Tag Archives: Lae

The First American Killed in New Guinea – January, 1942.

In my post The First Casualty, I mentioned the little-known historical fact that the very first fatality of the campaign on mainland New Guinea during World War Two was a civilian air pilot, Kevin Parer. Parer was killed while sitting in the cockpit of his aircraft during a surprise Japanese air raid on Salamaua, on the 21st of

Still No Bodies, But Slightly Less of a Mystery.

In my post Never Returned – Disappearance in the Markham, I introduced three Australian soldiers who went missing, presumed captured by the enemy, in New Guinea in mid 1942, and whose bodies were never found. At the time of writing, I was aware of indigenous intelligence that had stated that two of the men, Sergeant Mayne and Signalman

Never Returned – Disappearance in the Markham.

On or about the 1st of June, 1942, three Australian soldiers were imprisoned by the Japanese in the town of Lae, in a roughly built cell made of local materials, which was then riddled with machine-gun bullets. They became the first Australian prisoners to be murdered on the mainland of what was then known as the Mandated Territory

Australian Independent Company Commander – Major Paul Kneen and the Heath’s Plantation Raid.

Thomas Paul Kneen was born on the 18th of June, 1914 to Edwyn Corlett and Cecil Maud Kneen in Douglas, the Isle of Man. Educated at Haileybury College in rural Hertfordshire (England), and then Oxford University, he took a position with the British Colonial Administration Service in the Solomon Islands where he was stationed on Guadalcanal. Kneen served

The N.G.V.R. and the workings of a 19th Century British Regiment – My Bookshelf Part V.

“The New Guinea Volunteer Rifles NGVR 1939 – 1943, A History” by Ian Downs is vital reading for anyone who wishes to obtain an understanding of the events of the first tentative months of WW2 in the South-West Pacific Area. The NGVR were a small territorial force raised in what was then the Mandated Territory of New Guinea

Salamaua Re-entered, Seventy Years Ago Today.

Seventy years ago today, Allied troops re-entered the coastal New Guinean township of Salamaua after 18 months of its occupation by the Japanese. Acknowledged back then but virtually unknown now, was the importance the Salamaua Campaign had played in the defeat of the enemy at Lae, further north across the Huon Gulf, which fell to two Australian divisions

The First Casualty.

It was five minutes prior to noon on Wednesday the 21st of January 1942, and Kevin Parer, the owner and pilot of an air freighting business, was sitting in the cockpit of his aircraft on the ‘drome just outside the busy coastal township of Salamaua in what was then known as the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. Without