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New Zealand Army c1944
USN January 30, 1944
2006 via NZ Police
During the Pacific War, the Allies erroneously referred to Nissan Island as "Green Island". Also incorrectly spelled "Nissian" in some wartime references. Today, Nissan Island is part of Nissan Rural Local Level Government (Nissan Rural LLG), North Bougainville District, Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Bougainville Province), Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Allied missions against Nissan Island (Green Island)
During the night of January 30, 1944 a raiding party of 300 soldiers, mostly from the New Zealand Army, 30 Battalion landed on Nissan Island. After reconnoitering for 24 hours, the group was withdrawn by sea having suffered five killed and ten wounded. Afterwards, U. S. Navy Combat Demolition Unit "frogmen" from NCDU 4 and NCDU 5 cleared obstacles from the landing area.
On February 15, 1944 American troops plus the 3rd New Zealand Division (less the 8th Brigade) landed on Nissan as part of Operation Square Peg. At the time of the landing, only about 500 Japanese base troops were on Nissan, the rest had withdrawn to Feni Island. The remaining Japanese fought to the death with none surrendering. On February 23, 1944 organized Japanese resistance ceased but mopping up operations continued until the end of the month.
Immediately afterwards, US Navy Construction Battalion "Seabees" developed Nissan Airfield and a base area to support aerial operations against Rabaul. During 1944, several famous Americans were stationed or visited Nissan Island including U. S. Navy (USN) Lt. Richard M. Nixon, Officer in Charge of the Combat Air Transport Command (CATC) on Nissan (Green) who later became the 37th President of the United States (POTUS) during 1969-1974. Between May 22 - June 10, 1944, Charles Lindbergh flew 13 combat mission with a U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) F4U Corsair squadron based at Green (Nissan) and Emirau and participated in combat mission to escort TBF Avengers over Rabaul and strafing ground targets. On August 1-2, 1944 Bob Hope preformed on Nissan. On August 15, 1944 Jack Benny also performed on Nissan.
Until early June 1944, New Zealand troops remained on Nissan before withdrawing to New Caledonia. During July 1945, the last Allied personnel departed the Green Island for Guiuan (Samar). Everything left on the island was destroyed or abandoned and the island was returned to the native inhabitants. After the war a vast quantity of supplies were dumped and thousands of drums of fuel were sold to locals for US $0.13 a liter.
Nissan Airfield (Green Island Airfield, Nissan Island Airfield)
Green Island PT Boat Base (Nissan)
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