Matsuda Iwao

Matsuda was a transportation expert who commanded 65 Brigade at Cape Gloucester in October 1943. He was charged with keeping open the supply line to New Guinea, but found himself attempting unsuccessfully to repel an assault by a full Marine division (1 Marine Division).

His quarters were discovered by a Marine patrol:

[Matsuda's] personal abode includes a bedroom, complete with double-width mattress and four-poster bed; kitchen and fancy toilet facilities; and a deep air raid shelter reached by ladder from the kitchen, containing candles, canned heat and rice bowls. . . . [The residence] is constructed about ten feet off the damp soil and is both dry and cool. The walls are made of bamboo and saplings; the roof is galvanized iron; the floors of inlaid wood. The furniture was for the most part imported, featured by a wicker easy chair. . . . Not only did General Matsuda have plenty of saki on hand, as witnessed by the empty bottles, but he had an ample supply of Pilsen, bottled in Manila, according to the labels. We even found one Coca-Cola bottle cap. . . . Among the abandoned effects and supplies are all kinds of goods--toilet articles, stationery, canned foods, clothing--manufactured in America, Australia and England. . . . Prize booty for the occupying Marines is a Jap phonograph with records.

On 21 January 1944, Matsuda was ordered by his superior, Sakai Yasushi, to retreat from his headquarters and regroup a dozen miles (19  km) to the northeast. Instead, Matsuda retreated all the way to Cape Hoskins, some 170 miles (270 km) to the east.

Service record

  Chief of staff, 23 Division
Major general     
Commander, 65 Brigade


Fuller (1992) (accessed 2008-5-20)

Leckie (1962)

Rottman (2002)

"The Campaign on New Britain" (accessed 2010-8-21)

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