Page Under Construction
WORLD WAR II

THE 491ST PORT BN.

This attempt on my part, Roger F. Sykes, came about as the few Veterans of This World War Two Army unit are still around. I do hope anyone that has any more information and/or pictures to add will make themselves known.

Corrections to what I have are welcome. To EMAIL me see bottom of page.

The 491st PORT BATTALION was activated in early 1943 at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation in southern Pennsylvania. The purpose was to train GI Soldiers as Stevedores to load and unload cargo vessels any place in the world needed for war operation.

After training the Battalion was sent to California by rail Mid May to San Francisco and Oakland docks. Here our unit got real live training working as stevedore on the docks.

The Battalion was shipped overseas on July 1st, 1943 and arrived in Oro Bay New Guinea about 17th of the month.

In 1944 the individual Battalion Companies: A, B, C, and D were renamed the 621st. 622nd, 623rd 624th Port Companies. The 623 rd Port Company wase sent to Lae New Guinea directly after that area was secured from the Japanese. The three companies reamaining and Battalion Headquarters stayed in Oro bay until WW2 ended. On October 31st they were sent to the Philippine Islands for return to USA.
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ANGELICAN MISSION--{Pongoni New Guinea -- 1944}



491ST PORT BN OFFICERS NOV. 1943
L-R W/O Enos Bagland; Lt. Wilber Halldorson; Major James Ackerman; Lt. Col. Donald Elder; Captain Donald C. Graig; W/O Robert. K. McCord; W/O William A. Bentson.
Our Medical Officer, Major Charles Frederick ME.

L to R -- Cpl. Sykes, Cpl James Whitaker, Cpl. Licata,
WO Baglan, Lt. Hill, Maj Ackerman
Trip to Native Villages to Secure Fresh Fruit

       

       
Gary Cooper and Una Merkel put on show at Battalion Theater
Una Merkel was God Daughter of Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Elder.

           



       



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My thanks to the following whom contributed to these pages:

Bill Bentson, Brisbane Australia. -- [email protected]
George Skillman Jr. (Butch) Elmira, NY. -- [email protected]
Mark V. Cowan, Kansas City Mo. - [email protected]
Courtney Lafountain - [email protected]
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The Buna-Sanananda Operation 16 Nov 1942 - 23 Jan 1943
Interesting Link to History of Area.
HISTORY OF US ARMY IN NEW GUINEA DURING WW2
BATTLE OF BUNA MISSIONWW2
NORWEGIAN MERCHANT FLEET INCLUDING M/S TORRENS
COURTNEY LAFOUNTAIN LETTER, "LOWVILLE NY"
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