Flotilla,[10] under the command of Bill Dovers, captain of Swan. Crash Site & Remains P-38J-15-LO Lightning # 42-103987 Aitape - West Sepik. It suffered repeated bombing attacks by the United States and Royal Australian Air Forces, most notably on 17 August 1943, when heavy bombing and strafing by 150 Allied aircraft destroyed an estimated 50 percent of the Japanese aircraft on the ground. Aitape had been occupied by the Japanese in 1942. The Battle of Driniumor River, also known as The Battle of Aitape, 10 July – 25 August 1944, was part of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II. Recaptured by an American landing on 22 April 1944, it was developed as a base area to support the continuing drive towards the Philippines. Jump to: General, Art, Business, Computing, Medicine, Miscellaneous, Religion, Science, Slang, Sports, Tech, Phrases We found one dictionary with English definitions that includes the word battle of aitape: Click on the first link on a line below to go directly to a page where "battle of aitape" is defined. Patrols by the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment preceded the main Australian advance of the 6th Division. Aitape, Tadji, Battle of the Driniumor River: May 3rd - July 18th, 1944. The battle for Aitape was officially completed as of 25 August 1944, the Japanese had retreated east back toward Wewak and no longer posed a serious threat. The main Allied effort came on the eastern flank, where troops were pushed some way east to watch for any Japanese troops approaching from Wewak. The attack, which began in November 1944, proceeded along two axes—the 19th Brigade moved along the coast towards the Japanese base at Wewak, while the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment, working with ANGAU detachments, advanced into the Torricelli Mountains, driving towards Maprik, which provided the Japanese with most of their supplies. A few days after the landings at Hollandia and Aitape he had pulled out of Madang, his base on the north-eastern coast of New Guinea and Allied troops occupied it on 24 March. The Battle of the Driniumor River Once Aitape was secured, 163 Regiment was pulled out for operations further west. [4] As preparations began for this drive, it was decided that defence of the area would be passed to Australian forces to release the American troops for service elsewhere. The battle of Aitape (22-24 April 1944) was carried out in support of the larger landings at Hollandia, and was designed to provide a shield against any possible intervention by Japanese forces further to the west at Wewak. SC-107 pointed to the Canadians as the weak link in the mid-ocean. As a result, the Australian planning staff believed they faced three Japanese divisions—the 20th, 41st and 51st Divisions—all of which had been reduced to brigade-strength. Aitape is a small town with a population of about 18.000 people on the North coast of Papua New Guinea in the province of Sandaun. [15] These operations continued until 11 August, by which time the 16th Brigade had reached Numoikum, about 23 kilometres (14 mi) from Wewak, while the 17th Brigade had captured Kairivu, 24 kilometres (15 mi) from Wewak. [17] As such, the campaign has sometimes been referred to as an "unnecessary campaign",[21] and General (later Field Marshal) Thomas Blamey, commander-in-chief of the Australian Military Forces, was accused of undertaking it for "his own glorification". The biggest battle that we had was the Battle of Ortona, where we lost a lot of men. [15], Following this, the remaining Japanese in the area withdrew into the Prince Alexander Mountains to the south of Wewak. On 25 March, Lieutenant Albert Chowne, a platoon commander from the Australian 2/2nd Battalion led an attack on a Japanese position that was holding up the advance on Wewak. [16] Meanwhile, the 19th Brigade came up against strongly defended positions around several high features known as Mount Kawakubo, Mount Tazaki and Mount Shiburangu. New Guinea during On 22 April 1944, however, United States Army forces landed and recaptured the area. A number of alternatives were examined, and eventually the decision was made to attack Aitape, on the north-western coast of Australian New Guinea, east of Hollandia. Action During the Night of 10-11 July. General Adachi, commander of the 18th Army, had been ordered to send reinforcements to Aitape, and two regiments had left Wewak on 13 April. Wewak fell on the same day, as the 19th Brigade occupied its airfield. Adachi was a determined figure, and decided that it was worth launching a counterattack against Aitape. The only problem was that the landing craft missed their intended beach and instead landed at Wapil, 1,200 yards further to the east. During this period there had been very little contact between the Japanese and US forces in the area, and US forces had remained on a primarily defensive footing, restricting their oper… [8], The operations were characterised by prolonged small-scale patrolling with small-scale company attacks. