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    Parai Biak Numfor Regency | Papua Province Indonesia
Location
Lat 1° 11' 44S Long 136° 9' 9E Parai village is located on south coast of Biak Island in the Schouten Island Group (Schouten Archipelago). To the east is Bosnik and to the west is Mokmer. Borders Soeanggar Bay to the southeast and Yapen Strait (Japen Strait) to the southwest. Prewar and during the Pacific War, part of Dutch New Guinea (DNG) in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI). Today located in Biak Numfor Regency in Papua Province in Indonesia.

Wartime History
During 1942 occupied by the Japanese Army. On May 27, 1944 the U. S. Army landed at Bosnik to the east and began advancing towards Parai while the Japanese prepared to defend this area to halt their advance by mining the road and planning a counterattack with tanks.

On May 29, 1944 in the morning three U. S. Army M4 Sherman tanks were advancing on the road west of Parai towards Mokmer Drome. They were engaged by four Type 95 Ha Go tanks from the Japanese Army, 222nd Infantry Regiment, Tank Company under the command of 1st Lt. Iwasa but all were destroyed. Next, three more Type 95 Ha Go tanks attacked but were also destroyed and 1st Lt. Iwasa was killed.

On June 15, 1944 the last three Type 95 Ha Go tanks from the Japanese Army, 222nd Infantry Regiment, Tank Company launched another counter attack against the U. S. Army at Mokmer Drome. During the day, all three were knocked out: two by bazooka fire and the third by .50 caliber machine gun fire and small arms. These engagements were the first tank versus tank battles in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

References
U. S. Army in World War II - The Approach to the Philippines Chapter XIV page 330, 338-339
Taki's Home Page - The History of Battles of Imperial Japanese Tanks - May to June, 1944 Biak

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Last Updated
December 13, 2019

 

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