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    Enogai New Georgia | Western Province Solomon Islands
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Justin Taylan 2003

Enogai is located on the northern coast of New Georgia, west of the Rice Anchorage and across from Kolombangara Island. Leland Lagoon is located to the west. Also known as Enogai Inlet.

Wartime History
Occupied by the Japanese who emplaced four 140mm naval guns (Type 3 at this location to fire at vessels in the narrow channel between New Georgia and Kolombangara, and the flank of Bauroko Harbor and Dragons Peninsula. By early July 1944, roughly 400 Japanese defended Enogai.

During the night of July 4-5, 1943, the 140mm Naval Guns at this location fired at the Rice Anchorage where American forces landed, but their fire were inaccurate and long. On July 5, 1943 at 0:49, USS Strong DD-467 was hit by a torpedo fired by Japanese destroyer Niizuki, the Naval guns at Enogai were fired star shells to illuminated the damaged ship and opened fire with HE shells and began hitting the damaged ship causing USS Chevalier DD-451 to break off rescue operations. In response, USS O'Bannon began counter-battery fire in an effort to silence the guns.

On July 10, 1943 Enogai was assaulted by the U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) 1st Marine Raiders commanded by Harry B. Liversedge supported by two U. S. Army infantry battalions. After hard fighting, Enogai was captured on July 11, 1943. Roughly 350 Japanese were killed. The Americans suffered 51 killed. Afterwards, the Marines posed with the captured 140mm Naval guns.

Type 3 (1914) 140mm Naval Gun (No 1)
Located furthest to the west, it was at this gun that Marine Radiers posed for photo after its capture. Then & Now Photograph by Justin Taylan, taken September 2003.

Type 3 (1914) 140 mm naval gun (No 2)
Located to the west, at Enogai.

Type 3 (1914) 140 mm naval gun (No 3)
Located to the east, around the point at Enogai.

Type 3 (1914) 140 mm naval gun (No 4)
Located furthest to the east, around the point at Enogai.

Ewan Stevenson recalls:
"I visited these guns about 1984 and then again in 1994. In '84 I went there with the manager of the Kolombangara Levers Timbers company. The projectiles were scattered around at that time. [Today they are missing]."

Justin Taylan adds:
"I visited this site with Danny Kennedy / Dive Gizo, John Innes, Gareth Coleman and Marcus Browning.  We located all four of the guns, fighting positions, expended ammunition and bottles.  None of the shells were present, locals said they had collected them and brought them to the nearby village. Many Japanese bunkers and fighting positions were present made of fuel drums filled with pieces of coral."

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Last Updated
June 15, 2019


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