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Old 12-07-2001, 08:17 AM
Rugens Rugens is offline
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Question About Getting To Buna

Hello,

Could anyone out there give any information on how difficult/safe it is to get to Buna in PNP. I have a friend that will be visiting in August and would like to visit the area. His father was killed there in WWII and he would like to visit the area. He did not know his father and would like to find that particular link. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much,

Carl
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  #2  
Old 13-07-2001, 10:52 AM
Tailgunner Tailgunner is offline
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Hello Carl,
In reply to your question about Buna the following may be helpful for your friend.
There is a daily airline service from Port Moresby to Popondetta. In fact some days it operates morning and afternoon.
It is a 25 minute flight
Popondetta is the closest major airport (although not that major)
and from there he should be able to arrange land transport to the Buna/ Gona area.
The whole area was a major battleground and was really where the Japanese suffered their first serious defeats of the war after they retreated from the Kokoda trail having been kept out of Port Moresby by Australian forces.
I think most of the US forces were then flown to small airfields around Buna and Gona to join up with the Australians.
About the safety issue, well that is a problem but not so bad as you may have heard.
If he makes the right contacts beforehand and knows exactly where he wants to go to then it should be OK.
Another probably better alternative would be to hire a helicopter out of Port Moresby and do the whole trip by air. With perhaps meeting up with some ground guides when in the area.
A rough guess for the cost of that would be around US $3000 but would be a sure and very safe way to experience the whole thing both from the air and anywhere on the ground they might want to land and have a look around.
Well that is about all but let me know if I can be of more assistance when the time of his visit gets closer. I have a friend who is an expert on the military history and who would I am sure love to accompany him and give him all the help he could ask for.
My friend Richard assists US military in finding and recovering remains of soldiers from the war and it would be right in his arena for sure. He is also very well equipped to deal with the criminal element.
hope this is of some assistance.
Best Regards,
PS. If you like email me at : johnaacl@hotmail.com
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Old 14-07-2001, 05:59 AM
Rugens Rugens is offline
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Smile Thanks Tailgunner

Thanks for the response. It's kind of an interesting situation. His father was a battalion commander in the 126th Regt., 32nd Division US. (Cptn. W. F. Boice). There are about two dozen references to him and his unit in a couple of the army's campaign history books. He was actually the 3rd battalion commander in several days. The others having been killed or wounded. Using reference research we have been able to pinpoint were he was killed within about 25-50 yards. Fortunatly there are several terrian landmarks that may still be there unless the area has been heavily developed. However of course, finding a location on a map vs finding it in the bush are two very different things no matter what landmarks you have. For what it may be worth, during the campaign the Australians went over the Owen Stanley's to the left. In the infinate wisdom of our military commander at the time, the US decided to try and send the 32nd Division overland to the right. You probably know the terrian. As luck (bad or good I'm not sure) would have it, Cptn. Boice led the pathfinder detachment to scout out the trail (the name escapes me right now) over the Owen Stanley's at that point. His letters home make an interesting journal of that recon. After the divisons trek accross the mountain range he was killed leading the attack on the "Triangle". It was something of a hinge position necessary to close the Japanese retreat rout from Buna Mission. The Buna Mission was the first step in getting to the Japanese airfields further southeast. Up to that point I think most all of the allied soldiers got there on foot.

Please feel at liberty to discuss with your friend. The helo is a very interesting alternative but I fear may be to expensive. We had wondered about a seaplane since his father was killed only about 700 yards from the coast. Perhaps your friend may have other thoughts as well. I think they are looking at about the end of August. Feel free as well to have your friend contact us by email if he wishes. My address is Rugens@aol.com.
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Old 16-07-2001, 11:57 AM
ghoulishlittlegoblin ghoulishlittlegoblin is offline
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Question Errr......

I thought the name was Rugens, where did "Carl" come from ???? Or are you and Taily acquaintances of old ????
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Old 17-07-2001, 12:23 AM
Rugens Rugens is offline
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???

Name is Carl Rugenstein & email is Rugens@aol.com. Don't know anyone over there that I know of but again I would be greatful for any help for Mr. Boice.

Thanks,

Carl
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Old 17-07-2001, 12:44 PM
ghoulishlittlegoblin ghoulishlittlegoblin is offline
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Lightbulb Lights on !

Ahhhh.........so you're quite serious about this trip then ??? Well I guess Taily's your man.......he really is quite a wealth of info. *radiant little smile*
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