Sanya (109.492E 18.259N), known to the Japanese during the war years as Samah, is located on the south coast of Hainan in the South China Sea, The town had a modest port and airfield and was the marshaling point for many of the forces with which Japan overran southeast Asia in the early months of the war.

Units based here included 25 Army with 18 Division and 3 Tank Group. The airfield based 83 Air Regiment with 19 Ki-51 Sonia, and the port based 2 Fleet, 3 China Fleet, and Hainan Naval District. Obsolete cruiser Iwate, a torpedo boat division, and a pair of patrol craft were also based here, along with three Special Naval Landing Forces (1 Maizuru, 4 Yokosuka, and 8 Sasebo) and 4 B5M "Mabel" of the Hainan Air Group.

The port was raided by 37 B-24s of 5 Air Force on 21 March 1945. The Americans claimed seven aircraft destroyed on the ground and extensive damage to hangars, but admitted that strong antiaircraft defenses damaged ten of the Liberators.


Craven and Cates (1952; accessed 2011-4-24)

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