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us -  Subscribe in a reader - Join our Google Group [11], Following their defeat on the Driniumor River in July, the Japanese commander, General Hatazo Adachi, withdrew his forces from their forward positions and in the lull that followed, Adachi's forces focused upon foraging operations into the Torricelli Mountains and Wewak as hunger and disease began to take its toll on the Japanese force. The Japanese put up very little resistance at Aitape. Invasion Beach Aitape Aitape - West Sepik. A handful of prisoners were captured, and the rest of the garrison escaped east towards Wewak. Remembering the war in New Guinea Aitape–Wewak, 1944–45 (Photographs), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Aitape–Wewak_campaign&oldid=992691269, South West Pacific theatre of World War II, Battles and operations of World War II involving Japan, Battles and operations of World War II involving Papua New Guinea, Battles and operations of World War II involving Australia, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 December 2020, at 16:28. [5] Consequently, in early October 1944, troops from the Australian 6th Division along with some support personnel from the 3rd Base Sub Area began to arrive at Aitape to relieve the American garrison. This turned out to be a better area than Blue Beach, and the mistake actually aided the invasion. During World War II Gallatin was commander of Aitape Attack Force in April 1944, commanded a Naval Attack Group during the battle of Wakde in May 1944, and was Commander of Amphibious Group Eight, during operations against enemy forces in Mindanao and Balikpapan in … Keogh 1965, p. 401. In that regard, it was argued that the Japanese forces in Aitape–Wewak posed no strategic threat to the Allies as they advanced towards mainland Japan and that if they could be isolated and contained they could be left to "wither on the vine" as their supplies ran out. For his actions he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. [9] A naval force, known as Wewak Force, supported the landing at Dove Bay, and included HMA Ships Swan, Colac, Dubbo and Deloraine as well as ships from the 1st New Guinea M.L. Throughout 1943 and into 1944, the Allies began a series of offensives in New Guinea and the surrounding area as they sought to reduce the main Japanese base around Rabaul on New Britain, as part of a general advance towards the Philippines that was planned for 1944 and 1945. [Note 2] The Japanese lacked air and naval support, and many troops were sick and short of food, with resupply efforts being limited to occasional deliveries by aircraft or submarines. The Australian 6th Division had been converted to the jungle division establishment with a complement of 13,118 men, which was approximately 4,000 fewer than a standard Australian division. After making some initial gains, the Japanese attack was contained and eventually … [13], On 19 December, the 19th Brigade crossed the Danmap River and began moving towards the east to cut the main Japanese line of communication. By the spring of 1944 it was clear that Operation Cartwheel, the series of attacks carried out to isolate Rabaul, were close to success. Flickr photos, groups, and tags related to the "aitape" Flickr tag. The Australian portion of the Aitape-Wewak campaign took place in northern New Guinea between November 1944 and August 1945. It was during this attack that Private Edward Kenna carried out the deeds that led to him being awarded the Victoria Cross,[8] attacking several Japanese bunkers. [6], The Japanese troops in Aitape consisted of approximately 30,000 to 35,000 men from the Japanese 18th Army. During the fighting, Japanese forces launched several attacks on United States forces on the Driniumor River, near Aitape in New Guinea, over the course of several months. Crash Site & Remains P-40N-5-CU Warhawk 42-105738 Aitape - West Sepik. [2][20], During the course of the campaign, the strategic necessity of the operation was called into question as it became clear that the fighting would have little impact upon the outcome of the war. Aitape–Wewak campaign. Inadequate training, maintenance, leadership, equipment . After this he pulled back into Wewak, where he was left alone until the Australians took over the sector later in 1944 and carried out a fresh offensive. [7] This force had suffered heavily during the Salamaua–Lae campaign in 1943–1944, as well as its failed attack on the American garrison at Aitape in July 1944. Between November 1944 and the end of the war in August 1945, the Australian 6th Division, with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese 18th Army in northern New Guinea. The first Japanese unit to swing into action against the Driniumor defenses of the PERSECUTION Covering Force was the 1st Battalion, 78th Infantry, which, about 2355, charged