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    Thilenius Harbor (Gasmata Harbor) West New Britain Province Papua New Guinea
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USAAF Sept 9, 1943

Thilenius Harbor is located on the southern coast of West New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea. Also known as Gasmata Harbor. Borders Gasmata (Surumi, Tsurumi), Malangrut Island and Awrin Island.

Wartime History
On February 9, 1942 at 2:50am Kinryu Maru and Kozui Maru enter Gasmata Harbor. By 3:35am their troops are loaded aboard Daihatsu landing craft that land without resistance No. 2 Maizuru Special Naval Landing Force (No. 2 Maizuru SNLF) plus airfield engineers from the 8th Base Force that occupy Gasmata and Gasmata Airfield. Afterwards, both ships remain anchored in Gasmata Harbor.

On February 11, 1942 the ships are bombed at low level by three Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Hudsons that score hits causing damage and casualties aboard both ships. This was the first Allied air raid against Gasmata. The Hudsons are intercepted by four A5M4 Claudes that shoot down Hudson A16-91 pilot W/Cdr John M. Lerew and Hudson A16-126 pilot F/O Graham Ian Gibson. Afterwards, both ships undergo reapirs with Kinryu Maru departing that night. On February 13, 1942 Kozui Maru departs with a Japanese garrison of 170 personnel remaining at Gasmata to establish a base.

occupied by the Japanese and developed into an anchorage to support the Gasmata area with a jetty at the edge of Gasmata Airfield.

Allied missions against Gasmata
February 11, 1942–February 5, 1944

On March 17, 1944 PT-143 entered the harbor after observing no enemy and tied up to the jetty to inspect the area on foot and reported back to base that the Japanese had withdrawn from the area.

Unidentified Japanese shipwreck off Gasmata
Sunk off Gasmata

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Last Updated
February 12, 2021



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