IT was the day that decided Australia’s fate.

Japan had crushed the US battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor. It had swept Britain, the United States, the Netherlands and Australia aside in South East Asia. Britain barely held on to Ceylon by the skin of its teeth.

Now a Japanese invasion fleet was advancing on Port Moresby, on Papua New Guinea’s southern coast. It was feared this would cut Australia off from the United States.

But the Japanese had another goal in mind.

It wanted to finish the job it had started at Pearl Harbor.