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Justin Taylan 2003
Lat 3° 21' 0S Long 143° 34' 0E Kairiru Island is located off the north coast of New Guinea to the north of WewakThis island is 40km in circumference and at roughly the center is Mount Malangis a dormant volcano. To the west borders Victoria Bay. To the south borders Kairiru Strait and beyond Mushu Island. Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in Wewak District of East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
During December 1942, occupied by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and the southern coast between Saint John's Mission (Barakam, Bagaram) to Yavik (Yauik, Yarin) was developed into a base area, seaplane base and anchorage area. The area was defended by radar and naval guns. Starting in early April 1943 attacked by Allied bombers and fighters until late August 1944.
Allied missions against Kairiru
April 10 1943 - August 27, 1944
Between September 1943 to April 1945, Japanese Navy personnel on Kairiru Island were responsible for the detention, interrogation, torture and execution of at least eight Allied Prisoners Of War (POW) including six American and two Australian in the vicinity of Saint John's Mission. Occupied by the Japanese for the duration of the Pacific War.
On September 10, 1945 Rear-Admiral Sato boarded ML 805 in the Kairiru Strait and surrendered the remaining Japanese Navy forces under his command on Muschu and Kairuru by handed over his sword to Australian Army Major-General Robertson, commander of the 6th Division. Three days later, the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) garrison surrendered at Cape Wom.
The first repatriation of the Japanese from Kairiru occurred on December 26, 1945 when the Koei Maru took several hundred Japanese from Kairiru back to Japan.
Saint John's Mission (Saint John's Mission, Barakam, Bagaram)
This Catholic mission was built prior to the war, it faces southwards, overlooking nearby Mushu Island. St. John's Mission was used as the Japanese Navy headquarters on Kairiru and also as the shore facilities for Kairiru Seaplane Base. On March 21, 1944 the mission was largely destroyed by American bombing. Postwar, it was rebuilt and today, still functions as a Catholic Mission. Also known as St. John's Mission.
Xaviar Mission / High School
Kevin Fitzpatrick recalls:
P-47D "Fiery Ginger III" Serial Number 42-75908
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