8 Aug 2005

Australian air force flypast on Tuesday to commemorate Battle of Milne Bay anniversary

9:08 pm on 8 August 2005

A Royal Australian Air Force jet will fly over Gurney Airport in Papua New Guinea tomorrow to honour Australian servicemen who died during the Battle of Milne Bay in 1942.

Six Australian veterans of the battle will accompany around 30 members of the Air Force's Combat Group to a commemoration service at the airport near Alotau on the eastern end of the PNG mainland.

Milne Bay Governor Tim Neville and local officials will also attend the morning service before an F-111 aircraft from Australia flies past.

The aircraft is operated by 6 Squadron, one of three RAAF squadrons involved in the Battle of Milne Bay in which a Japanese invasion force was seen off by Australian defenders.

The battle was a critical early victory for the Allies following Japan's advance south into the Pacific during 1942.