Australian Army commemorates historic 1943 Nadzab parachute landing
6 September 2013
Seventy years after Australian combat troops took part in the first successful airborne operation of the Pacific War, 50 members of the Australian Army’s 2nd Commando Regiment have retraced the historic Nadzab parachute landing in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea.
The 2013 parachute jump into Nadzab from a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft marked the conclusion of Exercise NIGHT NAIP 2013, an annual joint exercise with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF). The exercise focused on enhancing interoperability with Australia’s close regional partner in sea, air and land environments.
The Commanding Officer of the 2nd Commando Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel B (identity protected), said it was a great honour for the unit to complete the jump.
“When you look back at the significance of the operation in 1943, it was a real privilege for the 2nd Commando Regiment to be able to remember those brave soldiers by commemorating the jump as we did, almost to the exact minute,” Lieutenant Colonel B said.
“Our parachute jump concluded a highly successful three week exercise with our close partners in the PNGDF, which provided enormous benefit to both groups across a range of environments and scenarios.
“Exercises like this allow us to share skills and experiences, strengthen ties with the PNGDF and further enhance our ability to operate together for regional contingencies as the need arises.”
The parachute insertion on the morning of 5 September 1943 was carried out by the US Army 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment and included 34 personnel from the Australian 2/4th Field Regiment, with little to no parachute jump experience prior to the operation.
The airborne operation, to secure a landing ground for the advance of the 7th and 9th Australian Divisions, led to the capture of the essential port of Lae by Allied Forces on 16 September 1943.
Media note: Broadcast quality video of the 2nd Commando Regiment parachute jump has been feed to national TV networks in Parliament House, Canberra and will be available from 11:00, Friday 6 September 2013.
A fact sheet on the 1943 Nadzab airborne operation can be located at http://www.army.gov.au/Our-history/History-in-Focus/The-Airborne-landing-at-Nadzab
Imagery of Exercise NIGHT NAIP 2013 is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20131280
Further information on Australian forces and the Pacific Campaign can be found at https://www.awm.gov.au/histories/second_world_war/
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999