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PAPUA SKIRMISHES AGGRESSIVE PATROLS STRONG AIR SUPPORT MILNE BAY FIGHTING ENDED (From Our Special Representative.) SOMEWHERE IN AUSTRALIA, Sept 21.--The Australian troops are still barring the way south towards Port Moresby for the Japanese troops in Papua, holding them in the some position near loribaiwa. Extensive patrol activity is continuing on both sides. Although the fighting is not yet on a major scale similar to the ferocious jungle struggles that occurred during the enemy advance through The Gap and south beyond Efogi, there is evidence that the Australian patrols are operating more aggressively against the enemy. Fighters and attack bombers again gave excellent support to our ground troops yesterday morning. While the attack bombers struck at Buna the fighter force, which included Kittyhawks, strafed heavily along the Kokoda trail, using cannon and machine-gun fire against huts, bridges and supply dumps.
These constant bombing and strafing attacks must be putting an enormous strain on the Japanese supply position, which coupled with the difficulties of trans-mountain transport constitutes the enemy's biggest single problem in New Guinea Yesterday the attack bombers caused fires and explosions among the Buna supply dumps while a large enemy supply dump along the Kokoda track was destroyed by the fighter attack. These disorganising raids were followed by a raid against Lae by Australian fighters which dived down with machine guns and cannons sweeping the waterfront area. Ack ack positions and buildings were heavily strafed and 5 barges and a tugboat were burnt at the wharf. There was no Japanese interception in any of these 3 New Guinea raids and all our planes returned to their bases. Allied Headquarters announced oficially today that the Milne Bay Incident was now closed and all mopping-up operations had been completed. The Japanese landed in Milne Bay on August 26 and suf fered heavy losses in aircraft and shipping. More than 700 of the landing force of marines were killed by the Australian garrison. Communique. Today's GHQ communique says: North-Western Sector: Reconnaissance activity only. North-Eastern Sector: Lae: Allied fighters attacked waterfront targets, ack-ack posi tions and buildings with cannon and machine-gun fire. Five barges and a tugboat were burnt at the wharf. Buna: Allied attack planes bombed and strafed enemy supply installations, causing fires and explosions. Kokoda: Allied fighters heavily strafed huts, bridges and supply dumps along the trail, using can non and machine-gun fire. One large supply dump was destroyed. Owen Stanley Area: Extensive patrol activity continues, with no change in the general situation.