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    Ioribaiwa Central Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Location
Ioribaiwa village is located on a ridge line along the Kokoda Trail in the Owen Stanley Mountains at an elevation of roughly 4,429'. Located roughly 26 miles north of Port Moresby and a day's march from Uberi.

Wartime History
The Australian Army, 21st Brigade withdrew to this location from Efogi after defensive battles at Menari and Nauro. As the depleted remnants of the 2/14th and 2/16th Battalions struggled back to the ridge on September 11, 1942 they met the first elements of the 25th Brigade which was moving forward to take offensive action.

As advancing Japanese probed the position, the 3rd, 2/25th, 2/31st and 2/33rd Battalions plus the 2/14th and 2 /16th Composite Battalion were deployed across the ridge. On September 14, 1942 Brigadier Ken Eather, C.O. of the 25th Brigade, took over from Brigadier Porter. On September 15, 1942 Japanese made determined Japanese attacks which were defeated. The next day Eather ordered the Australians to withdraw to Imita Ridge by evening with only a small covering force.

On September 16, 1942 the Japanese occupied Ioribaiwa. War correspondent Seizo Okada arriving at Ioribaiwa"The sea! It's the sea of Port Moresby! Wild with joy, the soldiers who were stained all over with mud and blood, threw themselves into each others arms and wept". Out of supplies they found little in the area. As of September 23, their positions came under fire from Australian 25 Pounder guns at Owers' Corner. The remainig Japanese forces were ordered to withdraw back to the north coast.

On September 28, 1942 the Australians occupied Ioribaiwa and found it abandoned by the enemy, including a dump area with 75mm mountain gun shells.

Afterwards, Ioribaiwa village was used by Australian forces advancing northward in pursuit of the Japanese. During April 1944 used as the Ioribaiwa Signal Camp for the 18th Australian Lines of Communication Signals and as a regimental aid post.

References
Field Guide to the Kokoda Track

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Map
Map 1999

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