The Battle of Port Moresby was an aerial battle fought between aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), United States Army Air Force (USAAF) and aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy between 3 February 1942 and 17 August 1943 over Port Moresby, Papua. At the start, the defenders consisted only of Australian Army anti-aircraft batteries and machine-guns but by late March had been strengthed by the arrival of Kittyhawk fighters from No. 75 Squadron RAAF. However, in just nine days they lost 11 aircraft and only the arrival of replacements enabled the unit to maintain ten serviceable machines.
According to the Australian government:
"On 31 March, the Australians were joined by the American 8th Bombardment Squadron with A-24 bombers and for two weeks in May by six P-39 Airacobras of the American 36th Pursuit Squadron. Despite the American assistance, the daily air battles over and around Port Moresby by 1 May had reduced No. 75 Squadron RAAF to just three airworthy machines. The American 35th, and the full 36th, Pursuit Squadrons arrived to relieve the Australian squadron. During their time in Port Moresby 75 Squadron had lost 21 aircraft and 12 pilots.