The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Halmahera (also known as Jilolo) is an island
located between Celebes and New Guinea. It is the largest of
the Molucca (Spice) Islands and was discovered by Europeans in 1512. It
is about 200 miles (320 km) from north to south and 90 miles (140 km)
from east to west with an area of over 7000 square miles (18,000 km2).
It is mountainous with its peak
at 4947' (1508 meters) near the island center.
The island was occupied by the Japanese in 1942 and there were nine airfields completed or under construction in late 1944. The
garrison numbered some 37,000 troops. This strong force, situated on an
island with strong natural defenses, was judged too costly to assault, and MacArthur occupied Morotai just to the north instead, on
15 September 1944.
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