Kokoda Track -Brigade Hill

On Brigade Hill

Chow time on Brigade Hill

 

Brigadier Arnold Potts was faced with superior Japanese numbers and chose the area to make a stand; Brigade Hill.  This impressive mountain ridge, about half-way along the Track, with Mission Ridge extending from its north face [south of Efogi]; the eastern side has a steep drop and the west slopes down to the Fagume River.

A Company, 2/14 Infantry Battalion, August 1942

A Company, 2/14 Infantry Battalion, August 1942

On 6 September, the forward observation from the 2/14, Australia’s Maroubra Force, were unnerved by the sight of lanterns used by the Japanese moving down the over Efogi village.  The enemy proceeded to encircle the troops.  At first light on 8 September, Lance Corporal John Gill was shot by a sniper.  The battle for Headquarters Company had begun, units were cut off and the enemy caused heavy casualties.  A withdrawal was ordered.  The Japanese Nankai Shitai Force, under MGen. Horii, has pushed them into retreat.

Naduri to Efogi, today

Naduri to Efogi, today

The 2/14 and 2/16 of the Brigade were reinforced with the 2/27, who took the frontline of their defenses.  Heavy fire from the Japanese artillery signalled the start of the new battle as the enemy 3/144th (i.e. 3rd Battalion/144th Regiment), assaulted head-up Mission Ridge.

While this occurred, the Japanese 2/144, led by a Papuan guide, moved along the Fagume River before scaling the precipitous western slope of Brigade Hill.  By morning, the enemy had reached the summit and cut off the forward unit.  Potts felt the situation was hopeless and ordered a withdrawal.  The retreat was disorderly as the exhausted Maroubra Force faced its darkest moment.  The 2/27th Battalion was lost as a fighting force and endured 3 weeks of suffering as the scattered remnants slowly trudged through the jungle in an attempt to rejoin their comrades.

Brigade Hill

Brigade Hill

A week after the Japanese victory, at the next battle at Iribaiwa, less than half the Australians who had fought at Brigade Hill were able to take part.  However, this would now mark the extent of the Japanese advance.  From secure positions occupied on Imita Ridge, the Australians were soon able to re-group and launch their long-awaited counter-attack.  The bravery of their countrymen who fought at Brigade Hill helped to inspire them as they pushed forward in late September.

Condensed from:
Nick Anderson
Australian Army History Unit

A typical jungle downpour

A typical jungle downpour – you can see why I usually don’t bother to show it…..

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – Budget cuts – 

Distribution of new G.I. supplies is might skimpy.

Distribution of new supplies is a might skimpy.

elastic_range

Training at the new elastic firing range.

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Charles Berkhousen – St. Johns, MI; US Army, WWII, POW

Robert Nathaniel Copes – Greeley, CO; US Navy, Lt.Cmdr., Annapolis, WWII, Vietnam

Alvin Hagans Jr. – WPalm Beach, FL; US Army, WWII, ETO, truck driveranzac-day-wreath-

Charles Johnson – Charleston, SC; US Air Force, Lt.Col. (Ret.), WWII, Korea, Vietnam

Mary Doyle Keefe – Connecticut; civilian model for “Rosie the Riveter”

Horace ‘Red’ MacCaulay – Mississauga, CAN; RC Air Force, Major (Ret.),WWII, 406th Squadron

William Mullaney – Watertown, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 11th A/B Div., PTO

Ian Owens – Papakura, NZ; RNZ Army # 329592, L/Corps

Milton Stearns Jr. – Gladwyne, PA; US Navy, Lt.JG, WWII, PTO, LST 826 navigator

Charles Pearl Warden – Eaton, CO; US Navy, Chief Petty Off., Korea, frogman, Bronze Star

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on April 23, 2015, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Always interesting posts and photos of the past. Those men looked so young and innocent, out there defending our liberties. Then and now, it still is sad, but we should be proud and appreciative of their sacrifices, thanks for sharing.

    Like

  2. It is such a sad thing for so many young lives to be chopped off in a never ending attempt to put an end to war. It is like a cancer in our lives that can never be cured. The heroic efforts of so many young men only to have to do it all over again and again and again and —–

    Liked by 2 people

    • Our best go in to keep us safe from the inadequacies of our politicians. You would think by now they would be truly ashamed to send our troops out again!

      Like

  3. Looking at a few of the old guys here from Kokoda battles, you can see their experiences etched in their faces.
    Thanks for that excerpt on Brigade hill, a tortuous experience it had to have been.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brings it all home even more. What did Wellington say—words to the effect of “That was a near-run thing!”?

    Those cartoons: with your permission I’d like to reblog ’em (and they’ll be in some very good company). 🙂

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  5. Those comics are hilarious, but heart-breaking, too.

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  6. Wünsche ein gutes wwe-kend lieber Gruß Gislinde

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  7. I am constantly amazed at the lack of supplies sent to the men we sent to serve our country. Shame on the U.S.

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  8. What a world. Same problem, different enemy. I don’t know if I feeal any safer for all the human cost.

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    • I know what you mean – now – thanks to many of our lenient laws and good-will, the enemy lives next door to us and all around. You never know where or when he’ll strike.

      Like

  9. Wow. That certainly gave what one might describe as a ‘little spot of bother, what!’

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  10. Thanks for this post on the bravery and tenaciousness of the Australian soldiers fighting against overwhelming odds!

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    • You are very welcome, Peter. I try to find as much as I can on everyone that participated in fighting for our freedoms, just sometimes the historians and records keepers make it difficult. That’s why I rely so much on reader contributions – it makes this site a part of everyone.

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  11. Another entry in the “hadn’t heard of this” category. I’ve been busy lately, slacking off on commenting but I’ve enjoyed every post (as always).

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  12. Mission Ridge

    Missionary Ridge, Gettysburg came to mind immediately.

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  13. An interesting post GP… the Japanese were ruthless.

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    • The originally trained Army, Navy and Air Force personnel were trained extremely well. FDR had inflicted a blockade on Japan – so they were fighting for survival – that can make a person ruthless. I appreciate you coming this morning, Norma. [oops! ^^’ it is evening for you, isn’t it!]

      Liked by 1 person

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