Biak, Korem Beach

Korem Beach, Biak


Biak is a small island off the north coast of Papua in Cenderawasih Bay and a transport hub of the region. This island was the scene of horrific battles between the Allies and the Japanese in the Second World War. A strategic airfield of the Japanese was located here and the Americans eventually captured it in the Battle of Biak, fought from 27 May to 17 August 1944 at a cost of almost 3,000 American casualties, with 474 dead; on the Japanese side about 6,100 were killed and 4,000 missing, presumed dead. Thousands of Japanese soldiers kept hiding in a cave named Gua Binsari and refused to come out after allied troops pinned them down on 26 June 1945; drums of petrol were thrown in with bombs and set ablaze; they were all killed. A simple memorial, erected in 1956 by the Japanese government, stands at the entrance.

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