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    Soputa War Cemetery Oro Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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AWM June 26, 1945
Location
Soputa War Cemetery was located at Soputa (Saputa) inland from the north coast of New Guinea. Also known as Soputa Cemetery. Today located in Oro Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Wartime History
During December 1942, the Australian Army established a cemetery at Soputa for Australian dead. By early 1943, burials included Australian Army soldiers Killed In Action (KIA) at Soputa, Sanananda, Cape Killerton and Girua. By July 1943 Soputa War Cemetery was established with 550 graves many marked "unidentified Australian Soldier" plus burials of some native people. A bush material hut housed the Australian Army 15th Australian War Graves Register and Enquiry Unit that was responsible for the cemetery.

During 1943-1944 Soputa War Cemetery was used for American burials. Known as USAF Cemetery Soputa or USAF Cemetery Soputa #1B.

On March 30, 1944 at 10:30am 1st Lt. Paul A. Bishop pilot C-47A 42-24398 KIA February 19, 1944 whose body was recovered later that month was buried at USAF Cemetery Soputa #1B at grave number 119 with a regulation cross.Afterwards, exhumed and reburied at USAF Cemetery Finschhafen #2.

By June 1945, Soputa War Cemetery was maintained by the Australian Army War Graves Service by Cpl R. Townsend and had an entrance sign with a barbed wire perimeter and a car parking area.

At the end of the Pacific War, the Australian graves were exhumed and transported to Bomana Cemetery for permanent burial. The American graves were exhumed and transported to the American Cemetery at Finschafen then to the Philippines or the United States for permanent burial.

References
Field Guide to the Kokoda Track by Bill James (2006) pages 395 (map), 412 (map 1974), 418, 419 (map), 420

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Last Updated
October 22, 2020

 

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