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Papua-New Guinea:  July 1942-March 1943

Following the United States evacuation of the Philippines in March 1942 and despite the U.S. Navy's success at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May, the Japanese thought they could still take Port Moresby and Papau-New Guinea.  Along with Australian forces, General Douglas A. MacArthur, USA, began the land battles to keep the eastern part of the island from July to September at Kokoda Trail and Milne Bay, which was the first time a Japanese invasion force was thwarted.   Additional success came at the land campaign at Buna-Gona from September 1942 to January 1943.  As a result of the further success in the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Battle of Bismarck Sea, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto decided on the ill-fated "I" Operation in April 1943 to regain the offensive.  

Image:  NH 114461:   New Guinea:  WWII Battle Chart, July 1942-May 1945.  U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.