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    Vunapope (Wunapope) East New Britain Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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Justin Taylan 2006
Location
Lat 4° 20' 60S Long 152° 16' 60E  Vunapope is located on the north coast of the Gazelle Peninsula on the northeastern corner of New Britain. Borders Blanche Bay to the north. Also spelled "Wunapope". To the east is Takubar and to the west is Kokopo. Further to the north is Simpson Harbor and Rabaul.

Prewar
Vunapope Roman Catholic Mission was established at this location.

Wartime History
During late January 1942, occupied by the Japanese. During the Pacific War, the dock area was used to unload ships and barges. The Vunapope Roman Catholic Mission became a concentration camp guarded by the Japanese Army Kempeitai (Military Police) detained missionaries and civilians captured in the area. During 1944, attacked by Allied bombers and fighters. Occupied by the Japanese until the official surrender of Japan in September 1945.

American missions against Vunapope
February 11, 1944–June 25, 1944

Vunapope Roman Catholic Mission
Prewar Vunapope Roman Catholic Mission was established on the on the hilltop at Vunapope. During the war, civilian missionaries were detained at the mission in a concentration camp guarded by Japanese Army Kempeitai (Military Police) where Catholics, Lutherans and other religious people were grouped, including local followers and half-castes, numbering about 300 people. During the heavy bombing of February - March, the guards fled, but returned on March 30, 1944. On May 12, 1944 the prisoners were relocated inland to the Ramale Valley due to heavy Allied bombing of the area.

Lock Katrine
Sunk around 1937 wreckage remains today

F4U-1D Corsair NZ5429
Pilot Thorburn crashed December 24, 1944

References
Prisoner's Base and Home Again describes captivity at the mission between 1943 to until May 1944

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Last Updated
February 23, 2019

 

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