Kokoda Stamp Honours Brave; First between Two Nations, Australia and Papua New Guinea

Article excerpt

AN HEROIC stand by Australian soldiers against an enemy force has been commemorated by Australia Post with the release of the Kokoda stamp issue this week.

The Kokoda stamp release is a joint issue between Australia and Papua New Guinea, a first between the two nations.

The five stamps depict the relationship forged between the two nations from the Kokoda Campaign of 1942.

Two stamps portray the difficult conditions and the close bonds forged through adversity. Another shows the memorial at Isurava, while the final two stamps reveal relationships today through the eyes of veterans and travellers. More than 600 Australian soldiers were killed fighting to protect Port Moresby from Japanese invasion. The Australian victory proved vital in sending the Japanese into retreat and protecting northern Australian bases from aerial attack.

"The Australian Army has a long tradition of support and respect for Papua New Guinea," Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AO DSC CSM said.

"Our troops have fought alongside Papua New Guinean soldiers and the Australian Defence Force continues its close cooperation with the PNG Defence Force. "Kokoda will forever be etched in our minds as one of the pivotal military moments in World War II."

Australia Post Philatelic Group Manager Noel Leahy agreed.

"A remarkable bond was formed in 1942 that continues to this day. …