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    Sanananda (Sanananda Point) Oro Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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22nd BG July 21, 1942

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US Army January 1943

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Justin Taylan 2005





























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Justin Taylan 2005

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Justin Taylan 2005
Location
Lat 8° 8° 37' 60S Long 148° 22' 0E  Sanananda is located on the north coast of New Guinea. To the east is Girewo (Giruwa). The Sanananda area includes Sanananda village and Sanananda Point on the coast. Several natural swamps limit the routes of approach by land. The Sanananda Track connects inland to Soputa. Further inland at the junction of the Sanananda Track and Soputa Track was the Huggins Road Block. Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Northern District of the Territory of Papua. During January 1951, the eruption of Mount Lamington, deposited ash in the area that extended the coast line beyond the wartime edge. Today located in Oro Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Wartime History
On July 22, 1942 occupied by the Japanese Army after their landings at Buna and Gona. At Sanananda, the Japanese constructed a system of strong defenses including bunkers, machine gun nets and sniper positions along a 20km beachhead spanning from Gona, Sanananda and Buna.

Starting on September 5, 1942 Allied bombers and fighters began attacking the Sanananda area until January 13, 1943.

Allied missions against Sanananda
September 5, 1942–January 13, 1943

Japanese forces under the command of General Yokomata included a mix of force including the 1/14th Battalion, plus a company from the 111/41st Battalion, 15th Independent Engineers and about 700 Formosan laborers, mountain gunners and some anti-aircraft gunners who transferred to Sanananda after the fall of Gona. After the capture of Gona, the Allies began advancing on Sanananda, and met stiff resistance. On December 28, 1942 commander Yokomata was ordered to transfer his remaining troops from Gona to Sanananda.

The Reduction of Sanananda
On September 5, 1942 Allied bombers and fighters began striking the Sanananda area including Sananada Point, Sananada village and Sanananda Track. They target Japanese landing barges, supplies and troop concentrations.

Allied missions against Sanananda
September 5, 1942–January 13, 1943

On November 28, 1942, the U.S. Army 32nd Infantry Division advanced from Wairopi on the Sanananda Track. Along the trail, a road block named Huggins Road Block was established outside Sananada blocking the Japanese from advancing beyond that point defended by the 126th Infantry Regiment commanded by executive officer Major Richard D. Boerem, O-253857.

After Allied forces captured Buna, on January 5, 1943 the 128th Infantry Regiment began attacking northwest along the coast toward Tarakena as preliminary moves for an all-out assault Allied assualt against the Sanananda area. Meanwhile, the Australian Army supported by three Stuart tanks: M3 Stuart 2561, M3 Stuart 2565 and M3 Stuart (Hull Unknown) advanced from the south across a swampy area. This was the last battle where enemy fire was encountered by Allied tanks in the Gona-Buna-Sanananda area.

The main Japanese garrison was evacuated by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). By January 13, 1943 only pockets of resistance remained and were being enveloped and eliminated by the Allied advance. By January 22, 1943 all Japanese resistance ended in the Sanananda area. In total, 600 Australians, 274 Americans and over 1,600 Japanese were killed at Sanananda.

Today
The original coastline is now located behind a strip of land created by tidal action and ash deposited by the 1951 eruption of Mount Lamington.

White Tree Camp
Large white colored tree that existed next to the Australian camp site.

Sanananda Memorial Plaque
Brass battlefield history plaque written in English and Tok Pidgin, dedicated in 1994.

Sanananda 53, 55, 53/53 Memorial
The plaque reads: "To the memory of the 161 members of the 53, 55, 55/53rd Australian Infantry Battalion (A.I.F) who gave their lives in Papua New Guinea 1942-1945.

Diahatsu Landing Craft
Remains of at least five Japanese Diahatsu landing barges are present along the old coastline of Sanananda.

CA-9 Wirraway A20-492
Pilot Hart shot down January 17, 1943

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Last Updated
September 2, 2021

 

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Jan 15-22, 1943

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