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USMC Nov 1, 1943
USN November 1943
David Paulley 1982
Empress Augusta Bay is located on the western coast of Bougainville Island, spanning from Cape Torokina to Mutupina Point and Gazelle Harbor. Visible to the east is the cone of volcano Mount Bagana. Empress Augusta Bay includes Torokina Island and Puruata Island. The southern edge of Empress Augusta Bay is defined by Mutupina Point and includes Gazelle Harbor. At the northern edge is the Magine Islands. Today located in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
During early 1942 occupied by the Japanese and used as an anchorage and barge staging area. Attacked by Allied aircraft during late 1943 until early 1944.
American missions against Empress Augusta Bay
November 1, 1943–April 4, 1944
On November 1, 1943 a US Navy task force Task Force 39 (TF-39) commanded by Rear Admiral Merrill covered the Allied landing, including four light cruisers: USS Montpelier, USS Cleveland, USS Columbia, and USS Denver, plus eight destroyers USS Charles Ausburne, USS Dyson, USS Stanly, USS Claxton, USS Spence, USS Thatcher, USS Converse, and USS Foote.
The landing force included USS Cresent City, USS American Legion, USS Alchiba, USS Hunder Liggett, USS Titania, USS Libra, USS President Hayes, USS President Jackson, USS George Olymer APA-27, USS Alkenaa and USS President Adams.
LCVP and LCI landing craft landed the United States Marine Corps (USMC), 3rd Marine Division from Koromokina Lagoon to Cape Torokina. The pounding surf was very rough and 84 landing craft (62 LCVPs and 22 LCIs) broached during the landings. Four were sunk by a Japanese 75mm gun.
Afterwards, the Japanese initially believed the U. S. landings was a decoy and believed the real American objective was a landing against northern Bougainville and Buka and delayed launching a strong counter attack and instead attempted to reinforce Buka.
Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
During the night of November 2, 1943 U. S. Navy (USN) Task Force 39 (TF-39) commanded by Rear Admiral Merrill intercepted a Japanese Naval force sent to attack the American landing force inside Empress Augusta Bay that landed at Cape Torokina. The Battle off Empress Augusta Bay results in the sinking a Japanese cruiser and a destroyer. The Japanese were forced to turn back and the battle was an American victory.
F4U-1A Corsair Bureau Number 17472
Pilot Hanson ditched November 1, 1943 roughly six miles southwest of Magine Islands rescued
Nov 1, 1943
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