Tag Archives: Salamaua

The Battle for Wau – 75 Years on.

Seventy-five years ago today marks the beginning of the Battle for Wau in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. A Japanese regimental group built around two battalions of the 102nd Infantry Regiment attempted to capture the township and airstrip of Wau in the Bulolo Valley from ‘Kanga Force’, an Australian command, the bulk of which was the newly

George Warfe School, Kamiatum, Papua New Guinea – An Update.

Long ago, in March, 2014, I announced that the small community of Kamiatum, just inland from Salamaua in Papua New Guinea, had decided to name their new elementary school after a prominent WW2 and post-war Australian soldier and infantry commander, Colonel George Warfe, D.S.O., M.C., E.D. Due to a lack of local resources and the challenge of maintaining effective

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

Guns and ‘Dirty’ Gold: A New Guinea Invasion-Time Mystery.

Prior to the Second World War in the Pacific, the territories of Papua and New Guinea to the north of Australia had been the scene of several gold rushes. One such area that was still being worked at the outbreak of the war was the Wau-Bulolo Valley in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. It was here, during

Supply in the Jungle (New Guinea, 1943) – By Indigenous Feet.*

In my post Supply in the Jungle – By Air I began to refer to the difficulties involved in supplying soldiers, using the Third Australian Division in the Wau-Salamaua, New Guinea, campaign of 1943 as an example. Once aircraft – if they were available – had ‘dropped’ the required supplies, however, they still needed to be transported to

2/7th Australian Independent Company (Part II).

When we left Part I, the 2/7th Australian Independent Company was undergoing specialist training at the Guerilla Warfare School at Wilson’s Promontory, Victoria. With the war in Papua far to the north still very much in the balance, MacAdie’s company was destined to be committed to action as soon as it was considerable capable. Though their activities never

The Oba Japanese Artillery Raiders – August, 1943, Salamaua, New Guinea, Part II.

Continued from Part I, posted 5 November 2015. 16 Platoon, “D” Company, 47th Australian Infantry Battalion …Some of the platoon were about to begin constructing a defensive position for the night by cutting fire lanes, others were detailed to protect them, and some left their weapons to wash in the creek. At roughly 1730 hours (5:30 p.m.) The

Burn with Sincerity: The Oba Artillery Raiding Party, August, 1943 – Part I.

August, 1943, New Guinea. The Australian and American offensive code-named ‘Doublet’ against the Japanese-occupied location of Salamaua had been progressing as planned since it began on the night of the second-last day of June. The Japanese had been thrown out of their positions around their most forward inland bastion of Mubo, were being threatened in the vital Komiatum

Infantryman and Commando – Colonel George Warfe D.S.O., M.C. – Part II.

In early 1943, George Warfe was a Captain, Temporary Major, and Officer Commanding the 2/3rd Australian Independent Company in the Wau-Salamaua Campaign in New Guinea. He was an active leader, physically fit and willing to do whatever he ordered his subordinates to do. At one stage he personally manned a Vickers Medium Machine Gun and staged a long-range

Supply in the Jungle – by Air.

Conventional wisdom has it that the Second World War in the Pacific was won by the Allies in two ways: supremacy in the air, and supremacy, or at least effectiveness, in the means and methods of supply. The air war in the Pacific, particularly in the South-West Pacific Area where Australian air and ground forces operated, has received