across the river along a narrow front against Company G, 128th Infantry. [8] The fighting around Wewak Airfield continued until 15 May, however, when men from the 2/4th Battalion, with armoured support, attacked Japanese positions overlooking the airstrip. [8] While the advance was under way, the 17th Brigade was assigned the task of building a defensive position around the airfield and base facilities at Aitape, while the 16th Brigade was held back in reserve. [21] By late 1944, the Australian Army had taken a secondary role in the fighting and there was a political need for Australia to demonstrate that it was sharing the burden in the Pacific. With Japan on the verge of defeat, such casualties later led to the strategic necessity of the campaign being called into question. When the Americans landed they were still in the middle of this 210 mile march across some very difficult terrain, and after the success of the invasion they turned back. Crash Site & Remains P-40N Kittyhawk A29-527 Aitape - West Sepik. 4 Squadron. Aitape had also been attacked by aircraft from the fast carriers of Admiral Mitscher's Task Force 58. The Aitape–Wewak campaign was one of the final cam­paigns of the Pa­cific The­atre of World War II. Air support was provided by eight escort carriers that had been provided by Admiral Nimitz, and that weren't needed at Hollandia. [8] After Dogreto Bay was occupied, the supply problems eased somewhat for the Australians. Training, maintenance, leadership, and equipment all seemed to be inadequate. The decisive battle of the Atlantic war was looming and any weakness in Allied escort forces had potentially disastrous consequences. The Aitape–Wewak campaign was one of the final campaigns of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The Landing at Aitape (code-named Operation Persecution) was a battle of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II.American and Allied forces undertook an amphibious landing on 22 April 1944 at Aitape on northern coast of Papua New Guinea.The amphibious landing was undertaken simultaneously with the landings at Humboldt and Tanahmerah Bays to secure Hollandia to isolate the … It was decided to seize a suitable location for a forward airfield at the same time as the attack on Hollandia. [18] On top of this, a further 145 died from other causes,[2] and 16,203 men were listed as "sickness casualties". Between November 1944 and the end of the war in August 1945, the Australian 6th Division, with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese 18th Army in northern New Guinea. On 11 May, a landing at Dove Bay by Farida Force was undertaken to encircle Wewak and prevent the escape of its garrison. 7, 8 and 100 Squadrons, equipped with Beaufort light bombers, while aerial reconnaissance was provided by Boomerang and Wirraway aircraft of No. Elsewhere, the 19th Brigade had begun its assault on Wewak in early May. The landings at Aitape were on a smaller scale than the landings at Hollandia, where most of two divisions were used. [22], Nevertheless, at the time that the operation was planned there was no way for the Australian commanders to know when the war would come to an end and there were political and operational reasons to carry out the campaign. Aitape Wewak World War II map When the Australians took over from the Americans at Aitape in September–November 1944, they found that their allies had followed a policy of staying within a relatively small perimeter and not mounting major offensives against the Japanese. Nevertheless, by 23 April 1945, they had secured Maprik. The battle should not be co… At Aitape the attack was carried out by the 163rd Regimental Combat Team of the 41st Division, commanded by General Jens Doe. By the end of the first day the Americans had reached both Japanese airfields, and had only lost two dead and thirteen wounded. [7] Upon the arrival of the Australians, however, the 6th Division's commander, Major General Jack Stevens, decided to begin offensive operations, albeit on a limited scale, to clear the Japanese forces from the coastal area. To do that, it was argued that there was a requirement to clear the Japanese that had been bypassed to allow the garrisons of these areas to be reduced.