MANUS  Island - Admiralty Islands
An ADAIR APA-91  World War Two stopping point
Adair, APA-91 embarked upon an 11 week assignment in the southwestern Pacific,  reporting for duty to the Commander, 7th Fleet, on 5 November, 1944 and ..for one month thereafter, made short voyages between ports including Manus, Hollandia and Finschhafen in New Guinea.

Routes of Adair on this map are:
            Top-Left to Tacloban; Top to Guam; Bottom to Guadalcanal; Left to Hollandia


hi = Lombrum, Manus Island, Admiralty Islands, Cartographic Materials Codes

 
Photos by Adair crew
Go To New Guinea Map
MANUS History
A relatively small Japanese base was established in April of 1942, and had minimal contact with the people of Manus, but did hire some of the Rossum villagers as guides and scouts. The locals were told by the Japanese that "the war was a fight amongst outside nations and the local people were best advised to stay in the safely of the hinterland." German colonist who remained on the island when then Japanese arrived were either killed or imprisoned.

The main wartime activity was from the American who recaptured the islands on May 18, 1944. Since Seeadler harbor has an excellent harbor, a huge US Naval base was established at Lombrum. This base was a staging area for future operations in New Guinea and later the Philippines. Thousands of buildings, shops and sheds were erected. At Lorengau, supply and repair facilities were created. Wharves were constructed in the harbor. Suddenly, the "outsiders" had built one of the largest aerodromes in the entire Pacific region and the harbor was base for many large warships and transports. Three sawmills were built.


The Admiralties, lying 260 miles west of Kavieng and 200 miles northeast of Wewak, were admirably situated to assist in isolating Rabaul. They also provided excellent facilities to support the approach to the Philippines. Responsibility for base construction at Kavieng and at Seeadler Harbor in the Admiralties was to be Halsey's. Kavieng was to be a minor fleet base, a PT boat base, and a major air base with six airfields. In the Admiralties, where the Japanese had already built two airfields, Manus would serve as an air base and Seeadler Harbor, 6 miles wide, 20 miles long, and 120 feet deep, was to be a major fleet base with complete repair facilities including drydocks. It would serve Admiral Nimitz' naval forces as well as Halsey's and MacArthur's.


SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA Fifth Air Force:
SATURDAY, 11 MARCH 1944

12 B-25s pound Lorengau, Manus Island while 7 B-24s bomb enemy positions to the W of the town, as the preliminaries for invasion of Manus increase. In New Guinea, 80+ B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s hit Boram Airfield while 40+ A-20s and P-39s attack targets in the Madang area; P-47s strafe the Hansa Bay area; other aircraft carry out armed reconnaissance and sweeps over wide reaches of NE New Guinea and the New Britain coastal areas. 64th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 43d Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Dobodura to Nadzab, New Guinea with B-24s.


From Battle Description by USS Swanson DD-443
Colonel Ezaki Headquarters during the early days of the invasion was located at Papitalai, and then at Papatalai Mission. It is not known where he next moved his Headquarter to. Did he move his Headquarters to Lombrum Point? The following is quoted from Commanding Officer Action Report:

“At 0930, March 9, a convoy consisting of 6 LST’s and 6 LCM’s and USS Etamin escorted by six destroyers stood towards the entrance to Seeadler Harbor, accompanied by Wilkes, Hamilton, and Long. At 1106 this vessel led the six LST’s and six LCM’s in single column down the swept channel into Seeadler Harbor from the inner end of which the LST’s and LCM’s proceeded to the beach at Salami Plantation. At 1245 Etamin proceeded by Hamilton and Long with sweeps streamed, proceeded to an anchorage off Salami Plantation.”

See Seeadler Harbor Chart


from book description of The Admiralties at War, 1944-1945
BUILDING THE BASE:

Journalist Dale P. Harper called it all, "One of he greatest and most speedy jobs of construction and base organization in world naval history."

In more detail, this is the Base they built: a large ship repair operation was set up inside Seeadler Harbor at Lumbrum Point on Los Negros. Its docking and repair workshops and maintenance were equal to the best in the States.

Two of the largest floating dry docks in the Pacific were situated in waters offshore of Los Negros.

A submarine overhaul base was opened in May 1944. Subs previously based in Brisbane relocated to Manus, greatly shortening their time needed for repair and service, thus extending their time at sea on patrol.

At Papitalai Point on Los Negros they situated the main PT boat overhaul and repair facility, along with a personnel camp. Due to a lack of access roads, its jetty had to be built entirely by hand.

Hyane Harbor, scene of the first American landing on Los Negros, developed port facilities, piers, warehouses, cranes, a repair pier for Liberty ships, and an 800-foot pier. Seabees at Hyane also operated a small boat repair unit.

A massive Naval Supply Depot was constructed along the harbor front on Manus, ultimately consisting of 180 buildings, each containing 6,800 cubic feet, serviced by two major piers, as well as an open storage area. NSD supplied the full range of necessary supplies for the entire base and for forces afloat.

At Hyane Harbor an aviation supply depot became the main sorting and transshipping agency for aviation in the entire Southwest Pacific area. It included an aviation overhaul and repair unit.

Also at Hyane was Pontoon Assembly Depot 1, which assembled 900 pontoons a month for the forward area. This single facility required a pontoon pier for prefabricated steel buildings, warehouses, shops and offices, structural steel factories, and a personnel camp of 40 huts with all utilities for 50 officers and 500 men.

At Papitalai Point on Los Negros a huge oil tank farm was one of the main Seabee projects and eventually had a storage capacity of 630,000 barrels of fuel oil. This was sufficient storage capacity to supply the large Base as well as all major units of the fleet. Papitalai also had a dry dock storage facility.


 

Explodes
in Seeadler Harbor,
 Manus, Admiralty Islands,
 10 November 1944, as seen from the Naval Supply Depot on Manus.

 
 
 

Go To New Guinea Map