Aim to conserve war relics


A GROUP aims to conserve the Dobuduru airdrome which contains war relics and aircraft bunkers from World War II.
Northern Beach campaign committee leader Pol Toki told The National that it was the aerodrome used by allied forces to fight the Japanese along the beaches of Northern.
Northern beaches is a zone consisting of Gona, Cape Killerton, Sanananda, Buna, Siremi, Hariko, Hanau and Dobuduru.
They are villages in the Oro Bay local level government constituency called Cape Killerton.
Dobuduru is where the allied forces built the airstrip to fly in supplies and ammunition in 1942.
“Dobuduru airdrome is located just next to Girua Airport (in Popondetta) – about 13km away from the battle of Beach head and the battle of Bloody Buna,” Toki said.
Toki said the battle of Beach head to this day had never been seriously promoted.
“People talk about Bloody Buna Bay, but Battle of Beach head is where the allied force were landing and Japanese army were already fortified on that point,” Toki said.
“They repelled the landing of the allied forces and that battle was lost.
“Allied forces lost that battle. They (Allied forces) came from behind to Soputa and attacked the Japanese from the back through swamp and the last battle was fought and the battle was called Bloody Buna Bay because they fought with hands, and binate.”
The first landing at Gona by the Japanese to capture Port Moresby via Kokoda was an imminent threat to Australians.
The Kokoda Track was used by the Japanese to capture Port Moresby then launch a military offensive to take over Australia.
In response to this, Australia sent its soldiers to defend its borders.
At Ioribaiva, the Japanese advancement to the Southern Beaches was impeded and driven back to the Northern Beaches via Kokoda.
The final battle in 1942 was the Allied attack on the Japanese beachheads in Northern Papua – Buna, Gona and Sanananda.
Northern Beaches is, therefore, synonymous with WWII because of the fierce fighting between Japanese and the Allied forces during 1942.
It basically features historical names such as Buna, Gona and Sanananda where the war was fiercely fought.
Toki said the Dobuduru airdrome along the Northern beaches and the relics have become a war heritage for tourism products that must be preserved to promote tourism industry.
The war relics found on the site include, aircraft parts, jeeps, trooper vehicles, and tags of dead soldiers.

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