1° 40' 0S Long 150° 0' 0E Emirau Island is located in the St.
Matthias Group, nearby is Mussau Island. Emirau is eight miles across from east to west. Pronounced 'E-mir-a'. Also know as "Storm Island" first sighted by Dampier in 1699 and named "Squally Island".
A prewar German plantation and a Seven Day Adventist missionary station existed on the southern portion of the island. World War
II first came to Emirau in the form of a Kregsmarine
raiders Orion and Komet, who left about 500 men, women and
children on Emirau in early December 1940, after the sinking
of their ship, RMS
Rangitane and Holmwood. The survivors lived on the island until rescued by Australian
On March 12, 1944, the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided
to capture Hollandia and Emirau
as part of the campaign to neutralize Rabaul.
On March 20, 1944 the U.S. Marine Corps (USMCI 4th Marines, 1st and 2nd Battalions, with 3rd
Battalion in reserve made an amphibious landing on the island. There were no Japanese defenders on the island, instead
the Marines were met by 7 Day Adventist missionaries. The next day and airfield construction is begun. USS Anthony DD-515 covered the
of Emirau. Destroyer USS Wintle
DE-25 was patrolling off Emirau on April 8 and April 21 1944. Also,
on June 12 and 25 and August 28, 1944. The Marines were relived
by the US Army's 147th Infantry Regiment on April 11, 1944.
Built by US Navy Seabees, pair of parallel runways.
There was a US Army temporary
cemetery on the island until the end of the war, when remains were disinterred
and brought back to USA.
Located on the north-west coast, 9-10 fathoms deep. After the liberation of the island, the US Navy built a base on Hamburg Bay.
Sunk off Emirau by the USS Scamp (SS-227) on May 29, 1943
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
August 26, 2013