79th Anniversary of the Battle of Mission Ridge – Brigade Hill, Kokoda Trail (6th Sept 1942 – 6th Sept 2021)

Today marks the 79th anniversary of the Battle of Mission Ridge – Brigade Hill (6th – 8th September 1942).

The Australians under the command of Brigadier Arnold Potts, after a successful delaying action at Isurava, occupy a second defensive position on Mission Ridge and Brigade Hill in the vicinity of Efogi.

Meanwhile, the Japanese South Seas Detachment continue their advance towards Port Moresby and come in contact with the Australians at Efogi. There, they attack on two fronts with three infantry battalions to dismantle the Australians.

Mission Ridge and Brigade Hill battle site (Image courtesy of the AWM)

Two Japanese battalions engage the Australians on Mission Ridge while one does a flanking maneuver which successfully cuts off and dislocates the Australian headquarters in the rear from its three battalions.

The Australians launch several counter attacks but are unsuccessful. They are forced to withdraw further down the track and through the remote and rugged jungle in an attempt to bypass the Japanese before rejoining their units weeks later.

During the Battle of Mission Ridge – Brigade Hill, 87 Australians are killed and 77 are wounded.

Those killed are buried in beautifully manicured graves while the missing are remembered with their names engraved on a splendid memorial for the missing at Bomana War Cemetery near Port Moresby.

Feature image courtesy of the AWM.

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