The sky over the Nadzab Tomodachi International Airport just outside Lae city was invaded today by two C- 17A Globemaster transport aircrafts dropping down man on parachutes and cargoes as if to overrun and take control of the airfield, but it’s not that, rather it’s a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the allied landing at Nazab during World War Two.
Speaking at the significant ceremony today at Nadzab, the Australian Acting High Commissioner, Dr. Joanne Loundes, gave a brief history of what happened all those years ago that turned the tide in the Pacific War against imperial Japan.
She said 80 years ago, 302 United States (US) aircrafts from 8 airfields and 6 US destroyers worked together to capture the port of Lae and on that day, 34 Australian paratroopers along with their US counterparts dropped down from their aircrafts to secure the Nadzab airfield to turn it over to the hands of the allied forces.
“This is a story of partnership and cooperation, and working together, the soldiers played a key role in securing this important airfield, enabling the liberation of Lae,” the Acting High Commissioner said.
“The Papuan Infantry Battalion, which in time will become the predecessor of the modern PNG Defence Force, played an important role in supporting the operation, by working to prepare the airfield for allied aircrafts to land.”
However, 80 years have gone since those days of war and in this modern times, these ties and cooperation continues to remain as strong as it was in those days.
“Our defence and security relationship with Papua New Guinea (PNG) remains as close and as mutually reinforcing as ever. Our shared commitment to peace and security has not faltered and nor have we lost sight of the fundamental truth of war, is no path to peace.”
PC: Emmanuel MaipeShe said while it is important to commemorate heroic operations from the past, it is important to point out that everyone and every country has the responsibility to prevent wars from happening. Wars only bring about destruction and disharmony in the global community and affecting the basics to enable the survival of humans on this planet.
Meanwhile, present at the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the landings, were delegates from the Japan Embassy in PNG, the United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand, PNG and Australia.