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    Matua Island (Matsuwa, Матуа) Kurile Islands (Chishima-Rettō) Russia
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11th AF c1944
Matua Island is roughly six and a half miles long and three and a half mile wide, located in the center of the Kurile Islands. Fuko Yama is an active volcano with the Tagan Point area being the only relatively flat portion of the island. Known to the Japanese as Matsuwa. Known to the Russians as Матуа. Matua Island is located 1,092 miles from Tokyo and 943 miles from Attu Island.

Wartime History
The Imperial Japanese Navy built Matsuwa Airfield to defend the central Kuriles and served as a staging airfield for aircraft flying to the northeastern Kuriles. Defended by eight heavy and four light anti-aircraft gun positions and a system of coastal guns directed by radar and searchlights. Two air defense radar sites were located on the island.

During the Pacific War, there were approximately 245 buildings on Matua Island. Matua was garrisoned by the Japanese Army "Matsuwa Detachment" including the 41st Independent Mixed Regiment, 6th Independent Tank Company and supporting units including the Guards Division 52.

During 1944-1945 Matua was bombed by American aircraft and subjected to U. S. Navy (USN) shore bombardment. On June 1, 1944, a shore battery on Tagan Point sank the USS Herring (SS-233).

American missions against Matua (Matsuwa, Матуа)
February 25, 1944 - July 20, 1945

Matsuwa Airfield (Tagan Cape Airfield)
Japanese airfield located near Cape Tagan

Iwaki Maru
Sunk in Matsuwa Harbor during the night of May 31, 1944 by a torpedo fired by USS Herring

Hiburi Maru
Sunk in Matsuwa Harbor during the night of May 31, 1944 by a torpedo fired by USS Herring

USS Herring SS-233
Sunk June 1, 1944 by Japanese shore batteries

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Last Updated
June 15, 2019


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