A train trip from Thirroul to International Airport station via Wolli Creek. Then overnight at Rydges at Sydney Airport and then flying tomorrow to Jacksons International Airport Port Moresby. It was in PNG where Dad (Cyril Ross Adams) served in WW2 in the 2/16th Battalion 21st Brigade 7th Division.
We will be travelling with Kokoda Trek and Tours with Frank Taylor on their Milne-Bay-Kokoda-Beaches tour. A schematic of the Beachhead battles can be viewed here. So we’ll be visiting Port Moresby, Kokoda, Owers Corner, Popondetta, Milne Bay and the Northern BeachHeads of Buna, Gona and Sanananda Track to Huggins Road Block – the work of the American 126th Regiment (Asisbiz, MedalsGoneMissing, DVA Papua 1942 – 1943, US Army in WWII – Victory in Papua).
Port Moresby has the Bomana CGWC military cemetery, which is where four of my extended family network lie :
- McKenzie Family : Joseph Montague “Monty” Dwyer – 2/12th AIF 18th Brigade – killed at Milne Bay and initially buried there
- Hicks Family Connection : Allan Vincent Charles Hurlock – 2/14th AIF 21st Brigade – killed at Gona and initially buried there
- Hicks Family : Herbert Charles “Bert” Rogers – 2/2nd AIF 16th Brigade 6th Division – killed on the Sanananda Track area and buried at Soputa before Bomana
- Hicks Family : Lyle Hicks – 2/9th AIF 18th Brigade 6th Division – killed at Cape – killed at Cape Endaiadere near Buna and initially buried there
There are also over 30 men with Illawarra connections who lie or are commemorated at Bomana Cemetery in Port Moresby.
Dad had ensured each of his kids had a copy of WW2 War Correspondent Malcolm Uren’s 1000 Men at War – the story of the 2/16th Battalion in WW2 – he didn’t really talk too much about his war time experiences. I guess he hoped we might gain an understanding by reading the book. It’s a long read, and sometimes it gets a bit confusing with respect to dates of events – so the official 2/16th Battalion Diary available online at the AWM website is a godsend at times.
Mum had a number of books on the New Guinea campaign in WW2 and I have read most of them. I borrowed Essence of Kokoda from the local library. And more recently I found the book, “Battle for the Beachheads” and it explains the Buna-Gona-Sanananda campaign most succinctly.
- Bomana – Kokoda Trekkers article including listing of those buried there
- PNG Forum – The Battle of the Beachheads – article
- PNG Forum – Bomana article – listing including listing of those buried there
- Dr Karl James excellent Kokoda-Report on the Kokoda Track – including the various war cemeteries
- Memorials in PNG
- Map of Northern Beachheads – Buna Sanananda, Cape Endaiadere
- An American perspective
- Rickard, J (20 November 2008), Battle of Sanananda, 19 November 1942-22 January 1943 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_sanananda.html
- Memories from a Grandfather