Horn Island Veterans MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

The monument commemorates the United States of America and Australian servicemen who served and died during the defence of Horn Island, Torres Strait and Australia during World War Two.

The memorial was designed by Vanessa Seekee OAM and Gordon Cameron OAM (ex Horn Island war veteran), with the materials supplied by Torres Shire Council from Horn Island itself. The funding was supplied by Torres Shire Council, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Horn Island Veteran’s Association.

The Civil Constructional Corps and the Department of Main Roads began construction of an advanced operational airbase on the island during World War Two, commencing in 1940. RAAF Base Horn Island was completed in 1941 and was used as a staging base for Allied aircraft moving between Australia and New Guinea . The Japanese launched bombing raids on the airfield during World War Two.  Horn Island was the first and most frequently attacked target in Queensland and was the most-northerly Allied airbase in Australia. As such, it was utilised by thousands of aircraft, both American and Australian.


Address:Airport Road, Horn Island Airport, Horn Island, 4875
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -10.589568
Long: 142.293915
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Monument Designer:Vanessa Seekee OAM , Gordon Cameron OAM


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 19th September, 2007
Front Inscription

Horn Island Veterans Memorial

Here you stand on Nurapai, Horn Island. During the Second World War this island was the most advanced allied airbase to New Guinea while still in Australian waters, and as such was vital to the allies northern offensive advance through New Guinea. During World War Two this island was the Japanese' primary target in Queensland, the second most attacked location in Australia, with the enemy bombarding the island base during eight air raids and performing constant reconnaisance flights overhead.

The Royal Australian Air Force, the Australian Army and the United States Army Air Force worked together on Horn Island to ensure that continuous, successful, attack, reconnaisance and supply flights into New Guinea were conducted, while constant refuelling, repairing and rearming of aircraft was completed. The Japanese did not have a base so strategically located as Horn Island forcing them to keep their aircraft close to the front line and thus open to destruction from allied raids conducted from Horn Island. Approximately 5000 Australian and American servicemen called the island home by the end of 1942.

Civilians also served on Horn Island, with these two runways built by the Civil Construction Corps and the Main Roads Department, while the Allied Works Council assisted with their maintenance. The Salvation Army and the Red Cross provided personnel support to the thousands stationed here.

Upon these stones are etched the names of those brave souls who gave their lives in the defence of Horn Island, Torres Strait and Australia during World War Two. These men were Australian, American, someone's sons, brothers, husbands, mates and fathers, they were warriors who volunteered to help defend our nation and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Torres Strait will forever be their home. Alongside their names are the units and squadrons, whose members spent their youth on this isle, and for whom Horn Island memories are ever present.

Lest We Forget


Left Side Inscription

Horn Island Veterans Memorial

To those who gave their lives in the defence of Horn Island 1941 - 45

[ Names ]


Right Side Inscription

Horn Island Veterans Memorial

Units served on Horn Island

1941 - 1945

[ Unit names ]

Inscription in Proximity

These plaques were unveiled by Major General J.P. Stevens AO (Retd) on 19th September 2007.

Funding was provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Torres Shire Council and Horn Island Veterans Ass'n.

Source: MA,QWMR
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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