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1st New Guinea Infantry Battalion
Active 1944–1945
Disbanded June 1946
Country  Australia
Allegiance Allied
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Size Battalion
Colours Red and Green
Battle honours South West Pacific 1942–45, Kokoda Trail, Kokoda-Deniki, Nassau Bay, Tambu Bay, Finschhafen, Scarlet Beach, Liberation of Australian New Guinea, Sio-Sepik River, Kaboibus-Kiarivu and Bonis-Porton
Insignia
Unit Colour Patch PIR colour patch.png

The 1st New Guinea Infantry Battalion (1NGIB) was a battalion of the Australian Army formed in March 1944 in the territory of New Guinea, during World War II, in order to fight against the Japanese. Its soldiers were primarily natives of New Guinea, under the command of Australian officers and NCOs. Although formed late in the war the battalion would ultimately serve in a number of the allied campaigns in New Guinea, including during the offensives on New Britain and Bougainville.[1] 1NGIB had an establishment of about 77 Europeans and 550 native soldiers.[2]

The Papuan Infantry Battalion (PIB) along with the 1st and 2nd New Guinea Infantry Battalion were amalgamated to form the Pacific Islands Regiment in November 1944. The 3rd and 4th New Guinea Infantry Battalion joined the regiment in 1945, although 4NGIB was soon disbanded, whilst the 5th New Guinea Infantry Battalion—although authorised—was never raised.[3] The battalion disbanded on June 1946.[4]

Battle honours[edit | edit source]

  • World War II: South West Pacific 1942–45, Kokoda Trail, Kokoda-Deniki, Nassau Bay, Tambu Bay, Finschhafen, Scarlet Beach, Liberation of Australian New Guinea, Sio-Sepik River, Kaboibus-Kiarivu and Bonis-Porton.[5]

Commanding officers[edit | edit source]

  • Major W.M. Edwards (1944)
  • Lieutenant Colonel B.G. Dawson (1944–1945)
  • Lieutenant Colonel J.S. Jones (1945)

Decorations[edit | edit source]

Casualties[edit | edit source]

  • 15 killed, 1 missing, 17 died, 25 wounded.[7]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Sinclair 1990, p. 303.
  2. Dennis et al 1995, p. 449.
  3. Sinclair 1990, p. 273.
  4. Sinclair 1990, p. 296.
  5. The battle honours listed above are those awarded to the PIR in 1966 as listed in Byrnes 1989, p. 269.
  6. Figures for awards to PIR are difficult to accurately determine as most sources are incomplete, these figures are from Sinclair 1990, p. 298 and Byrnes 1989, pp. 228–246. Neither Sinclair or Byrnes seem to include complete lists however.
  7. Byrnes 1989, p. 269.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Byrnes, G.M. (1989). Green Shadows: A War History of the Papuan Infantry Battalion, 1 New Guinea Infantry Battalion, 2 New Guinea Infantry Battalion, 3 New Guinea Infantry Battalion. Newmarket: G.M. Byrnes. ISBN 0-7316-6716-6. 
  • Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; and Robin Prior (1995). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (First ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553227-9. 
  • Sinclair, James (1990). To Find a Path: The Life and Times of the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment: Volume I — Yesterday's Heroes 1885–1950. Brisbane: Boolarong Publications. ISBN 0-7316-9120-2. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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