Surabaya (formerly Soerabaja, Soerabaia or Surabaja) is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million (5.6 million in the metropolitan area), and the capital of the province of East Java. It is located on the northern shore of eastern Java at the mouth of the Mas River and along the edge of the Madura Strait.
As the remainder of the US Asiatic Fleet fled the Philippines, they relocated to the port of Surabaya in the Dutch East Indies. Many US sailors thought the place was hotter and muggier than Manila, being just south of the equator. Many of the city's inhabitants were extremely skittish with the Japanese approaching, leading many Dutch colonists wondering if the Javanese would still help them or turn on them.