Japanese World War II ship shelled pterosaur caves

Posted on Posted in Papua New Guinea

Three days ago, I received an email from R.K. (anonymous), of the Manus Island area of Papua New Guinea. (We starting communicating earlier this month.) The nocturnal flying creatures that he described to me–I believe they are ropens–were common and were dangerous to local fishermen previous to the early 1940’s, when their numbers declined. In these northern islands, the creature is called “kor.”

Here is part of R.K.’s account of the Japanese retaliation against the creatures that had attacked them:

” . . . it was the japs [Japanese military] on the island who were attacked by the kor.  They [Japanese soldiers] apparently shot several wounding them then followed them to cves [caves] and blew [blew up] the entrances. They called ships fire on the hills and pounded them for several hours.”

R.K. asks an interesting question: “I wonder if there is a record of that somewhere?” Perhaps there is an old Japanese veteran who knows about this or has written about the battle with those creatures. If so, perhaps the word used for those creatures would be “dragons.”

7 comments on “Japanese World War II ship shelled pterosaur caves

  1. Since the end of World War II, Japanese veterans (and the population as a whole), in general, have been hesitant to talk about the military experiences. But this encounter with the “kor” of northern New Guinea is more likely to have been passed on from the Japanese soldiers and sailors. I hope that somebody will search out this strange little battle; it may require somebody who knows the Japanese language.

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  3. Or, if this RK can tell someone where the caves were then a team could look for evidence. If there are caves where ropen were killed then you might find some physical evidence

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