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    Pongani Oro Province Papua New Guinea

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Justin Taylan 2003

Location
Lat 9° 4' 0S Long 148° 34' 0E  Pongani located 40 miles from Buna, and about 10 miles from Oro Bay.Village on the north coast of New Guinea on Dyke Acland Bay. A rough, difficult track spanned from Natunga to Pongani known as a the Natunga-Pongani Track.

Wartime History
This area was a staging area for the battles of Buna / Gona. Both American and Australian infantry units staged thru Pongani before entering battle in the Buna area offensives, included the US 32nd Infantry Division's 128th and 126th Infantry Regiments - National Guardsmen from Michigan and Wisconsin, then commanded by Major General Edwin E. Harding.

Pongani US Army Supply Dump
US Army 32nd Infantry Division's 128th Infantry Regiment established its supply dump at Pongani. Since there was no wharf or pier, supplies were unloaded at night and taken aboard smaller boats or native canoes ashore.  As Japanese air power was still in the area, Allied boats fled by dawn.

Pongani Airfield
Built by Americans in late October 1942 to support the Buna / Gona campaign, disused today.

OA-10 Catalina 43-3262
Pilot Smith crashed October 15, 1943 discovered 1944

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Last Updated
January 8, 2014

 

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