Japanese defensive position

Weather was beautiful this past weekend – sunny and low humidity. Perfect for doing some exploring.

I decided to revisit the Japanese positions I had discovered last weekend in the rain (my previous post). I brought my son and his best friend along also. It is nice to have some company because it can get spooky at times when alone. The kids wanted to bring my metal detector, so we brought that along too.

First order of business was to relocate the gun pits, and mark their position with GPS.

The five pits are all separated by approx 50 meters, and are located in an arc.
The five pits are all separated by approx 50 meters, and are located in an arc.

I’m still not sure what this position was supposed to defend, since the Japanese focused their defensive efforts on the beaches. I suspect this was to be an anti-aircraft position, due to the depth of the holes and the fact that they were round (allowing 360 degree arc toward the sky). [December 2020 – there appears to have been a Japanese airstrip under construction just east and north of the old FAA housing area.  This construction was not completed when the liberation took place in June 1944.]

Decent sized monitor lizard sunning himself along the edge of pit number 2

Around the eastern most pit (number 1), which is closest to an abandoned WW2 dirt road, is evidence of American troops – notably several 75mm howitzer shell casings. The fact that there are no American bottles around tells me that this was a short-term American position, likely on the 6th or 7th of August 1944 as the American troops pushed the front lines northward.

The other gun pits are surrounded primarily with Japanese beer bottles (DaiNippon), with only a small scattering of American bottles.

The kids played around with the metal detector, and gave up after a little while. There are a number of shell craters around, from artillery hits. All the kids were finding were bits of shrapnel laying around. Later, while they took a break, I explored an old burn pit filled with broken bottles, and found some bits from a Japanese naval gas mask, but nothing exciting.

At first I thought this was a modern battery, perhaps from the 70’s or 80’s if the area was inhabited by ranchers post-war.
The manufacturer – Yuasa – makes batteries in the modern era. However – in this area I only found WW2 era Japanese bottles. I also found out that Yuasa made batteries before WW2. This quite possibly was left by the Japanese from the war. I’ll have to go back and see if I can find any dates or other information the next time I visit this site.
This is a Japanese two-holer outhouse. These barrels are smaller than the American ones, which indicates they are Japanese. There are many like it about a mile south at a Japanese anti-aircraft position, where they have been filled with rocks for protection. This was the business end of the outhouse.
The kids take a break; wore out from a couple hours of exploring

After a couple hours of exploring, we headed home. Not much to see other than a few Japanese beer bottles and the positions themselves, but it is so heavily overgrown in this area, it is worth revisiting and exploring more closely in the future.