Sequence of Events

Sequence of Events

Owen Stanley Range - Kokoda Track

1941

December 7 Japanese launch surprise attack on US naval fleet at Pearl Harbour.

1942

January 3 Australian 39th Battalion arrive in PNG.
January 23 Japanese invade Rabaul, New Britain, slaughtering captured Australian soldiers.
February 15 Singapore falls to the Japanese. 14,000 Australian soldiers taken captive.
April 18 General Douglas MacArthur appointed Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Military Forces in the Southwest Pacific area.
May 5 – 8 Battle of Coral Sea thwarts Japanese aims of invading Port Moresby by Sea.
July 21 Japanese land in force at Buna-Gona-Sanananda beach area and quickly head up the track.
July 22 First conflict on the track when Australian and Japanese troops meet at Awala, 40 kilometres north of Kokoda.
July 28-29 Japanese take Kokoda. Australians fall back to Deniki.
August 7 Allied troops land at Guadal Canal.
August 26 – 29 The Battle of Isurava was fought. The 39th and 53rd battalions are bolstered by the timely arrival of the 2nd AIF. Bruce Kingsbury’s actions won him the Victorian cross. Harold ‘Butch’ Bissett being mortally wounded died in his brothers arms.
September 6 – 8 The battle at Brigade hill was fought. Japanese over ran Australian position.
September 11 – 16 Battle of Ioribaiwa. This is as far as the Japanese advance came.
September 17 The Australians withdrew to Imita Ridge to make ‘a last stand to the death’. The Japanese never arrived.
September 24 Japanese withdrawal commences from Ioribaiwa.
September 27 Australians begin their advance.
October 16 – 29 Australians fight through stubborn Japanese resistance to clear Templetons Crossing-Eora Creek area.
November 3 Australian troops retake Kokoda unopposed.
November 5 – 12 Over 1000 Japanese troops are killed at the battle of Oivi-Gorari.
November 15 Battle for the Northern beaches commences. With the Japanese well entrenched 1522 Austalians are killed in the ensuing months with thousands more injured.

1943

January 21 Japanese resistance ceases in PNG.

1945

August 6 US drop atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
August 9 US drop atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
August 15 Japan surrenders unconditionally.

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