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    Wau Morobe Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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John T. Harrison 1937

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Justin Taylan 2003

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RAAF October 25, 1960
Lat 7° 19' 60S Long 146° 43' 0E  Wau is located at an elevation of 3,720' / 1,133m in New Guinea. To the north is Bulolo and to the west is Edie Creek. The Bulldog Track terminates at Wau.

Today, connected by road to Bulolo and westward to Edie Creek and to the west is McAdam National Park. Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Morobe District of the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

During the 1930s, Wau was a gold rush boom town full of prospectors. During 1930-1933, Errol Flynn lived in Wau during 1930-1933 working as a Patrol Officer (Kiap), trader, shipper, hustler and gold prospector. The Catholic church established a mission at Wau. In 1940, Father Glover was assigned to the mission.

Wartime History
On January 23, 1942 Japanese planes first attack Wau. The air raid triggers panic among the remaining European residents flee fearing more raids or the arrival of Japanese forces. In early March 1942 Australian Army Captain Allan Cameron and his men withdraw from Salamua Airfield via Wau and noted Wau was "a terrible mess after bombing, water on drome, town completely deserted" then trekked the Bulldog Track to the south coast.

After the Japanese defeats elsewhere in New Guinea, the Japanese Army hoped to strengthen their holdings by advancing from Salamaua inland via Mubo to capture Wau. During February 1943, the Japanese offensive was defeated by the defending Australian forces, then pushed back towards the coast.

Japanese missions against Wau
February 6, 1943–June 13, 1943

Wau Airfield
Built prior to the war, first used on April 18, 1927. Used heavily during the Wau campaign.

Bulolo No. 6 Dredge
Bulolo Gold Dredge that was overrun by the Japanese. This dredge is still abandoned outside of Wau, where it was used post-war, then abandoned.

Ki-43-I Oscar
Pilot Sato shot down February 6, 1943

The Battle for Wau (2008) by Phil Bradley page 53 (orders for Wau demolition)
Hell's Battlefield (2012) by Phil Bradley page 25

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Last Updated
June 2, 2023


Map Bulldog Road 1944



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