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Papuan Campaign [American Forces in Action Series No. 2]

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Papuan Campaign: The Buna-Sanananda Operation, 16 November 1942-23 January 1943
  • American Forces in Action Series No. 2
    • Military Intelligence Division, War Department, Washington, D.C., May 1, 1944
      • 124 pages
      • 23 photos
      • 1 color map
      • 12 b&w maps
      • 1 chart
      • 2 tables
  • Free PDF download
In the thick of battle, the soldier is busy doing his job. He has the knowledge and confidence that his job is part of a unified plan to defeat the enemy, but he does not have time to survey a campaign from a foxhole. If he should be wounded and removed behind the lines, he may have even less opportunity to learn what place he and his unit had in the larger fight.


American Forces in Action was a series prepared by the War Dept. especially for the information of wounded men. It showed these soldiers, who had served their country so well, the part they and their comrades played in achievements which did honor to the record of the U.S. Army.


The series was originally prepared for military personnel only and primarily for wounded soldiers in hospitals to tell them the military story of the campaigns and battles in which they served. With the cessation of hostilities, they were released as a public document.


This study was based on the best military records then available.


  • Foreword by Gen. George C. Marshall

  • Introduction

    • The Japanese Threat to Australia

    • Beginning of the Allied Counteroffensive

  • Buna

    • Background of the Buna Operation

      • Geography and Climate of the Buna Area

      • The Japanese Defensive Position

      • Air-Ground Cooperation

      • Transport, Supply, and Communication

    • Battering at Buna (19 November-14 December)

      • First Contact

      • Feeling Out the Enemy Lines (20-25 November)

      • A Week of Attack (26 November-2 December)

      • The Capture of Buna Village (6-14 December)

      • Situation on 14 December

    • Warren Front: Capture of the Old Strip (15 December-3 January)

      • The Tanks Break Through to Cape Endaiadere (18 December)

      • Our Troops Cross the Bridge (19-23 December)

      • The Fight Up the Old Strip (24-28 December)

      • The Last Days on the Warren Front (29 December-3 January)

    • Urbana Front: Capture of Buna Mission (15 December-2 January)

      • The Triangle and the Coconut Grove (15-20 December)

      • Another Corridor to the Sea (21-28 December)

      • The Mission Falls (28 December-2 January)

  • Sanananda

    • Background of the Sanananda Operation

    • The Road Block (22 November-9 January)

    • The Capture of Sanananda (4-23 January)

      • Situation on the Soputa-Sanananda Road (4 January)

      • Opening Up the Cape Killerton Trail (4-15 January)

      • The Envelopment (16 January)

      • The Mopping-Up (17-23 January)

    • Conclusion

  • Annex No. 1: Comparative Table of Strength and Casualties, Buna-Sanananda Operation

  • Annex No. 2: Decorations (provides name, rank, arm or service, residence, organization, station and date of citation)

    • Medal of Honor

    • Distinguished Service Cross

    • Legion of Merit

    • Silver Star

    • Oak Leaf Cluster

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