Monument to honour fallen war heroes

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday 30th May 2013

 A monument has been erected at Madang’s famous Kalibobo lighthouse to remember a group of Australian soldiers who were based and fought there during World War 2.

Thirty-six Australian soldiers known as the “Fallen Coast Watchers” were members of the 5th Australian Division that was a platoon of the 30th battalion and a patrol of the 57th of the 60th battalion who defeated a small Japanese rearguard and entered Madang on April 24 1944.

The monument stated that not only did the coast watchers transmitted by means of tele-radio from their jungle hideouts and sank many enemy ships but were also able to give timely warning of impending air attacks.

They were remembered for their contribution towards the allied victory in the Pacific as a small body of men who constituted the coast watchers was out of all proportion to their numbers.  

Also remembered were the war victims who died in jungles and mountains of Madang, including loyal natives who assisted in providing intelligence vital to the conduct of the allied operations.

The erection of the monument was done by public subscription and the Commonwealth Government in 1959.

Lae Builders Construction in Madang was engaged to construct the monument.

“It has taken us five weeks now to put this monument up and we’ll soon complete it,” foreman Rex Wawe said.