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PLAQUE NO. 54 ... BUNA

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Buna was part of a concentrated 20 km long coastal defensive position which was held by 9,000 Japanese against the advancing Australian and American forces in November 1942.

When Buna village was first attacked by the Americans on 16 November, 1942, little ground was taken. New command and reinforcements resulted in more small gains, and by 14 December the Japanese evacuated Buna moving to new positions in plantations to the East, the Australians renewed the attack and with tank support they broke through the Japanese defences. On 1 January 1943, a combined Australian and American assault made further gains and three days later fighting ceased. So ferocious had been the fighting that from the original Japanese force of almost 2000 men only 6 were captured, 9000 Americans and 3000 Australians fought at Buna and of these 2900 became battle casualties.

The combined fighting at Buna, Sananada and Gona cost the lives of 1500 Australians, 670 Americans and an estimated 4000 Japanese. The courage of the soldiers of both sides who fought here is undisputed and their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Land provided by the Sunamba clan and arranged by Lascam Ekeba.

 



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