield (Wirui, Wewak Central)
Built in 1937 and expanded by the Japanese

Tachi-6 Radar
Two 50Kw radar sets, range 200km located at Wewak, in the vicinity of Wirui. Under the control of the Japanese Army 4th Air Intel Unit. Operational orders of 248th Sentai showed they scrambled based on radar intelligence. Reference: Japanese Mono. #127 via Richard Dunn.

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

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Topographic Map July 1944

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