A Veterans’ Day query. A reader asks:
Any information on Mapie Island near the Solomons, New Guinea or this general area? My cousin was buried there during the 2nd World War in about 1944:
John H. Carroll, Jr.
Second Lieutenant, U.S.A A.F.
390th Bomber Squadron
42 nd Bomber Group
According to additional information he was listed as M.I.A.
I think this must be the Mapia Islands, north of the hook at the end of the Indonesian side of New Guinea.
The Approach to the Philippines in the series U.S. Army in World War II: The War in the Pacific says this:
The only other important offensive undertaken in the western New Guinea region was the seizure, in mid-November , of the Asia and Mapia Island Groups, lying respectively 100 nautical miles northwest and 160 northeast of Sansapor. Loran and radar stations were established on these islands, which were were captured by elements of the 31st Infantry Division operating under the control the newly established of U.S. Eighth Army. (note, p. 450)
On this page it says that the 390th Bomber Squadron moved to Sansapor, New Guinea on 8/23/44. This page includes a couple of pictures of that unit’s planes.
This history says specifically that the unit was operating against the Mapia Islands on the date of this death, and this site says that on 11/12/44 “50+ B-25s blast Mapia and Asia Islands, New Guinea.”
So it would make sense if he died during that operation, given the date.
Lastly, page 12 of this document includes a picture of a burial ceremony on the Mapia Islands after the American landings.