8° 19' 0S Long 157° 15' 0E Munda is located on the southern coast of New Georgia, north of Rendova Island. Borders Roviana Lagoon to the south. To the west is Munda Point and to the east is Lambeti Plantation.
The area to the east of Munda Point was Lambeti Plantation planted with coconut palms harvesting copra. There was also a Methodist mission at this location.
On November 13, 1942 destroyer Hakaze landed three companies of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) 6th Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) at Munda Point. On November 21, 1942 Japanese construction units arrived and began building Munda Airfield completed by December 17, 1942.
Later, these forces were reinforced by elements of the Japanese
Army 229nd Infantry Regiment and 13th Regiment commanded by Colonel Genjiro Hirata. When the Japanese presence at Munda was detected, American aircraft began bombing the area and airfield.
American missions against Munda
December 2, 1942 - August 1, 1943
Capturing Munda was the principal objective
of Central Solomons campaign. On June 30, 1943, when American forces landed on nearby Rendova, Japanese artillery at Munda fired on the US Navy ships, but were quickly silenced. On July 2-3, 1943 US Army forces landed to the east at Zanana (Laiana) and advanced towards Munda.
Munda Airfield itself became a battlefield and was captured by the US Army XIV Corps after twelve days
of continuous and fierce fighting in the surrounding area. On August 5, 1943 the high ground above the airfield including Kokengola Hill (Kokenggolol) was taken.
Immediately, American forces repaired, improved and expanded the airfield. The US Army 24th Infantry, 3rd Battalion (Negro) was assigned to Munda to operate the ration dump and perform labor tasks.
On September 11, 1943 VMF-212 War Diary pages 5-6 notes the condition of Munda Airfield:
"Munda, very clearly, shows the effects of our six months pounded by bombs and shells. Only stumps or overturned roots show where many coconut trees once stood. Craters, wrecked planes and other vehicles and other debree [sic debris] of all kind cover the landscape. It is hard to see how anyone could survive such a world of destruction."
Airfield (Munda Point Airfield)
Built by the Japanese, captured by the US Army, still in use today
Pilot Kondo Ditched December 28, 1942 off Munda
Ditched off Munda
Ditched off Munda. Located in 52m off Munda
R4D Dakota Serial
Number ? Tail Number J
Crashed near Munda
USAF Cemetery at Munda
American cemetery at Munda for war dead and air crews. By late 1945 all the graves were exhumed and transported to other cemeteries for consolidation.
Zanana Beach (Laiana)
Located three miles east of Munda Airfield.
The American US Army 172nd Infantry landed here on the
July 2 - 3, 1943, as part of the "Western Landing
Force" of the New
Georgia campaign. Today, rusted metal rims from the
supply barrels still litter the beach.
U. S. Barge
Abandoned east of Munda Airfield.
Located near Munda. A pile of war materials
known locally as "The American Dump" , beyond
the eastern tip of Kiambe. Aircraft parts, bulldozers, landing craft,
Japanese guns and other war debris. Quonset Huts are located on the
shore, used for drying copra.
Sunk offshore of the dump area, in roughly 2m.
Four barges remain half submerged along Kia.
One of the small islands, just of shore Kia, near Munda.
NARA VMF-212 War Diary September 1943 pages 5-6
WWII Diary Of A Fallen Japanese Soldier 1943 Japanese Navy medical orderly at Munda in early May 1943
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October 23, 2019