Australian Papua

Full Name 73 Territory of Papua
Alliance Allies - Minor Member Nation or Possession
Possessing Power Australia
Entry into WW2 3 Sep 1939


ww2dbaseIn 1883, the United Kingdom claimed the southeastern quarter of New Guinea Island, creating a protectorate in the following year. In 1888, British New Guinea was officially formed with Port Moresby as its capital. In 1906, five years after Australian gained Dominion status, the British turned over the territory over to the Australians, who renamed the territory Papua, a name originated from the 16th Century explorer Don Jorge de Meneses. In the opening chapters of WW2, Australian Territory of New Guinea to the north and Dutch New Guinea to the west were taken by the Japanese, and Australian Papua became the aim of the Japanese subsequent operations. In Mar 1942, Japanese troops landed at Lae and Salamaua on the northern coast. In Jul 1942, after the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, Japanese Navy lost the offensive momentum, and the Japanese Army embarked on an ambitious over-land invasion toward Port Moresby over the treacherous Kokoda Track through the Owen Stanley Mountain Range, with a second prong of the attack landing on the coast of Milne Bay to the east. To support this effort, Japanese bombers from Rabaul, New Britain harrased the Allied airfields at Port Moresby. At a high cost, Australian troops fended off the Japanese attack at Milne Bay by Sep 1942, and Allied fighters gradually won the battle of attrition in the skies over Papua. Although the Japanese were able to reach within sight of Port Moresby, the combined Australian-American defensive efforts were able to turn back the offensive. By Jan 1943, Allied troops captured the Japanese supply ports on the northern coast of Papua, ending the Japanese threat on Papua.

ww2dbaseIn 1942, the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit was formed to provide efficient war-time civilian leadership over the two separate Australian territories in eastern New Guinea island, the Territory of New Guinea to the north and Australian Papua to the south. After the war, the Papua New Guinea Provisional Administration Act of 1945-1946 was passed, officially creating a single administrative body, although the two territories were still separate. In 1949, the Papua and New Guinea Act was passed, creating a single entity named the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. In 1972, self government was granted, leading up to the 1975 independence of the nation of Papua New Guinea.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Dec 2012

Events Taken Place in Australian Papua
New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 28 Mar 1942 - 4 Mar 1943
New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 330 Sep 1943 - 23 May 1945

Dobodura AirfieldAir Base


WW2-Era Weather Data for Australian Papua


Australian Army engineers with a captured Daihatsu-class landing craft, Milne Bay, Sep 1942RAAF Squadron Leader Keith W “Bluey” Truscott taxiing his P-40E Kittyhawk along the Marston Mats at Milne Bay Fighter Strip #3, Milne Bay, New Guinea, Sep 1942.B-17 Flying Fortress bomber USAAF A-20 Havoc aircraft attacking a Japanese airfield at a low altitude, Lae, New Guinea, circa 1943; note G4M bomber on the ground
See all 49 photographs of Australian Papua in World War II

Australian Papua in World War II Interactive Map

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
9 Apr 2013 12:56:04 AM

Papua, New Guinea became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1975

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Australian Papua in World War II Photo Gallery
Australian Army engineers with a captured Daihatsu-class landing craft, Milne Bay, Sep 1942
See all 49 photographs of Australian Papua in World War II

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