Turnbull thanks PNGeans

Native Papua New Guineans who helped the Australian Army in 1942 received praise from Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull visited Isurava Memorial Site in Northern Province and Bomana War Cemetery in Port Moresby during his state visit to Papua New Guinea, speaking highly of the comradeship. 

“Australia freedom depends on courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice of those Australians and Papua New Guineans who stood together and held back the Japanese advancement,” Turnbull said yesterday.

“Three times the Japanese tried to take Port Moresby, rebuffed the battle of the Coral Sea and held back at Kokoda Track, rebuffed again, and defeated at the battle of Milne Bay.

“Here we have the largest number of Australia War dead in any single war dead cemetery…

 “75 years ago, Australia was unprepared to defend itself; all our best and trained soldiers were sent abroad, reserved soldiers were sent here to defend the Kokoda Track,” the PM said.

“This men with very little training rose to the occasion and kept Australia free, in the most horrific conditions, jungles they have ever encountered, in mountains and galley that have never been mapped, they were supported by the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, supported by the Papua Infantry Battalion, supported by the men and women of this country, were able to hold back a large and experienced Japanese army.”

 The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels was the name given by Australian soldiers to a group of Papua New Guineans who, during World War II, assisted and escorted injured Australian troops down the Kokoda trail.

The Australian PM departed Port Moresby this morning.

Charles Yapumi