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Pacific Islands RegimentPrint Page Print this page

28-November-2015
28-November-2015

Photographs supplied by Ian Bevege

The plaque commemorates those who served with the Pacific Islands Regiment during World War Two. The plaque lcation is indicated by the red poppy in the second image. 

The Pacific Islands Regiment was formed in November 1944 from an amalgamation of the Papuan Infantry Battalion (PIB) and the 1st and 2nd New Guinea Infantry Battalions (NGIB). All members of the PIB were volunteers. When the Japanese invaded Papua in July 1942 there were 300 indigenous Papuans serving in the battalion. By the time it was incorporated within the Pacific Islands Regiment in 1944 it had a strength of 700 men.

In the early stages of the Kokoda campaign the PIB fought alongside the Australian 39th Battalion as part of Maroubra Force. The PIB's first engagement with the enemy occurred near Awala on 23 July 1942 when it participated in an ambush of Japanese troops advancing towards Kokoda. When the Australian 7th Division reinforced Maroubra Force, the PIB was organised into stretcher teams and assigned the vital task of carrying the sick and wounded back along the track to safety.

After Kokoda, the PIB took part in the advance to Salamaua, before fighting in New Guinea on the Huon peninsula, along the Markham, Ramu, and Sepik rivers, and on Bougainville.

In late 1943 New Guinea Force Headquarters, noting the success of the PIB, decided to create another battalion of indigenous soldiers. Made up largely of recruits enlisted at Malahang, near Lae, the NGIB was formed in March 1944 in the lower Markham valley. Indigenous New Guineans who had been in the PIB also joined the new battalion. A second NGIB was raised later in the same year. The 1st NGIB served on Bougainville and New Britain, and the 2nd NGIB fought alongside the Australian 6th Division in the Aitape-Wewak campaign. By the time it was disbanded in 1946 approximately 3,500 Papuans and New Guineans had served in the battalions of the Pacific Islands Regiment (PIR).

Location

Address:Fairbairn & Limestone Avenues, Captain Reg Saunders Courtyard, Australian War Memorial, Campbell, 2612
State:ACT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.280653
Long: 149.148229
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW2
Actual Event Start Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 15th May, 2007
Front Inscription

PACIFIC ISLANDS REGIMENT
To find a path
In memory of those who served in the Papuan Infantry
Battalion, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd New Guinea Infantry Battalions,
and the other units of the Pacific Islands Regiment during
the Second World War, and of those with the 1st and
2nd Battalions of the Pacific Islands Regiment who carried
 on the tradition.

LEST WE FORGET
DEDICATED BY THE PACIFIC ISLANDS REGIMENT ASSOCIATION

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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