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ANZAC 100 focuses on the Kokoda Track

Date : 05 / 07 / 2015
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

During WWII along a narrow 96 kilometre track over the rugged Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea, 625 Australians were killed and over 1,000 wounded. The Battle of Kokoda Track lasted four-months following the enemy landing in July 1942, and was one the most significant battles fought by the Australian Military Forces. It will be commemorated twice in the WIA ANZAC 100 program. The Eastern Mountain District Radio Club has the WIA-issued callsign VI3ANZAC, for a week from July 20.

The Kokoda Memorial Track in the Dandenong Ranges National Park at Ferntree Gully in Melbourne’s outer-east is to be part of the VI3ANZAC commemoration, with other EMDRC activity from its club rooms in Burwood. Victorian veterans of the Kokoda campaign adopted the park as their memorial site, because of the similarity of its 1,000 steps to the first 100 metres of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea.

The ‘Kokoda Track Memorial Walk' in Ferntree Gully with its 14 plaques represents an area of historical significance. Vincent Henderson VK7VH will also be air as VK100WIA in Hobart on July 21, the day in 1942 when the enemy landed at Gona on the Papua north coast. Australians and Papuans stopped the invaders reaching Port Moresby. The extraordinary event was on hot and humid days, with cold nights, torrential rainfall and tropical diseases. The enemy was within 40 kilometres of Port Moresby that was vital to Australia’s defence. However, in a series of costly engagements, they were pushed back and abandoned their plan. This action was captured in a newsreel filmed by Damien Parer. Now part of our history it links Australian soldiers and the Papuans, who we call the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels because of their supportive actions and frizzy hair.

All of the ANZAC 100 events are on the WIA website. Additional ANZAC-suffixed callsign events are invited to join. For more information on this please contact the WIA Director Fred Swainston VK3DAC.



 

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