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Lone Tree Hill is located 1.8km west of Maffin village (Maffin No. 1) bordering Maffin Bay. This coral formation has an elevation of approximately 175' tall and 3,600 ' long north to south and 3,300' wide east to west and is covered with dense vegetation and rain forest. The northern side facing Maffin Bay had a steep slope. The eastern side borders a stream and further away was Maffin Airfield (Maffin Drome). Prewar and during World War II, located in Dutch New Guinea (DNG) in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI). Today located in Sarmi Regency of Papua Province in Indonesia.
During early 1944, the Japanese constructed fortified positions and used caves as defenses. Defended by the Japanese Army 224th Infantry and 16 engineers with heavy weapons including machine guns and artillery.
Dubbed Lone Tree Hill by the U. S. Army because their maps had a single tree on the hill. They also dubbed the stream to the east was dubbed Snaky River.
On May 17, 1944 the 158th Regimental Combat Team (158th RCT) landed at Maffin Bay. By May 30, 1944 attacked by the Japanese and by early June 1944, the 6th Division was sent to relieve the 158th RCT and after a ten day battle captured Lone Tree Hill. The Japanese lost an estimated 3,870 KIA and 11,000 died from sickness and starvation, 51 were taken prisoner, plus 17 tanks lost. The Americans lost 400 KIA, 1,500 WIA and 15 MIA.
On July 18, 1944 the 31st Infantry Division "Dixie Division" landed at Maffin Bay to to relieve the 6th Division and began building bridges, roads and patrolling to develop the Maffin area into a staging base and claimed 1,000 Japanese killed in various actions.
On September 1, 1944 the 33rd Infantry Division "Illinois Division", 123rd Infantry Regiment landed at Maffin Bay to relieve the 31st Infantry Division "Dixie Division". They guarded the Wakde-Toem-Sarmi sector until relieved on January 26, 1945.
A Brief History of the 6th Infantry Division - D. The Battle for Lone Tree Hill, Maffin Bay, New Guinea
Taki's Home Page - The History of Battles of Imperial Japanese Tanks - Sarmi
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