New Guinea - Huon Peninsula / Markham and Ramu Valley /Finisterre Ranges Campaigns (World War 2, 4 September 1943 to 19 January 1944)

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About This Campaign

After the defeat of the Japanese forces along  the northern beaches of New Guinea at Buna, Gona, Salamaua and later Wau, the stage was set for the next phase of clearing Japanese forces from the north coast.  Attention centred on Lae and the Huon Peninsula.

The plan for capture of Lae was to entail a pincer movement.  The 9th Division was to make an amphibious landing east of the town and then advance upon it along the coast.  Meanwhile the 7th Division would be flown into Nadzab in the Markham Valley and advance on Lae from the west. The 5th Division would continue its operations west of Salamaua to divert Japanese attention from Lae.

Extract from AWM 'Wartime' (see link in sidebar)

The New Guinea offensives of 1943–44 were the single largest series of connected operations Australia has ever mounted. While the supreme command was, of course, American and while the campaign depended upon American air and naval support, the New Guinea battles were Australia’s own. They involved tens of thousands of troops, both in combatant units and in the massive logistic infrastructure that jungle warfare demanded.

They involved units of all three Australian services. Though the common image of Australians in the New Guinea campaigns is of a soldier in jungle green, the RAN and RAAF provided vital support. The navy protected the convoys carrying men and supplies to New Guinea and often charted the coastline on which they landed. They involved vessels of all sizes, from the Fairmile launches raiding the Japanese-held coast to the big landing ships carrying the 9th Division into the amphibious landings near Lae. The RAAF, operating as part of the US Fifth Air Force, provided both direct air support against Japanese positions and carried men and supplies in and wounded out of the battle. Virtually every type operated by the RAAF took part in the campaigns, from Boomerang artillery spotters to the Beaufighters and Beauforts providing close support, and the Kittyhawks which protected them, and the Dakotas on which transport in the islands depended.

 

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Names

Showing 8 people of interest from campaign

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LOFTUS, Harry

Service number NX6896
Staff Sergeant
2nd/1st Field Workshop
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 17 Jun 1913

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FIELD, Jack

Service number QX53624
Private
2nd/22nd Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 9 Oct 1923

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WAREHAM, William Robert

Service number SX8658
Corporal
2nd/43rd Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 6 Dec 1914

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LEARY, Reginald

Service number WX10241
Private
2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 27 Sep 1918

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SCHULZ, Glen Erwin

Service number S32973
Private
151st General Transport Company
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 21 Feb 1918

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SEATON, Dan Cecil

Service number QX29093
Private
2nd/15th Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 30 Jun 1916

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KERSWELL, Richard Edward

Service number QX39244
Craftsman
2/122 Independent Brigade Workshops
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 20 May 1907

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JOHNSON, Charles Thomas

Service number QX2851
Private
2nd/32nd Infantry Battalion
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 30 Jan 1918