Horn Island

Relief map of Horn Island

Horn (142.193E 10.631S) and Thursday Islands are part of the Torres Straits island group between the York Peninsula of northern Australia and New Guinea. This area was once notorious for the alleged tendency of the natives to kill and eat any sailors unfortunate enough to be forced ashore. By 1941, the natives were better known as the best pearl divers in Australasia. A small airstrip had been built here to support the U.S.Philippines bomber ferry route, and the Australians had raised the Torres Strait Infantry Battalion. A fighter airstrip was eventually completed on Thursday Island as well. By mid-March 1942 elements of 49 Fighter Group were stationed on the island.

During the peak of the Japanese air campaign against Port Moresby in 1942, the patrol aircraft that had been based at Port Moresby were moved back to Horn Island where they would be less vulnerable, staging through Port Moresby for their reconnaissance flights. However, Horn Island was itself raided on 14 March 1942 by a dozen fighters and eight bombers.


Craven and Cate (1947; accessed 2014-12-19)

Gamble (2010)

Rottman (2002)

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