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    Torokina (Torakina) Autonomous Region of Bougainville Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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USMC Nov 1, 1943

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USMC December 1943
USMC c1943

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USN c1944

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USN c1944

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David Paulley 1982

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Harumi Sakaguchi 2003
Lat 6° 13' 60S Long 155° 3' 0E  Torokina village is located at Cape Torokina (Torokina Point) on the western coast of Bougainville bordering Empress Augusta Bay. Also known is "Torakina". Borders Empress Augusta Bay on three sides and further to the east is Piva. Visible in the distance is Mount Bagana. Offshore to the west is Torokina Island and Puruata Island. Parallel to the coast was the Empress Trail. To the north was the Buretoni Mission Trail. Today located in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Bougainville Province) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Torokina plantation was established at this location and planted with coconut palms harvesting copra.

Wartime History
During early 1942, occupied by the Japanese. Afterards, the Torokina area was lightly defended and garrisoned.

On November 1, 1943 the United States Marine Corps (USMC), 3rd Marine Division landed aboard LCVPs and LCI land craft along Empress Augusta Bay from the Koromokina Lagoon to Cape Torokina. The Cape Torokina area was designated Blue 1 with landing areas to the north and south side of the cape. The pounding surf was very rough and 84 landing craft (62 LCVPs and 22 LCIs) broached during the landing.

Allied missions against Torokina
November 1, 1943–January 1, 1944

During the landing, four landing craft were sunk by a single Japanese 75mm regimental gun emplaced in a concealed bunker southwest of Torokina village on Torokina Point. While Marines fired ineffectively at the bunker, Sgt Robert Allen Owens managed to charge into the fire port of the bunker and disperse the gun crew, before he was mortally wounded and died. Later, he earned the Medal of Honor for his actions. After the landing, Torokina Airfield (Cape Torokina Airfield) was built at this location.

On December 17, 1943 the US Army Americal Division occupied the Torokina perimeter until January 12, 1944. On January 2, 1944 the 182nd Infantry Regiment took the line and the 132nd Infantry Regiment on January 9, 1943. Using intensive infantry and tanks, the immediate beachhead area was cleared of Japanese defenders.

On March 10, 1944 a Japanese counterattack from the interior and assaulted the south knob of Hill 260 defended by the 182nd Infantry Regiment. Later, they retook Hill 260 and drove the Japanese back. During April 1944, the US Army pushed the Japanese east of the Mavavia River and secured the Hill Mass of Hill 165, Hill 155, Hill 5500, and Hill 501 and extended the outpost line past the Torokina River. The division continued patrolling to the Torokina River, Numa Numa Trail, and across the mountain divide.

On March 29, 1944 B-24 Liberators from the 307th Bombardment Group (307th BG) carry out their first daylight raid against Truk bombing Eten Airfield; the mission is staged from their base at Munda Airfield via Torokina Airfield to refuel and arm then to bomb Truk and return.

On December 10, 1944 the Australian Army 3rd Division took over Bougainville operations, to mop up the Japanese forces on Bougainville that were now concentrated in three main areas: Buka Passage in the north, Numa Numa and Kieta in the east, and Buin-Mosigetta in the south.

During November-December 1944 the Australian Army, II Corps (2 Corps) under the command of Lt. General S. G. Savige assumed responsibility for Bougainville, and continued offensive operations against the Japanese on southern Bougainville until the middle of August 1945.

On August 16, 1945 after Japan surrendered, a RAAF Corsair dropped surrender instructions over southern Bougainville with instructions to be delivered to General Masatane Kanda commander 17th Army detailing Allied instructions about how to begin the surrender processes.

On August 20, 1945 Japanese envoys including Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) Captain Takenaka with civilian interpreter Mr. Takahashi met with the staff from Australian Army at headquarters 2 Corps to discuss the surrender of the Japanese forces on southern Bougainville.

On September 8, 1945 Japanese surrender delegation is transported aboard HMAS Diamantina (K377) disembarks the surrender party at Torokina including Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) Lieutenant General Masatane Kanda commander 17th Army and Vice Admiral Baron Tomoshige Samejima plus their senior staff for a formal ceremony to surrender Japanese forces under their command in southern Bougainville. Their surrender is accepted by Australian Army Lt General Stanley G. Savige, commander 2 Corps

surrender Japanese forces under their command in southern Bougainville. Their surrender is accepted by Australian Army Lt General Stanley G. Savige, commander 2 Corps.

On September 21, 1945 HMAS Glenelg (J236) and SS River Burdekin arrived and disembarked to landing barges Japanese Prisoners of War (POW) from Nauru Island. Afterwards, the prisoners were marched ten miles inland along the Piva Road to a prison camp near Mount Bagana.

The remains of a pier extend near the point, also the rusting remains of a large pontoon. Ashore is the remains of another large pontoon.

Torokina Airfield (Cape Torokina Airfield)
Built by US Navy Seabees in forty days, based USN, USMC, USAAF and RNZAF aircraft

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


Map Fallingrain

Oct 1944

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