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USAAF Dec 15, 1942
13th AF c1944
42nd BG c1944
Lat 5° 15' 0S Long 154° 37' 60E Buka is located on the southern coast of Buka island. To the south is the Buka Passage and beyond Bonis on northern Bougainville Island. Also known as "Buka Town". Today, Buka is located in Buka Rural LLG in the Northern Bougainville District in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Buka is the district capital of Northern Bougainville District.
During the morning of March 9, 1942, a Japanese invasion force entered Queen Carola Harbor on the western side of Buka island. In addition to mine sweeping operations, a naval landing force landed on Buka and carried out mopping-up around the anchorage the following day.
The Japanese expanded the airfield at Buka and constructed another at Bonis. After the American landings on Bougainville, and the failed Japanese counter attacks, Japanese commanders withdrew to Buka Island and fortified three areas for defense. After the American landings at Torokina, Japanese destroyers landed reinforcements of 700 troops from the 17th Army Division, and 25 tons of supplies unopposed on November 6, 1943. Japanese forces occupied the island for the duration of the war, but were neutralized from the air.
Japanese and American missions against Buka
SBD-5 Dauntless Bureau Number 35931
Model 11 Betty Tail K-393
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