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    Natunga (Natunga) Oro Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Location
Natunga is located at an elevation of 2,860' / 871m in the Owen Stanley Range of New Guinea along the Kapa Kapa Trail (Kapa Kapa - Jaure Track). Also spelled Natunga. To the southwest is Jaure (Iaure, Taure). and to the northeast the trail continues towards Buna. From this location, another rough and difficult track spanned from Natunga to Pongani known as the Natunga-Pongani Track. Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in the Ijivitari District of Oro Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

It is unclear if the wartime era village and present day village are the same location and if Natunga was the original village and Natunga 2 was the new village. Natunga / Lat 9° 4' 0S Long 148° 16' 60E  versus Natunga 2 / Lat 8° 58' 0S Long 148° 16' 60E 

Wartime History
On November 2, 1942 the first soldiers from the US Army, 32nd Infantry Division, 126th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion under the command of Major Smith arrived at Naunga and were forced to hold at Natunga and Bofu until early November while supplies were air dropped to them before continuing their advance towards the Japanese beachhead at Buna-Gona-Sanananda.

On November 5, 1942 three C-47 Dakotas: C-47 "Dumbo" 41-18568, C-47 41-18498 and C-47 "The Broadway Limited" 41-38615 (crashed) dropped supplies to U.S. Army troops in the Natunga to Bofu area. During the cargo drop, one crashed likely due to a supply parachute fouling the tail.

C-47 "The Broadway Limited" Serial Number 41-38615
Pilot Majure crashed November 5, 1942

References
HyperWar: US Army in WWII: Victory in Papua page 115, 121

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Last Updated
March 22, 2020

 

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Natunga

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Natunga 2
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