Buna, Sanananda and Gona We commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign in 2017. While we value its significance, there was very little focus on the battles of Buna, Sanananda and Gona. Many Allied soldiers fought there in a bloodbath against stubborn Japanese defenders from November 1942 - January 1943, and Australia casualties totalled over 3000 troops at the end of all the fighting. Visiting the beachheads You may plan to visit Buna, Sanananda and Gona one day to see where the battles were fought or to trace the path of a loved one. And we'll get you to see all three locations unless you have a reason to tour one area. You'll get to the beachheads in a 4WD or by banana boat from Gona or Oro Bay. We cannot access all the villages by vehicle because the roads have deteriorated over the years and are almost impassable. Some sections are waterlogged and churned into a morass that can go up to waist height from constant use by vehicles. When you get there, you'll be accommodated in a beautiful village guesthouse. First Japanese landings The Japanese first landed at Gona on 21st July 1942. Terrified locals witnessed the arrival of great transports escorted by warships. Thousands of troops disembarked with their equipment and began advancing inland. Three Anglican Church missionaries at Gona namely Reverend James Benson, nurse May Hayman and teacher Mavis Parkinson fled to safety. They met up with soldiers of the Papuan Infantry Battalion (PIB) and a downed American pilot but the group was later captured and killed by the invaders. The Reverend was said to have been found alive three years later. He kept a secret diary which tells of their ordeal at the hands of the Japanese. After Gona is the village of Sanananda.
Buna, Sanananda and Gona We commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign in 2017. While we value its significance, there was very little focus on the battles of Buna,