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    Observatory Ridge (Volcano Observatory) East New Britain Province PNG
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RNZAF Sept 1945


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Justin Taylan 2000

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Donald Fetterly 2002
Location
Observatory Ridge overlooks Rabaul and Simpson Harbor to the south. Connected by a road to Tunnel Hill Road. Also known as "Observatory Hill" or "Volcano Observatory'". Today located in East New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Prewar
A volcano observatory was established at this location by volcanologist Dr. Fisher. This observatory has been in continuous use to this day. During the Pacific War, it ceased operations in late 1941 until late 1945.

Wartime History
On December 8, 1941 after news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the start of the Pacific War, the Australian Army positioned two anti-aircraft guns atop this ridge and quartered troops at the observatory.

On January 4, 1942 the anti-aircraft guns on Observatory Ridge first went into action against the first Japanese air raid against Rabaul. After the Japanese occupied the area, they installed their own anti-aircraft guns atop this ridge. Later, Japanese forces and laborers dug tunnels into the eastern side of Observatory Road connecting to Tunnel Hill Road.

Today
During the 1980s, the Rabaul volcano observatory was reestablished at this location and continues to operate to this day with seismic monitoring equipments.

References
Volcano Town

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019

 

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