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    Port Romilly (Romilly, Romilly Sawmill, Ara'ava) Gulf Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Location
Lat 7° 29' 39S Long 144° 48' 48E  Port Romilly is located at an elevation of 3' above sea level on the south coast of New Guinea bordering Deception Bay and beyond the Gulf of Papua. Inland is Romilly (Ara'ava) and Romilly Sawmill along the Purari River (Parrarri River). Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of Papua. Today located in the Kikori District of Gulf Province in Papua New Guinea.

Prewar
During the Australian administration, a Romilly Sawmill was established at this location with local labor to collect and process timber. Also spelled Romilly Saw Mill.

Wartime History
During World War II, Australia New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGU) operated Romilly Sawmill to provide timber for the Allied forces in New Guinea. During late 1943, two U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) pilots arrived at Romilly Sawmill after ditching or bailing out of their aircraft. On August 24, 1943 P-38H 42-66745 pilot 1st Lt. Stanley C. Northrup ditched nearby and was later rescued by Catalina. On September 23, 1943 local people arrived by canoe with 2nd Lt. Richard S. Strommen who bailed out of P-38G 42-12709 a week earlier and waited six days at the sawmill until transported by launch to Kikori. At that time, Romilly Sawmill was manned by six Australians from ANGAU plus roughly 300 native laborers that operated the sawmill.

References
E&E Report No. 4 - Evasion and Escape in New Guinea Richard S. Strommen November 12, 1943 page 4
(Page 4) "September 23, 1943] We finally loaded a canoe with some food and my belongings, and with six paddlers, we started out. Our first stop was Port Romilly Sawmill, which the natives said was 'German'. On landing I discovered that six ANGAU Aussie men were stationed there, with about 300 natives working the sawmill. I decided to stop off here so paid the six natives, giving them 13 shillings which I had on my person, and which they used at sawmill to buy tobacco. I received excellent treatment here and rested up for three days and nights. Their contact here with the outside was by wireless at a station which was two days off by canoe. However a patrol launch made frequent contacts there so I awaited its arrival. It arrived on Saturday morning 28th [September] and I left with it the same day for Kikori."

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019

 

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Romilly

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Ara'ava

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Romilly Sawmill
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