Manus Island
Manus Island is part of Manus Province
Manus Province
Manus Province is the smallest province in Papua New Guinea with a land area of 2,100 km², but with more than 220,000 km² of water. The capital of the province is Lorengau and the total population is 43,387 ....

 in northern Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

 and is the largest island of the Admiralty Islands
Admiralty Islands
The Admiralty Islands are a group of eighteen islands in the Bismarck Archipelago, to the north of New Guinea in the south Pacific Ocean. These are also sometimes called the Manus Islands, after the largest island. These rainforest-covered islands form part of Manus Province, the smallest and...

. It is the fifth largest island in Papua New Guinea with an area of 2,100 km², measuring around 100 km × 30 km. According to the 2000 census, Manus Island had a population of approximately 43,000. Lorengau
Lorengau is the major town in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. The town is located on the edge of Seeadler Harbour on Manus Island, in the Admiralty Islands, and in 2000 Lorengau was recorded to have a population of 5,829....

, the capital of Manus Province, is located on the island. Momote Airport
Momote Airport
Momote Airport is an airport on Los Negros Island in the Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea. It also serves Manus Island, which is connected to Los Negros by a bridge.-Hayne Airfield:...

, the terminal for Manus Province, is located on nearby Los Negros Island
Los Negros Island
Los Negros Island is the third largest of the Admiralty Islands. It is significant because it contains the main airport of Manus Province on its eastern coastline, at Momote. It is connected to Lorengau, the capital of the province, on Manus Island via a highway and bridge...

. A bridge connects Los Negros to Manus Island and the province capital of Lorengau.

Manus Island is covered in rugged jungles, which can be broadly described as lowland tropical rain forest. The highest point on Manus Island is Mt. Dremsel 718 metres (2,356 feet) above sea level at the centre of the south coast. Manus is volcanic in origin and probably broke through the ocean's surface in the late Miocene
The Miocene is a geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about . The Miocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell. Its name comes from the Greek words and and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene follows the Oligocene...

, 8–10 million years ago. The substrate of the island is either directly volcanic
Volcanic rock
Volcanic rock is a rock formed from magma erupted from a volcano. In other words, it is an igneous rock of volcanic origin...

 or from uplifted coral
Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.A coral "head" is a colony of...

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....


Manus Island is home to the Emerald green snail
Emerald green snail
The emerald green snail, green tree snail, or manus green tree snail, scientific name Papustyla pulcherrima, sometimes listed as Papuina pulcherrima, is a species of large air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Camaenidae. Their attractive green shells are...

, whose shells are harvested to be sold as jewellery.


In World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Manus was the site of an observation post manned by No. 4 Section, 'B' Platoon, 1st Independent Company
1st Independent Company (Australia)
The 1st Independent Company was one of twelve independent or commando companies raised by the Australian Army for service in World War II. Raised in 1941, the 1st Independent Company served in New Ireland, New Britain and New Guinea in the early stages of the war in the Pacific, taking part in a...

, Australian Imperial Force., who also provided medical treatment to the inhabitants. Manus was first bombed by the Japanese on 25 January 1942, the radio mast being the main target. On 8 April 1942 an Imperial Japanese force consisting of the light cruiser Tatsuta, destroyer Mutsuki
Japanese destroyer Mutsuki
was the lead ship of twelve destroyers, built for the Imperial Japanese Navy following World War I. Advanced for their time, these ships served as first-line destroyers through the 1930s, but were considered obsolescent by the start of the Pacific War.-History:...

 and a troop transport ship Mishima Maru entered Lorengau
Lorengau is the major town in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. The town is located on the edge of Seeadler Harbour on Manus Island, in the Admiralty Islands, and in 2000 Lorengau was recorded to have a population of 5,829....

 harbour, and several hundreds of Japanese soldiers of the 8th Special Base Force, swarmed ashore onto Australia's mandated responsibility. With little and limited resources the Australian 4th section withdrew to the jungle.

Later in 1942, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 established a military base on Manus. This was attacked by United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 forces in the Admiralty Islands campaign
Admiralty Islands campaign
The Admiralty Islands campaign was a series of battles in the New Guinea campaign of World War II in which the United States Army's 1st Cavalry Division occupied the Japanese-held Admiralty Islands....

 of February–March 1944. An Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 naval base was established at Seeadler Harbor
Seeadler Harbor
Seeadler Harbor, also known as Port Seeadler, is located on Manus Island, Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea and played an important role in World War II...

 on the island and it later supported the British Pacific Fleet
British Pacific Fleet
The British Pacific Fleet was a British Commonwealth naval force which saw action against Japan during World War II. The fleet was composed of British Commonwealth naval vessels. The BPF formally came into being on 22 November 1944...


In 1950–51 the Australian government conducted the last trials against Japanese war criminals
Japanese war crimes
Japanese war crimes occurred during the period of Japanese imperialism, primarily during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. Some of the incidents have also been described as an Asian Holocaust and Japanese war atrocities...

 on the island.

One case heard was that of Takuma Nishimura
Takuma Nishimura
was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. He was later tried by the Allies for war crimes, and was executed. Nishimura was a native of Fukuoka prefecture.-Early military career:...

, who faced an Australian military court. He had already been tried by a British military court in relation to the Sook Ching massacre
Sook Ching massacre
The Sook Ching massacre was a systematic extermination of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore by the Japanese military during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, after the British colony surrendered on 15 February 1942 during the Second World War. Sook Ching was later...

 in Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 and sentenced to life imprisonment. While on a stopover in Hong Kong he was intercepted by Australian Military Police personnel. Evidence was presented stating that Nishimura had ordered the shootings of wounded Australian and Indian soldiers at Parit Sulong
Parit Sulong Massacre
On January 23, 1942, the Parit Sulong Massacre was committed against Allied soldiers by members of the Imperial Guards Division of the Imperial Japanese Army...

 and the disposal of bodies so that there was no trace of evidence. In this trial he was found guilty and was hanged on 11 June 1951.

American anthropologist
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist, who was frequently a featured writer and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s....

 lived on Manus before and after the war, of which she gives a detailed account in the book Growing up in New Guinea and New Lives for Old.

A detention centre
Australian immigration detention facilities
Australian immigration detention facilities comprise a number of different facilities throughout Australia and one on the Australian territory of Christmas Island. They are used to house people who are detained under Australia’s policy of mandatory detention and previously under the now defunct...

 was built on Manus Island in 2001 as part of Australia's
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 Pacific Solution
Pacific Solution
The Pacific Solution was the name given to the Australian government policy of transporting asylum seekers to detention camps on small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on the Australian mainland...

. The last inmate was Aladdin Sisalem, who was kept as a lone inmate from July 2003, until he was finally granted asylum in Australia in June 2004.

External links

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