Milne ForcePrint Page
A monument commemorates Milne Force which served in New Guinea during World War Two.
Milne Force was a garrison force formed in July 1942 during World War Two which controlled allied naval, land and air units in the region of Milne Bay, in the Territory of Papua. The force was responsible for constructing airstrips, roads, camps and defensive positions.
Milne Force successfully withheld a Japanese invasion which landed on 25 August during the Battle of Milne Bay and forced the invasion force to retreat on 5 September.
On 1 October 1942, Milne Force was redesignated the 11th Division.
|Address:||Palmerin & Fitzroy Streets, Leslie Park, Warwick, 4370|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -28.213705|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||22-August-1942|
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Thursday 25th August, 2005|
Plaque 1 :
On August 22, 1942, and after a period of distinguished service in Greece and the Middle East, Major General Cyril Clowes assumed field command of Milne Force at Milne Bay on the eastern tip of Papua-New Guinea.
His task was, in conjunction with the Allied air force, to deny use by the enemy of the area occupied by Milne Force, its surrounding sea lanes and outlying islands, and to protect and assist the Allied air forces operating from Milne Bay with its vital harbour and airstrip.
Milne Force consisted of the 18 Brigade AIF, 7 Brigade ACMF, 2/5 Field Regiment, 9 Light AA Battery, 6 Heavy AA Battery, 101 Anti-Tank Battery, 24 Field Company, 75 and 76 Kittyhawk Fighter Squadrons, flights of 6 and 32 Hudson Bomber Squadrons, support and other miscellaneous units including American engineer and artillery units.
The Japanese attacking forces landed at Milne Bay on August 25,1942, and were met with fierce resistance from the Australian infantry units and both Kittyhawk squadrons. By September 5 and 6, the Japanese military were forced to evacuate all troops and cease the attempted occupation of Milne Bay after having suffered the loss of 625 killed in action, a third of their number. Australian casualties were 161 killed in action which include five men from the Warwick district : A. W. Harkiss, W. J. Hendry, J. E. Muir, I. F. Stockwell, J. D. Thompson.
"Some of us may forget that, of all the Allies it was the Australians who first broke the spell of the invincibility of the Japanese." Field Marshall Sir William Slim.
Cyril Albert Clowes was born in Warwick, Queensland, on March 11, 1892 and was educated at Warwick Central State and Toowoomba Grammar Schools. He was a foundation graduate of the Duntroon Military College, Canberra, and during World War I, served at Gallipoli, the Middle East and in France. During World War II, he again served in the Middle East and the Greece campaign before being appointed to the command of Milne Force at Milne Bay, PNG. Clowes retired from the army in 1949 with the rank of Lieutenant General the recipient of the following awards and decorations CBD, DSO, MC and MID. He died in Melbourne on May 19, 1968
LEST WE FORGET
Plaque 2 :
This memorial was dedicated on the
25th August 2005 and was a joint
project sponsored by :
Veterans`Support and Advocacy Service
Australia Inc. - Warwick
Department of Veterans` Affairs