Milne Bay - Woodlark Island

via Papua New Guinea

Woodlark Island (Muyuw)

Woodlark Island is known to its inhabitants simply as Woodlark or Muyuw. The main language spoken on the island being Muyuw.

During the second World War the island was occupied by a small Japanese force until it was captured by the landing of Army and Marine troops and the Navy Construction Battalion (Seabees) on Woodlark Island and Kiriwina on the 30th of June 1943.

The Seabees soon constructed an airstrip at Guasopa Bay. The airsrtrip has been known by several names since then - Woodlark, Guasopa and Narewa Airfield.

The photographs on this page unless otherwise mentioned have been provide by Patrick MacFadden. Pat retains copyright of the photographs. His father, C. C. MacFadden, was a Chief Petty Officer of the USNR who was with the 20th US Naval Construction Battalion on Woodlark between the 30th of July 30 1943 to the 14th of April 1944. His father recalled the arrival of the first P-39. His father also said they were much happier with the arrival of the P-38's.


3 men at Guasopa 1943

Couple from Woodlark 1943

Woodlark men on beach 1943

A "white" man and his family

Woman from Woodlark 1943

Woodlark Village 1943

More photos taken in 1943 on Woodlark Island

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Created 12 Jun 2009
Updated 12 Jun 2009

© 2009 - Trevor Michie (photos Pat MacFadden)