8° 40' 0S Long 148° 24' 0E Village located along the coast of New Guinea.
of the pre-war government headquarters, known as
Buna Station. Japanese seaplanes attacked
in mid-July [ Account by Allan Champion, Resident Magistrate ]
Japanese landed at Buna on the
night of July 21-22,
1942. They advanced
to Popondetta then onto the Kokoda Trail.
Japanese General Horii arrived at Buna on August 18, 1942. At the height of their campaign, they had 16,000
this region alone.
Their aim was to capture Port
Moresby over the mountains, but were
met by Australian forces on the Kokoda Trail. Buna became part
of a concentrated 20km of defensive positions at Buna, Sanananda
and Gona defended by 9,000 Japanese.
July 23, 1942 - January 23, 1943
Australian & American Offensive
Japanese defenders had built extensive defenses
around the Buna area. The defenders were commanded by Col.
Hiroshi Yamamoto, and approximately 2,000 troops including fresh reinforcements
from the 144th Infantry Regiment and 3rd Battalion of 229th Infantry.
The village of Buna was first attacked on November 16, 1942, but
little gains were made. More reinforcements were sent forward and
American General relieved further small gains were made. By December
14, 1942 the Japanese had abandoned the village and were occupying
positions in the former coconut plantation to the east at Jiropa Plantation.
A total of 3,000 Australians from the 18th Australian
Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Wootten, and a squadron of the
2/6th Australian Armoured Regiment equipped with M3
Stuart tanks from Milne Bay were brought forward to Buna
along with US Army reinforcements of 9,000 troops from the 32nd
Infantry Division. Together, they succeeded in breaking through
the defenses on January 1, 1943, and by January 3rd the fighting
had ended. The
ferocious fighting saw only six Japanese prisoners captured and
the garrison annihilated.
First Tank Battle In Papua
At Cape Endaiadere on December
18, 1942 at 7am, the Australians 2/9th Battalion, supported by seven
tanks attacked towards Cape Endaiadere
with the Americans on their left in support advanced
north through the Americans, on a front of about 600 yards and with
the sea on their right. However, the left company, attacking
without tanks lost more than half its eighty-seven men in
an advance of only about 100 yards and was pinned down. The
attack did not resume
until after the arrival of three tanks in the afternoon.
The battalion lost 171 officers and men, about half the
strength of the attacking
companies. Two tanks were disabled on the battlefield.
At 7 am on 20 December the 2/9th Battalion reinforced by a company
of the 2/10th Battalion on the right with an American battalion on
the left continued the advance. With air support and four tanks spaced
among the Australian infantry they moved through the coconut plantation
without great opposition and by 10 am were advancing into the bush
and kunai grass clothing the marshy country beyond the plantation.
The tanks bogged down and were only able to travel along the beach.The
attackers came under heavy mortar and machine-gun fire. The advance
ended on the general line along the Simemi Creek.
There were 1,400 Japanese buried at Buna, The fighting on
the beachheads cost 1,500 Australians, 670 Americans and an
estimated 4,000 Japanese. The US
32nd Division sustained 1,954 casualties; 466 killed and 1508 wounded.
In sixteen days the 18th Brigade had lost 55 officers and 808
men, including 22 officers and 284 others killed.
Airfield (Old Strip)
Initially built by Australians, just prior to the Japanese invasion of the area. It became a battlefield in December 1942, and was the site of several abandoned aircraft.
Buna New Strip (New Strip, Dummy Strip)
Japanese begun construction of this second runway, never developed by the Allies
Stuart M3 Tank 2300
Engine compartment destroyed by magnetic
recovered for the PNG
Stuart M3 Tank
Disabled near Cape Endaiadere, recovered
for the Australian War Memorial 1973
Pilot Sayer, shot down September 23, 1942
Mark IIIA Serial
Pilot McDonald, crashed November 26, 1942
of the pre-war Buna Government Station.
Buna Village (Old Village)
The old village of Buna is located a mile to the west of the
Buna government station
The Triangle (Bloody Triangle)
Nickname given to the Buna area by Americans of the 32nd
Plantation (Giropa Point, Giropa Plantation)
Pre-war coconut palm plantation.
Located between Giropa Point and Cape Endaiadere.
Endaiadere (Maggot Beach)
Cape located to the east of Strip Point.
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January 22, 2013