Ships in anchor at Milne Bay, 1944
Just as Smitty expected, their destination was quickly coming up over the horizon. The fleeting glimpse of solid land, Milne Bay, New Guinea was only a short stopover for water (such a disappointment) and they continued their cruise north. The 11th Airborne Division came upon the humming waterfront of ships manipulating to unload troops, supplies and equipment in Oro Bay. They witnessed a paradoxal view of organized chaos.
Down the rope ladders they went to the beach taxis, DUKWs (2 ton amphibious vehicles commonly called “ducks”) and onward to the awaiting shoreline. At latitude 8*52’60S and longitude 148*30’0E, this would become the first step for many a G.I. on foreign soil. Once they actually hit the beach, the heat seemed to slam into the troopers and their uniforms became soaked within minutes, but they proceeded on to the Buna-Dobodura area to make their new base camp.
Oro Bay, New…