Red Beach

On the morning of 4 September 1943, and as part of a full 9th Division operation (POSTERN), the 2/15th Battalion landed at Red Beach. This beach was located about 15km to the east of of the town of Lae, and on the far side of the Busu River.  The 2/15th Battalion was, along with 2/17th Battalion, in the first wave to land at this beach.


The Red Beach landing is stated by the 2/17th Battalion's historian (amongst others) as being:

"... the first assault by Australian soldiers by sea since their forefathers stormed ashore at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915".

The landing was unopposed and, although not uneventful, allowed the Battalion to enter Lae after 16 September. This action resulted in the addition of "LAE/NADZAB" to the Battalion Honours. 

There is a very detailed explanation of the landing and subsequent events in the 2/17th Battalion's history - What We Have, We Hold.  There are detailed references to overall strategy and some of the issues that were faced by other units at river crossings etc in Bravery Above Blunder by John Coates.

The unit history Caveant Hostes contains some details and some personal ancedotes about the landing and subsequent actions.


Some links to Red Beach and associated actions

Aus Army Publication       "Testing the Tenets of Manoeuvre" book

AWM 35mm film:               Landing at Red Beach (can purchase from AWM ID Number: F01869)

9th Division in NG             Battle for New Guinea (site re-activated, but this content lost - 21/06/2013) Try

Broad USA view                Covers 9th Div involvement

Personal web page:          Bob Clarke photo and Lae War Cemetery

533rd EB&SR:                  USA regiment that landed the 9th Division at Red Beach

USA view:                         Amphibious forces that supported the campaign (Site hi-jacked 19/4/12 & still inactive 9/5/2013)



This YouTube propaganda film covers the Red Beach Landing from 1:05 mins.



This is an interesting and recently restored propaganda film of Australian activities in the Lae area around this time.