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Image caption
General view of Port Moresby harbour showing shipping facilities and a portion of the township, July 1942.
Image attribution
Australian War Memorial. Artist: Geoffrey Mainwaring, 1962, oil on canvas, 174.5 cm x 312.5 cm x 10.7 cm, ART27547.
Further reading list

...three Japanese fighters surprised me and shot my plane to bits. ... The aircraft was a mass of holes, windscreen all shot away and on fire. Crashed into the sea about three quarters of a mile off land near village. Aircraft sank in a few seconds."


The strategic position of Port Moresby

The US officially entered the Second World War after Japan bombed Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941. Japan wanted to expand its territory across South-East Asia and the Pacific. The Allied forces—especially Australia and the US—wanted to prevent this.

On 23 January 1942, Japanese forces invaded Rabaul, in northern New Guinea. Several thousand soldiers and civilians, including nearly 1,200 Australians, died as a result.

Papua New Guinea
Battle terrain
Jungle warfare
Personal experiences of war
Everyday life during WW2