[21]. The Battle in Brief. In one incident, seven men from the 2/3rd Battalion drowned in the swollen waters of the Danmap River which had risen suddenly after a torrential downpour. The Battle of Driniumor River, also known as the Battle of Aitape, 10 July – 25 August 1944, was part of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II. Largely these forces stayed inside a small defensive area around the airfield, and apart from the Battle of Driniumor River in July, the fighting was limited. On 16 March 1945, the airfields at But and Dagua on the coast were occupied, although fighting continued further inland from there over the course of the following fortnight as the Australians fought to gain control of the Tokuku Pass. [3], Following this, Aitape was developed as base from which to support the continuing Allied drive towards the Philippines and the US forces in the area increased to include elements of the 31st and 32nd Infantry Divisions. A challenging jungle campaign, casualties mounted from both battle and disease. By the spring of 1944 it was clear that Operation Cartwheel, the series of attacks carried out to isolate Rabaul, were close to success. Japanese forces attacked United States forces on the Driniumor River, near Aitape in New Guinea. A TEAM of Australian Army personnel have completed the exhuming of war casualties at Vokau village in Aitape, West Sepik, with the unveiling of a … 71 Wing RAAF, which included Nos. The first wave landed at 6.45am on 22 April. Be­tween No­vem­ber 1944 and the end of the war in Au­gust 1945, the Aus­tralian 6th Di­vi­sion, with air and naval sup­port, fought the Im­pe­r­ial Japan­ese 18th Army in north­ern New Guinea. The Americans lost 2 dead during the first day and 19 dead by the time the area was secured, the Japanese around 525 in the overall battle. [12] The Japanese for their part, lacking significant air and naval assets, and low on ammunition and other supplies, had also sought to avoid engagement. The airfield was cleared within 24 hours of the landings and by 24 April the area was secured. On 22 April 1944, United States Army forces—primarily the 163rd Regimental Combat Team from the 41st Infantry Division—landed at Aitape and recaptured the area to help secure the flank of US forces fighting around Hollandia. The captured airfield was ready for use within 48 hours of the attack and was soon in use by Kittyhawks from No.78 Wing, RAAF. - Cookies. This fighting took place throughout June and July. [18] Many of these casualties were the result of an atebrin-resistant strain of malaria that infested the area. The battle of Aitape (22-24 April 1944) was carried out in support of the larger landings at Hollandia, and was designed to provide a shield against any possible intervention by Japanese forces further to the west at Wewak. The Aitape - Wewak campaign was one of the final campaigns of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. During the fighting, Japanese forces launched several attacks on United States forces on the Driniumor River, near Aitape in New Guinea, over the course of several weeks with the intention of retaking Aitape. The airfield at Tadji was securely in Allied hands and Aitape could now be used for a staging area to support further operations. [14], In the Torricelli Mountains, the 17th Brigade continued its advance against stubborn Japanese defence. This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. Between November 1944 and the end of the war in August 1945, the Australian 6th Division, with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese 18th Army in northern New Guinea. Following their defeat on the Driniumor River in July, the Japanese commander, General Hatazo Adachi, withdrew his forces from their forward positions and in the lull that followed, Adachi's forces focused upon foraging operations into the Torricelli Mountains and Wewakas hunger and disease began to take its toll on the Japanese force. The landing was unopposed, as any Japanese troops on the coast had fled at the start of the naval bombardment. Both landings caught the Japanese entirely by surprise. [16], By the end of the campaign, the Australians had lost 442 men killed and 1,141 wounded in battle. [19] Japanese casualties are estimated at between 7,000 and 9,000 killed while 269 were captured during the fighting. The Battle of Manila was a major battle of the Philippine campaign of 1944-45, during the Second World War. The Battle of Driniumor River, also known as the Battle of Aitape, 10 July – 25 August 1944, was part of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II. [8], Initially tasked with the defence of the port, airfield and base facilities at Aitape, the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment was ordered to advance towards Wewak to destroy the remnants of the Japanese 18th Army. The first unit to arrive was the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment and they began patrolling operations almost immediately. … When they formed up as a group, that’s when the enemy opened fire. [17][16] At this stage, word was received that the Japanese government had begun discussing terms for a possible surrender and so offensive operations were brought to a halt. To counter this, the 16th Brigade was dispatched to follow them up, and push them towards the 17th Brigade which advanced towards the east towards Maprik. Consequently, in early O… Regardless, due to manpower shortages in the Australian economy, the government had requested that the Army find a way to reduce its size, while at the same time requiring it to maintain forces to undertake further operations against the