720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association History Project

9th U.S. Campaign Asiatic-Pacific Theater WW II

Papua (23 July 1942 - 23 January 1943)

     Having been repulsed in attempts to take Port Moresby in southeastern New Guinea by sea in May 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea, and again in August by the Australians at Milne Bay, the Japanese pushed a drive toward their objective over the Owen Stanley Mountains from the Buna-Gona area in southeastern New Guinea.

     When by mid-September the Japanese came within 30 miles of Port Moresby, GEN MacArthur committed additional Australian troops to push the invaders back across the mountains. By mid-November the Japanese had been driven back to their positions on the north coast at Buna, Gona, and Savanna, where they received reinforcements from Rabaul and clung desperately to their beachhead.

     Two Australian divisions, one U.S. Army division, and a separate U.S. Army regiment had been committed to the fight before the fall of Gona (9 December), Buna (2 January 1943), and Sanananda (23 January). An outstanding achievement of the campaign was the air supply of the Allied ground forces.

Use Your Browser Button To Return