Tag - PNG

John French, VC

4 SEP 1942: World War II and Corporal John Alexander French, 2/9th Battalion, originally from Toowoomba, Queensland, earns the Victoria Cross at Milne Bay, New Guinea. It was a posthumous award. French was born on 15 July 1914 in Crows Nest, north of Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia. His parents were Lucy (née Donaldson) and Albert French. His father was a hairdresser who had moved to the Crows Nest area from Tenterfield, New South Wales, while his mother had originally...

Battle for Milne Bay

4 SEP 1942: World War II and the Japanese evacuation of Milne Bay, New Guinea begins. The fighting at Milne Bay resulted in the first defeat of a Japanese amphibious landing in the Second World War. Initially the Japanese troops overwhelmed and pushed back the first Australian battalions encountered, the 61st and 2/10th Battalions, but began suffering heavy casualties when the Kittyhawk fighters of 75 and 76 Squadrons RAAF began bombing and strafing them. Nevertheless, they continued advancing for a few...

Popondetta Captured

18 NOV 1942: World War II and Popondetta, captured by the Australians, on the steamy kunai plains north of the Owen Stanley Range, became a major Allied base for the attack on the Japanese-held beachheads in Papua. Popondetta is the capital of Oro (Northern) Province near to Buna on the Northern Papua coast and is not far from the beginning of the Kokoda Trail. The last in a series of 'Battles for the Beachheads' of 1942 involving Australians was for...

Battle of Sattelberg

17 NOV 1943: Today in the Pacific Campaign, Australia's 9th Division begins its attack on Sattelberg (also spelt Satelberg, translation 'Saddle Mountain'), a village on the Huon Peninsula, in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea). The Battle of Sattelberg took place between 17 and 25 November 1943, during the Huon Peninsula campaign of the Second World War. Involving forces from Australia, the United States and Japan, the fighting centred on the Sattelberg mission station which was situated atop a hill about...

Damien Parer Killed

17 SEP 1944: World War II and cameraman Damien Parer is killed. Academy award-winning, Australian cameraman Damien Parer killed while filming American troops on Peleliu in the Pacific. Parer's documentary, Front line Kokoda, won an Oscar for best documentary in 1943. Having filmed Australians in action during the early years of the war, Parer accepted a job with the American film company, Paramount, to film Americans in action in the Pacific. Damien Parer remains one of Australia's most well-known combat cameramen....

Japanese Abandon Lae

16 SEP 1943: World War II and the Japanese abandon Lae after heavy fighting. Lae was the focus of a major land, sea, and air operation by Australian and American forces. Fighting lasted until 16 September when the encircled Japanese garrison were either killed, captured, or escaped. The Wau–Salamaua campaign involved Militia, AIF and American troops, supported by hundreds of indigenous carriers, fighting a “battle for the ridges” at places such as Bobdubi Ridge and Mount Tambu. The September 1943...

Australia Raises 2nd AIF

15 SEP 1939: World War II and the Australian Government announces mobilisation of the militia and the establishment of the second AIF for service abroad. Australia needed to raise a volunteer force for overseas service in the Second World War while the militia were initially only allowed to serve in Australian territories. Australia had a dilemma at the start of World War Two. When Britain declared war on Nazi Germany in September 1939, Australia had to decide whether to use her military...

First Submarine Lost

14 SEP 1914: World War I and HMA Submarine AE1 is lost off New Guinea. The AE1 and AE2 were the first submarines to serve with the Royal Australian Navy. The AE1 disappeared without trace during operations for the capture of German New Guinea. In 1914 the Australian government took possession of two new submarines, HMAS AE1 and HMAS AE2, from Great Britain for just over £105,000 each. These submarines were experimental, top-secret craft. At just over 54 metres long...

Richard Kelliher, VC

13 SEP 1943: World War II and Private Richard Kelliher, 2/25th Battalion, originally from County Kerry, Ireland, earns the Victoria Cross at Nadzab, New Guinea. Kelliher was born in Ballybeggan, Tralee, County Kerry in Ireland, then part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. and emigrated to Queensland, Australia in 1929 with his sister Norah. Due to lack of work during the Great Depression his sister moved to Sydney while Kelliher became a swagman, working a variety of...

ANMEF Lands In PNG

11 SEP 1914: World War I and the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force lands at Rabaul, New Guinea. The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed at Rabaul and went into action at Bita Paka. This was the only major New Guinea action of the First World War. Bita Paka was a small radio station established shortly after the start of the war in the Kaiserwilhelmsland portion of German New Guinea. The German South Seas Wireless Company originally planned...

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