Japanese into 1946. [8] Heavy fighting continued for four days after this, and the Australians resorted to the use of flame throwers for the first time in the war, using them effectively against heavily entrenched Japanese positions; the weapon had a profound psychological effect, boosting the morale of the Australians and sapping that of the Japanese defenders, many of whom simply fled in the face of flame thrower teams. It is a coastal settlement that is almost equidistant from the provincial capitals of Wewak and Vanimo, and marks the midpoint of … The Aitape-Wewak campaign was one of the final campaigns of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.The Australian 6th Division, with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese 18th Army in northern New Guinea between November 1944 until the end of the war in August 1945. Interpretation The goal of the group and its presentation of the above unit will be to accurately and vividly portray the tasks of combat engineers and their lives near and on the front line. As preparations began for this drive, it was decided that defence of the area would be passed to Australian forces in order to release the American troops for service elsewhere. On 28 June his men attacked the Americans on the Driniumor River, east of Aitape, triggering a fierce battle that lasted into August. [7] During this period there had been very little contact between the Japanese and US forces in the area,[8] and US forces had remained on a primarily defensive footing, restricting their operations to limited patrols around their position on the Driniumor. Progress was slowed by the difficulties of transporting supplies overland or by barge and the flash flooding of a number of the rivers the Australians had to cross. The Battle of the Driniumor Phase I: The 18th Army Attacks Withdrawal of the PERSECUTION Covering Force. In 1943, Wewak was the site of the largest Japanese air base on the mainland of New Guinea. General Adachi made one attempt to restore the situation, or at least regain some pride, and launched an attack on the Americans positions on the Driniumor River east of Aitape (10 July -25 August 1944), but … [17] Following the end of hostilities in New Guinea, approximately 13,000 Japanese surrendered, with about 14,000 having died of starvation and illness during the entire campaign. They also had a moderate amount of air support, which was provided by No. At that point in time, I was running … a 2-inch mortar* crew. The Aitape–Wewak campaign was one of the final campaigns of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The Allies began to prepare for their next move, and chose to leapfrog the Japanese positions at Wewak and Hansa Bay and go straight for Hollandia, on the coast of Dutch New Guinea (Operation Reckless). ★ Aitape. Help - F.A.Q. the Second World War The Japanese had built two airfields at Aitape. Palazzo 2001, p. 184. There was very little resistance in the area. General Adachi was now totally isolated at Wewak and Hansa Bay. Battlefield "Battle of the Driniumor River" Aitape - West Sepik. Gill established a perimeter and sent out patrols to watch the movements of Adachi 's 18 Army, which … The Battle of Driniumor River, also known as The Battle of Aitape, 10 July – 25 August 1944, was part of the Western New Guinea campaign of World War II. Between November 1944 and the end of the war in August 1945, the Australian 6th Division, with air and naval support, fought the Imperial Japanese 18th Army We lost most of our platoon right there. In 1942 the Japanese occupied the Aitape region in northern New Guinea as part of their general advance south. Following this it was developed as base from which to support the continuing Allied drive towards the Philippines. HMAS Hobart, Arunta, Warramunga, Swan and HMS Newfoundland (of the British Pacific Fleet) as well as the RAAF bombarded the Wewak defences. Aitape is a small town of about 18,000 people on the north coast of Papua New Guinea in the Sandaun Province. … my objective was safe because we were further back, out of gun range. Considered a "mopping up" operation by the Australians, and although ultimately successful for them with the Japanese forces cleared from the coastal areas and driven inland, amidst difficult jungle conditions, casualties from combat and disease were high. A series of minor actions followed, but no significant engagements took place, and at the end of four weeks the Australians had reached Wallum, about 45 miles (72 km) east of Aitape. Most of the rest were the staff from the airfields, including ground crews and air crews, but five Allied air raids against the area in late March and early April had eliminated the vast majority of the Japanese aircraft, so the airmen could only be used as impromptu infantry. Allied intelligence estimated Japanese forces in the region to be between 24,000 to 30,000 men. 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