Lat 6° 43' 60S Long 147° 0'
0E Lae is located on the north coast of New Guinea bordering Huon Gulf in Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea. Also known as "Lae Town" or today as "Lae City".
On January 22,
1942 Australian forces evacuated Lae. On March 8, 1942 the Japanese landed at Malahang and occupied Lae, developing it into a base. As the war progressed,
Lae was the target of numerous Allied bombing missions to neutralize the area. Efforts to resupply and reinforce the garrison
at Lae were thwarted during the Battle
of the Bismarck Sea.
Japanese and Allied missions against Lae
February 5, 1942 - September 28, 1943
Operation "Postern" Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barbey's Task Force 76 landed the Australian 9th Division on the Huon Peninsula near Lae. On
16, 1943 the Australian 7th and 9th Divisions advanced towards Lae and found
the Japanese defenders weakened
from lack of food and short of ammunition, and abandoned many positions. The 9th Division lost 77 killed
and the 7th Division 38 killed in the advancing towards Lae. After liberation, Lae was developed into an Allied base area, and used until the end of the war.
war, Americans maintained a small presence in Lae until at least 1948.
There was an American 'holdout' in the Lae area until 1946
or 1947 named "Sticklefield" who was charged with desertion.
Anyone with additional information about this, email
Airfield (Lae Drome)
Prewar airfield built by the Australians. Occupied by the Japanese in early 1942 and used until liberation by the Allies in September 1943.
PNGDF Barracks in Lae.
Dakota Serial Number A65-122 (DC-3)
Displayed at the Lae Botanical Gardens
Cemetery and botanical gardens with Australian and Commonwealth graves.
A hill in the center of town. Used
as a lookout point by Germans and Japanese. Japanese riddled it with
caves and tunnels. The Australian Army closed the entrances
with explosives soon after they liberated Lae during late September
"I have heard that some brave souls have penetrated some of the tunnels
and found very little. Mt. Lunamin consists of
gravel, not rock and is unstable. Thus nobody has been
game enough to go in too far."
A scrap yard in Lae. Some wartime scrap has been melted unnoticed. Other relics, like the cockpit
area of a Ki-61 Tony fighter was discovered and exported by Classic Jet Museum in the early 1990's.
Located on the Huon Gulf north of Lae Airfield, the club is built
onto the site of the major dock area during the war. The bell of the s'Jacob is displayed near the bar.
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
February 9, 2018