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    Malaguna East New Britain Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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IJN February 8, 1943

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USAAF Oct 12, 1943

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Steve Saunders 2001

Lat 4° 13' 0S Long 152° 9' 0E  Malaguna is located three miles south of Rabaul. Borders Simpson Harbor to the east. There are three villages located along the edge of the harbor known as Malaguna 1, Malaguna 2 and Malaguna 3.

American missions against Malaguna
January 14 - April 13, 1944

Wartime History
After midnight of January 23, 1942 the Japanese Army's 'South Seas Detachment' built around 144th Infantry Regiment landed and several places around the Rabaul area including Malaguna. During the war, this area many tunnels were dug by the Japanese, and coastline used for shipping. On September 10, 1945, after the official surrender the day before, Australian 29/46 Infantry Battalion 4 Infantry Brigade landed at Malaguna, the first detachment of the Allied occupational force.

Japanese Anti-Aircraft Battery
On the caldera ridge to the west of Malaguna there is a well preserved 3" and 6" gun anti-aircraft battery that still had the sound predictor unit and range finder base in the immediate area.

Malaguna Airfield (Malaguna Emergency Strip)
Japanese emergency strip along the road, disused since the war

Malaguna Seaplane Base
Located on the beach at Malaguna 3, across from the Catholic church, north of Vulcan volcano

Malaguna Tunnels
Japanese dug many tunnels into the hill side at Malaguna. For many years they had Nay aircraft parts mostly for the Zero as well as some other types. Some of these parts were recovered in 1985.

Brian Bennett reports:
"Near this field there were concrete lined tunnels that had new parts for A6M series aircraft as well as a number of aerial torpedo propulsion units and main bodies, no warheads! Some parts from these tunnels were retrieved in 1985 and later went into the restoration of RAAF Museum restoration of A6M2 5784, now in display at AWM in Canberra. Quite a few years ago, I recall seeing some sections of aluminum sheet that had been deriveted. Probably repair stock salvaged from somewhere."

Hydrovane Discovery
Hydrovanes discovered in July 2001 Between Malaguna 1 and Malaguna 2 after a rain storm collapsed its tunnel, near a petrol station.

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Last Updated
February 13, 2019


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