MOROTAI, ANTARA PANTAI PASIR PUTIH DAN JEJAK PERANG DUNIA KEDUA 2019-12-14 00:00

Tank amfibi di depan Museum Perang Dunia Kedua

 

Pulau Morotai di utara Pulau Halmahera yang termasuk Provinsi Maluku Utara pada tahun 2016 telah ditetapkan sebagai salah satu dari “10 Destinasi Wisata Prioritas Indonesia” atau lebih dikenal dengan sebutan “10 Bali Baru” bersama Danau Toba, Tanjung Kelayang, Kepulauan Seribu, Tanjung Lesung, Candi Borobudur, Bromo Tengger Semeru, Mandalika Lombok, Labuan Bajo, dan Wakatobi. Tak asal capcipcup tentu pemilihannya. Khusus untuk Morotai, pulau yang juga merupakan kabupaten ini selain memiliki pulau-pulau indah dengan hamparan pasir putihnya, juga menyimpan jejak Perang Dunia Kedua (PD II). Sangat menarik ditelusuri, apalagi bagi pecinta sejarah.

 

Pasir Putih

 

Baca juga: “Ada Apa Saja di Morotai?

 

POSISI STRATEGIS SEBAGAI BASIS PERTAHANAN DI BARAT DAYA SAMUDERA PASIFIK

Kabupaten Pulau Morotai yang baru ditetapkan sebagai kabupaten pada 29 Oktober 2008, sebagai hasil pemekaran dari Kabupaten Halmahera Utara, posisinya sangat strategis sebagai pintu masuk maupun basis pertahanan Tentara Sekutu maupun Jepang yang saat itu berniat menduduki Indonesia, Filipina, sebagian Malaysia, dan Papua Nugini.

 

Wilayahnya tidak terlalu luas seperti Halmahera, hanya 1.800 km2, dengan batas utara Samudera Pasifik, selatan Selat Morotai, barat dan timur Laut Halmahera. Saat tahun 1940-an alamnya juga sebagian besar masih hutan lebat, membuat Morotai cocok buat basis pertahanan yang mudah dijaga. Wilayah ini lebih dulu diduduki Tentara Jepang, sejak tahun 1942, yang menjadikan Morotai sebagai landasan pesawat selama PD II.

 

Peta Morotai

 

Pasukan Jepang sempat meninggalkan Morotai untuk mendukung pertempuran di Pulau Halmahera. Jadi saat itu hanya tersisa sebanyak 500 tentara Jepang di Morotai yang bertugas menjaga pulau itu. Nah, Jenderal Douglas MacArthur sebagai Panglima Pasukan AS untuk wilayah Asia Pasifik Barat melihat itu kesempatan bagus untuk mengambil alih Morotai, dan untuk merebut kembali Filipina dari Jepang.

 

Pada 15 September 1944, Tentara Sekutu dari Amerika Serikat dan Australia di bawah pimpinan MacArthur pun mendarat di Morotai tepatnya di bagian barat daya pulau ini, sekarang dikenal sebagai Army Dock, tak jauh dari ibu kota Daruba. Meletuslah perang sengit di Morotai antara Sekutu dan Jepang.

 

Sisa-sisa dermaga di Army Dock

 

Sisi lain Pantai Army Dock

 

Dengan jumlah pasukan yang sedikit, Jepang mudah ditaklukkan. Beberapa prajuritnya melarikan diri dan bersembunyi di hutan. Salah satunya Teruo Nakamura yang terus bersembunyi, tak tahu kalau zaman sudah berganti, Perang Dunia telah usai lama, tak ada lagi perang di bumi Morotai. Ia baru ditemukan dan akhirnya diselamatkan tanggal 18 Desember 1974.

 

Angkatan Laut Jepang berusaha merebut kembali Morotai tetapi gagal. Dan pasukan Sekutu terus menguasai Morotai hingga akhirnya Jepang benar-benar menyerah tahun 1945 dan Pasukan Sekutu pun akhirnya meninggalkan Morotai. Sebelum meninggalkan Morotai, Sekutu membakar semua bangunan yang mereka dirikan.

 

PENINGGALAN PERANG DUNIA KEDUA

Beberapa benda peninggalan PD II seperti meriam artileri, bangkai kapal perang, tank amfibi disimpan di Museum Perang Dunia II di Morotai. Sayangnya walaupun gedungnya megah dan terkesan futuristik, tapi tak terawat. Bahkan waktu MyTrip datang, museum dalam kondisi terkunci dan tampak kotor. Menurut Pak Muhlis Eso, pemandu senior Morotai, museum itu memang terbengkalai. Dirinya pun mengundurkan diri dari kepengurusan museum, dan lebih fokus mengelola Museum Swadaya besutannya sendiri.

 

Museum Perang Dunia Kedua. megah tapi tak terurus

 

Situs Tank Amfibi Perang Dunia Kedua juga bisa kita lihat di Desa Gotalamo. Tanknya diletakkan di ruang terbuka beratap. Masih kokoh dan utuh bagian luarnya.

 

Situs Tank Amfibi

 

Tak jauh dari Situs Tank Amfibi terdapat Monumen Teruo Nakamura, serdadu Jepang keturunan Taiwan yang paling lama bertahan di Morotai.

 

Monumen Nakamura

 

Ada lagi Pulau Zumzum yang tak jauh dari lepas pantai Kota Daruba. Di sini didirikan patung Jenderal MacArthur karena dulu pulau ini dijadikan markas sekaligus tempat peristirahatan MacArthur. Ditemukan puing-puing rumah bekas tempat tinggal MacArthur, gua pusat komando, tempat pendaratan tank amfibi, dan bekas helipad.

 

Pulau Zumzum

 

Peninggalan kapal-kapal perang PD II juga ada yang teronggok di kedalaman laut, dan kini menjadi spot wreck diving. Salah satunya yang menarik adalah bangkai pesawat Bristol Beuford yang tenggelam di kedalaman 40 m di lautan sebelah selatan Morotai.

 

CARA KE MOROTAI

Untuk ke Morotai naik pesawat dari Jakarta transit dulu di Bandara Sultan Babullah di Ternate. Durasi 4 jam. Dari Ternate terbang ke Morotai (Pangkalan AU Leo Wattimena) 45 menit.

 

Bagaimana, tertarik ke Morotai untuk melihat jejak-jejak Perang Dunia Kedua dan menikmati pulau-pulau dengan pasir putihnya?

 

Untuk mengetahui objek-objek wisata Morotai silakan baca di sini.

 

Teks & Foto: Mayawati NH
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