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  Boera Battery 
Australian Army
"Letter Battery"
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AWM April 15, 1944

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Justin Taylan 2004

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Barmarine 2009

Location
Lat 9° 24' 0S Long 147° 1' 0E  Located on the coast near Boera to the west of Port Moresby.

Construction
One of the Port Moresby Gun Batteries. Built on the coastal hills immediately behind Boera village. Construction began in late January - May 1943. After 'A' Australian Heavy Battery at Gill Gill (west of Alotau, Milne Bay) ceased to function on May 20, 1943 all equipment was transferred to Boera. Spread over several hills, the battery also had search light and support buildings nearby.  The water supply well was dug down 50 feet.

On June 11, 1943 under the supervision of Major Butterworth.  Firing exercises were carried out. On March 3, 1944 by Boera and Bootless Batteries. The battery was disassembled (guns, ammunition) were returned to Port Moresby and camp buildings demolished.

Gun Pit No 1
Single 155mm Howitzer was emplaced at this location in gun pits with a trolley to rotate the gun and camouflage net covering. Triangulation for fire was laid out on July 6, 1943 and the guns test fired on the following day with the first round fired from this gun at 15:07 hours.

Today, this turret is empty, but has a metal carriage for the rear of the gun to be rotated around. The gun pit is made from large stones and concrete to make up the walls. Several covered bunkers are located behind the gun for shell storage.

Gun Pit No 2
Single 155mm Howitzer was emplaced at this location in gun pits with a trolley to rotate the gun and camouflage net covering. Triangulation for fire was laid out on July 6, 1943 and the guns test fired on the following day.

Today, this turret is empty, but has a metal carriage for the rear of the gun to be rotated around. The gun pit is made from large stones and concrete to make up the walls. A covered bunker is to the side of the bunker, for shell storage. The metal carriage for the rear of the gun is still present in the pit.

Tower & Fortifications
A two story 'tower' is located between the two guns, with covered bunkers to each side. On the second story of the tower is a pedestal, probably for mounting an anti-aircraft weapon, or binoculars, etc. Nearby, there is a concrete air raid trench with stairs for entry.

Buildings & Shelters
There is an underground building built into one of the hillsides, probably for shell storage, with a metal I beam roof, and holes for ventilation. A second building is only partially built into the hillside, its roof (presumably metal sheets) is missing. 

Shells
In nearby Boera village, locals have collected many abandoned 155mm shells from the battery, some with fuses still attached. The brass shell casings are missing, probably removed and sold for scrap.

Today
This too is a remarkable site, well preserved in its entirety. The supporting search light positions are all easily identified and the gun emplacements seemingly need only the guns to be reinstalled to make them effective once again.

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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