US Paratroopers made a spectacular sight in a surprise air-drop to take Nadzab airfield from the Japanese and secure it for the landing of the troops who would attack Lae.

In a daring prelude to the attack on Lae, US paratroopers made a spectacular mass jump on September 5 to capture the Japanese-held Nadzab airstrip. Australian artillery men from the 2/4th Field Regiment, most of whom had never parachuted before, followed them bringing high praise from the Americans.

Soon after they were joined by A.I.F. Pioneers who had made a four-and-a-half day trek across the Markham Valley carrying packs weighing 60 to 80 lbs as well machine guns, mortars and engineering equipment to prepare for the landing of the airborne troops two days later.

The Pioneers had travelled mainly at night to avoid detection by the Japanese. Newspapers reported the parachute jump by the untrained artillery men as one of the most daring and enterprising of the New Guinea campaign