Tawi Tawi

Relief map of Tawu Tawi

Tawi Tawi (119.886E 5.063N) is an island group with a large but exposed anchorage at the extreme southwest end of the Philippines, just off Borneo. The third largest island in the Sulu Archipelago, it measured 10 by 30 miles (16 by 48 km) with a maximum elevation of 1800' (549 meters).

It was devoid of facilities in 1941, but the Japanese used it as a fleet anchorage late in the war because of its proximity to the Borneo oil fields. The anchorage lacked an airfield, and American submarines were able to track the movements of the Japanese fleet at this exposed location.  Japanese training exercises were correspondingly curtailed, reducing the efficiency of their fleet.

Sanga Sanga Island, off the southwest end of Tawi Tawi, was occupied by a battalion from 163 Regiment on 2 April 1945. A 6500' (1980 meter) airstrip was completed by 2 May and used by RAAF units to support operations in north Borneo.


Blair (1975)
Morison (1953)

Rottman (2002)

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