WW2 Japanese soldier skeletons and airport found??

Discussion about wrecks and losses as well as historic sites in the Pacific.

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WW2 Japanese soldier skeletons and airport found??

Post by Leondus »

Does anyone know the full news report for this?
The link to it is 404
WW2 Japanese soldier skeletons and airport found
by News.com 2005-November-10
Thousands of skeletons of Japanese soldiers killed during World War II have been found on an island in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua. Along with the skeletons, the researchers discovered weapons, military helmets, telescopes and other equipment. The researchers also found an airport, believed to be built by the Japanese soldiers, on the island.

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Post by Mr.Chris »

Wakde Island:
Remain of Japanese soldiers excavated
National News - November 10, 2005

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Japanese researchers have excavated a mass grave containing the remains of Japanese soldiers who died in World War II on the remote Papuan island of Wakde, which was the scene of heavy fighting, Antara reported on Tuesday.

The remains, along with equipment such as binoculars, food rations and weapons, were uncovered in September in a cave on the island, some 300 kilometers west of the Papua capital Jayapura.

The researchers believe the cave may have contained hundreds of sets of remains, the largest number discovered since Indonesia and Japan signed an agreement in 1993 on efforts to repatriate the remains of Japanese soldiers.

A local military officer involved in the excavation, Chief Sgt. Hans Kadiwaru, said on Tuesday the remains of Papuans who might have sought shelter in the cave had also been found. The researchers separated the remains of the Japanese soldiers and repatriated them to Japan.

Kadiwaru said the researchers had also discovered the remains of several Japanese and Allied Forces soldiers on another part of Wakde, between the districts of Pantai Timur and Tor Atas.

The Japanese heavily fortified Wakde with more than 100 bunkers, as well as 12 fortified coral caves. It also contained an airstrip that covered almost half of the island, which faces the Pacific Ocean.

Allied Forces launched a massive aerial and amphibious assault on the tiny island on May 17, 1944. Allied reports say 40 Americans were killed in the operation, along with 759 Japanese soldiers.

The Japanese government announced in 1990 a plan to build a memorial on the island, but so far nothing has come of the plan. The country has only put up a small monument on the main road in downtown Sarmi.

An estimated 50,000 Japanese soldiers died in Papua during World War II, 30,000 of them on battlefields in Biak Numfor regency.

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