The Kokoda Track | Australians in World War II | The Pacific War

Exploring the site of the battle fought by Australians in World War II

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Four Peoples at War

The Australians

Australians from all states and territories served in Papua...

Kalikodobu, New Guinea. October 1942 N157031 Lieutenant C.G.D. Butler (left) and two other members of the party of the 2/14th Infantry Battalion which were cut off from the main body of troops near Myola during the withdrawal across the Owen Stanley Ranges. In the final stages of the withdrawal in August the party used rafts built by friendly natives to move down the Kemp-Welch River to safety after being in the jungle 42 days. [AWM 069242]
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Several hundred of them were either born there or had worked there but the great majority came from mainland Australia as members of two branches of the Australian Military Forces; the Citizen Military Force and the Australian Imperial Force. The former was, from 1940, a part conscript, part volunteer force obliged to serve in Australia and its territories. The latter was an all volunteer force raised in 1939.

About 1800 Australians served in the Royal Australian Air Force in operations relating to the Papuan campaign. The majority were based at airfields in far north Queensland. The Royal Australian Navy guarded the sea communications from Australia and maintained a coastal supply line from Port Moresby to Milne Bay and later along the north coast of Papua.