Coral Sea Commemorations: Newstead Park

Yesterday on my run I came across a bunch of Navy officers in Newstead Park.

I couldn't help myself, I had to ask what the gathering was for.

"It's the anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea."

Not being a wartime historian (just an accidental one), I looked at the serviceman a little blankly, then decided, what the hell. In for a penny, in for a pound.

"When did that happen."

"I knew you were going to ask that," he answered with a smile. "I did look it up."

He struggled for a date but was able to offer that it was before the battle on the Kokoda Track.

"So, World War Two then."

(Of course it was World War Two, I realised later. When else would there have been a battle in the Coral Sea?)

The battle took place between 4-8 May 1942. The battle was a significant one, according to the Anzac Day website, even referred to as the battle that saved Australia. The Allied forces of the US and Australia defend Port Moresby from Japanese occupation, and preserve the line of communication to the US.

The commemoration took place at the LBJ Place, the Australian-American Monument at Newstead Park, and was quite the spectacle.

Reference sites: Australian War Memorial, Anzac Day, Monument Australia

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