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is the largest island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...
of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands
D'Entrecasteaux Islands are situated near the eastern tip of New Guinea in the Solomon Sea in Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. The group spans a distance of 160 km, has a total land area of approximately 3,100 km² and is separated from the Papua New Guinea mainland by the...
, in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...
. It has an area of just over 500 square miles (1,437 km2
), and mostly consists of mountainous regions, covered by rain forests. There are three large volcanoes on the island.
Fergusson Island is situated 3 km across the Dawson Strait from Normanby Island and 4 km from Goodenough Island across Moresby Strait.
The highest peak at 6,801 feet (2,073 metres) near Wadalei in the northeast of Fergusson Island is an extinct volcano. Seymour Bay is located on the west coast, Sebutuia Bay on the east, and Hughes Bay on the north. The principal settlements, Salamo and Mapamoiwa, are on the southern coast. Gold deposits at Wapolu on the north coast were worked briefly in the mid-1990s.
On June 30, 1942, during World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
, a United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...
PT-Boat base was established on the island. An Alamo Scouts
The Alamo Scouts was a reconnaissance unit of the Sixth United States Army in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II...
Training Center was established at Kalo Kalo on November 28, 1943.