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Memorial World War II

The region became important in the War in the Pacific upon the Netherland's declaration of war on Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1942, the northern coast of West New Guinea and the nearby islands were occupied by Japan.

In 1944, forces led by American general Douglas MacArthur launched a four-phase campaign from neighbouring Papua New Guinea to liberate Dutch New Guinea from the Japanese. Phase 1 was the capture of Hollandia (now Jayapura). Involving 80,000 Allied troops it was the largest amphibious operation of the war in the southwest Pacific. Phase 2 was the capture of Sarmi and was met with strong Japanese

resistance. The capture of Biak to control the airfield and nearby Numfor was Phase 3. Hard battles were fought on Biak which was exacerbated by Allied intelligence underestimating the strength of Japanese forces. The fourth and final phase was the push to Japanese airbases on Morotai and towards the Philippines. The Allies also fought for control of Merauke as they feared it could be used as a base for Japanese air attacks against Australia.

With local approval, the United States constructed a headquarters for Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur at Hollandia (now Jayapura) and over twenty US bases and hospitals intended as a staging point for operations taking of the Philippines. West New Guinean farms supplied food for the half million US troops. Papuan men went into battle to carry the wounded, acted as guides and translators, and provided a range of services, from construction work and carpentry to serving as machine shop workers and mechanics.

Following the end of the war, the Dutch retained possession of West New Guinea from 1945

Japanese Memorial WW II
Canon at Kao
Japanese Command Bunker

Matahatikita Tours

Perumahan Griya Bumi Asih Blok B No.5 Jl. Raya Sawangan - Kembes - Minahasa

North Sulawesi 95661 - INDONESIA
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