Milne Bay Memorial Library and Research Centre

The Battle of Milne Bay

The Battle of Milne Bay, in Papua New Guinea in August/September 1942 involved Australian, American and Japanese military forces. It was a part of the Battle for Australia campaign.

The Dept of Veterans' Affairs Japanese landing and defeat at Milne Bay page has a good geographical representation of the Battle by phases with animated Battalion, aircraft and ship movements, and artillery fire. Click on the "Flash animation" link to watch the show.

RAAF 75 and 76 Squadrons played a key role in the Battle. They provided effective close air support with their Kittyhawk aircraft.

The furthest west that the Japanese advanced was to Number 3 Airstrip. They attacked it on 31 August 1942 but then withdrew. A palm tree stump marked their furthest west location at the Airstrip.



Turnbull Airfield Palm Stump
Corporal John French VC     [Aust War Memorial 100643]

Corporal John French, of the 2/9th Battalion, was killed in the Battle on 4 September 1942 and awarded the Victoria Cross.

MajGen Cyril Clowes  CBE  DSO MC     [Aust War Memorial 013337]

Major General Cyril Clowes was the Commander of Milne Force. The Wartime magazine had a feature article on his role at the Battle.

Sequence of events report

Below are the Milne Bay Action - Sequence Of Events report pages. It was written by Major J Mahoney, the Brigade Major of 7th Infantry Brigade. [click on each page to enlarge]