2011 Kokoda Day commemorated in Sydney

KOKODA DAY SPEECH BY BRIGADIER PHIL McNAMARA CSC ESM (Retired)
Chairman, Network Kokoda  www.networkkokoda.org

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are gathered here today to commemorate the raising of the Australian Flag at Kokoda Village on 3rd  November 1942, 69 years ago today by Major General George Vasey, the Commander of the Australian 7th Division.  This event symbolised the turning of the tide in the war against Japan and was warmly acclaimed by both the Australian soldiers present and the group of PNG carriers and Kokoda villagers in attendance.

Japanese plans for a seaborne invasion of Port Moresby had been thwarted bu Australian and American naval forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May 1942 and the battle of Midway in early June 1942.  This left them with the only option of a land assault over the Owen Stanley Ranges via the Kokoda Trail.  Their infantry forces started landing on the beach at Gona on 21st July 1942. [Read more…]