Remembering the war in New Guinea - Milne Bay

Remembering the war in New Guinea
Milne Bay–Rabi, 1942 (Photographs)
Module name: Campaign history (All groups perspective)
This page was contributed by Mr Damien Fenton (Australian War Memorial)


AWM 013337 (Australian War Memorial)
Major General Cyril Clowes, Commander of “Milne Force”, at Milne Bay in October 1942. Despite his successful defence of Milne Bay, Clowes’ performance was privately criticised by MacArthur and Blamey at the time – unfamiliar with the harsh and trying conditions of the area they felt Clowes was too slow and cautious in his response to the Japanese landings.
AWM 014684 (Australian War Memorial)
An aerial view of Milne Bay in April 1943 – “an awful place”. The overwhelming expanse of jungle underlines the logistical and operational limitations imposed on both sides by the terrain. The Gili Gili jetty is in the right mid-ground, while the wreck of the Anshun can be made out on the shoreline just left of centre.
AWM 026629 (Australian War Memorial)
A Bofors 40 mm AA gun position manned by the 2/9th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery guards No. 1 (Gurney) airfield in September 1942 (note the Kittyhawk coming in to land in the background). As at Guadalcanal the failure of the Japanese to capture the only operational airfield in the area played an important part in their defeat.
AWM 013336 (Australian War Memorial)
A Japanese 37 mm Type 94 infantry gun captured during the fighting at Milne Bay. Originally employed as an anti-tank gun it had become obsolete in this role by 1942 and was instead used as an infantry close-support weapon. It fired a 0.5 kg high explosive shell with a maximum range of 4.5 km.
AWM 026648 (Australian War Memorial)
A Kittyhawk P-40 fighter of No. 76 (Fighter) Squadron RAAF being pushed back into a dispersal bay after completing a mission. The Kittyhawks wreaked havoc on the Japanese invasion force and the local air supremacy that they provided proved decisive in defeating it. Note the interlocking steel plates, known as "Marsden Mats" that made up the runway.
AWM 013317 (Australian War Memorial)
Australian infantry patrolling the jungle of Milne Bay in October 1942. The dense and difficult terrain on which the battle was fought is vividly illustrated here.
AWM 013321 (Australian War Memorial)
A Nissan 180 1.5 ton water tanker abandoned during the hard-fought Japanese retreat from No. 3 (Turnbull) airstrip. The Nissan 180 was the predominant type of 1.5 ton cargo truck used by the Japanese military during the Pacific War and came in numerous versions.
AWM 013325 (Australian War Memorial)
In the aftermath of the battle Australian soldiers take a closer look at one of the Japanese landing barges used at Milne Bay. Many of these were sunk or disabled by the Kittyhawks of the 75 and 76 Squadrons RAAF. The loss of these barges meant that after the initial landings the Japanese could not use them again to outflank the Australian defenders around the coast – a tactic that had worked well for them in previous operations.
AWM 013316 (Australian War Memorial)
A Japanese Type 95 HA-GO light tank abandoned during the fighting at Milne Bay after becoming bogged. This tank, along with another one, were discovered by advancing Australian troops on 29 August. The Japanese had removed the 37mm main gun from the turrets of both tanks before abandoning them (note the hole seen here).
AWM 026625 (Australian War Memorial)
A blast-damaged Kurogane Type 1 motor-tricycle found in one of the Japanese supply dumps around Lilihoa after they had evacuated. The Kurogane Type 1 was fitted out in two versions and came either as a personnel carrier, or as the cargo carrier depicted here.
AWM 026665 (Australian War Memorial)
The cargo ship Anshun lying on her side after being sunk by Japanese warships on the night of 6 September 1942. She was caught in the midst of unloading supplies at Gili Gili. The Australian Hospital Ship Manunda was also present in the Bay but was left alone after being identified as such by the Japanese ships.
AWM 026689 (Australian War Memorial)
A patrol from the 2/10th Australian Infantry Battalion goes over their route and objectives before setting out on their mission in September 1942. Although most of the surviving Japanese troops had been evacuated by 7 September, some stragglers were left behind and the Australians spent the rest of the month pursuing them.
AWM 059472 (Australian War Memorial)
A Papuan labour gang of the Australian Malarial Control Unit digging a drainage trench in Milne Bay. In 1942 Milne Bay was rife with malaria and the situation was exacerbated by both the inexperience of the first Australian troops who arrived there, and the breakdown of pre-war malarial control measures in the area. In the aftermath of the battle the Australians sought to restore and improve those measures including the construction of proper drainage systems as shown here.
AWM 054058 (Australian War Memorial)
A bulldozer of the Royal Australian Engineers at work on the construction of a new jetty at Gili Gili, Milne Bay, in July 1943. After their victory in 1942 the Allies began to develop Milne Bay into a major base and staging point for later offensive operations in Papua and New Guinea.
AWM OG1469 (Australian War Memorial)
Allied shipping in Milne Bay, February 1944. The large number of ships present vividly illustrates how important Milne Bay became to the Allied war effort in New Guinea.
AWM ART27628 (Australian War Memorial)
William Dargie, RAAF Kittyhawk Squadron at Milne Bay, August-September 1942, 1969, oil on canvas, 154 x 275.3 cm, Australian War Memorial ART27628.
AWM ART23561 (Australian War Memorial)
Henry Hanke, Yauwila, 1944, oil on hardwood, 58.6 x 41.4 cm, Australian War Memorial ART23561.
AWM ART29707 (Australian War Memorial)
Roy Hodgkinson, Night patrol returning to base, 1942, crayon with charcoal, 52.7 x 68.3 cm, Australian War Memorial ART29707.


Printed on 07/15/2024 08:21:45 AM