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  Basalisk Battery (Basalisk Fortress)
Australian Army
"Letter Battery"

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Kell Nielsen1973

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Justin Taylan 2003

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Justin Taylan 2005

Location
Basalisk Battery is located to the west of Port Moresby, overlooking Fairfax Harbor, Idlers bay and Fisherman's (Daugo) Island. Accessible by road via Roku or by boat from Idlers bay. Also known as Basalisk Fortress or Basalisk Gun Fortress.

Construction
Built during April to August 1944, by the Australian Army, 8th Army Troops Company. This Battery had emplacements for three 5.25" Mark II guns, but only two guns were installed. Gun No. 1 was built first and Gun no. 2 was completed on August 17, 1944. An observation post was built on the hilltop surrounded by three gun emplacements. On the reverse slope bunkers for ammunition storage, generators and accommodation were built.

Wartime History
One of the "letter" batteries built in 1944 to strengthen the coastal fortifications to defend the Port Moresby area. Manned Australian Army 801st Anti-Aircraft & Coastal Artillery.

Gun No 1
This mount is located furthest to the east.  There is a underground armory and room for generator to the side of the gun.  The bunkers are all empty.

Gun No 2
This mount is located furthest to the west. There is a underground armory and a generator room behind the gun. The battery is empty, although the concrete mounting plate for the generator is still present in that room, and the metal railing for the stairs leading downward.

Bunker Complex
A large concrete bunker dominates the top of the hill.  It has several rooms areas, and from its roof offers commanding views of the two gun areas, and also a view port for firing small arms at anyone approaching from the seaward side. All rooms are empty.

Bunkers B29, B30, B31
There are three rectangular buildings on the reverse slope of the hill, these buildings have B29, B30 and B31 painted on their exteriors. B29 and B31 have large windows and doorways. B30 is the largest, and has only one doorway for entry, and a ventilation system, probably this one was for shell storage.  All these buildings are empty.

Postwar
After the war, the guns were removed and the battery abandoned.

Today
Basalisk Battery remains intact.

References
The 'Letter' Batteries by Reg Kidd & Ray Neal details the history of this gun battery
The Coastal Gun Batteries of Port Moresby - Then & Now by John Douglas

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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