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    Napa Napa National Capital District (NCD) Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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IJN February 28, 1942

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U. S. Army cica 1943

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Justin Taylan 2004
Location
Lat 9° 27' 31S Long 147° 6' 58E  Napa Napa borders Fairfax Harbor to the east and beyond to the southeast is Port Moresby. To the northeast is Motukea Island and Tatana Island. Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of Papua. Today located in the National Capital District (NCD) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Wartime History
During 1942, Napa Napa was a mooring area for Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Catalina flying boats with shore facilities including a slipway, orderly room and a single 7.7mm machine gun position on a nearby hilltop.

On February 28, 1942 in the morning six A6M2 Zeros from the 4th Kōkūtai (4th Air Group) led by Harutoshi Okamoto strafed seaplanes moored at Napa Napa. During the attack, Catalina A24-3 and Catalina A24-6 were set on fire and sank at their moorings. Under repair on the slipway, Catalina A24-2 was damaged and Catalina A24-7 previously damaged may also have been targeted. Working on one of the Catalinas, electrician RAAF Leading Aircraftmen Roderick J. Nancarrow, 27601 went Missing In Action (MIA).  Wounded when a bullet creased him was Fitter Barney Ross.

By late 1943, the area was developed by the 2nd Australian Army Engineers as small ship servicing area. Used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and United States Navy (USN).

Today
During 2002, InterOil developed the Napa Napa area into an oil refinery facility. At that same time, divers surveying the adjacent harbor area discovered Catalina wreckage sunk during the February 28, 1942 air raid, either Catalina A24-3 or Catalina A24-6. The wreckage of another Catalina was also discovered, but was covered by the wharf.

References
WW2 Nominal Roll - Roderick John Nancarrow, 27601
CWCG - Roderick John Nancarrow, 27601 memorialized at Bomana War Cemetery on the Port Moresby Memorial, panel 10
Wrecks and Reefs (1994) mentions this location
InterOil Napa Napa Refinery, Papua New Guinea
Thanks to Mark Palmer, Harumi Sakaguci and John Douglas for additional information

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Last Updated
March 1, 2021

 

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