The place where the city was founded has been inhabited by the Motu-Koitabu people for centuries. The first European to see it was English Captain John Moresby in 1873. It was named in honour of his father Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby.
Port Moresby in Days of InfamyEdit
Port Moresby was the Australian administrative center for Papua, as it was the most populous city on the island. When Japan entered World War II in December 1941, the city's defenses were in poor shape. With the invasion and conquest of Hawaii, the US Navy was severely crippled and forced back to the west coast. The Americans were unable to provide any naval support in the South Pacific, allowing the port city to fall with ease to the Japanese in late May of 1942. Most people in Hawaii had never heard of the city nor knew where it was, while some Japanese had problems pronouncing the name.
As June began, Japan had secured all its objectives within the Pacific, and the city was hastily converted into a major military base with troops and planes, with which to attack northeastern Australia and sever its supply line with the US. This allowed them to dominate the skies and while it didn't cut the supply lines, it did make maintaining them extremely difficult.
However, with the US Navy's defeat in July, American resolve to continue the war was intensified and by early 1943, the USAAF had brought enough aircraft to Australia and were now bombing the city as heavily as they could.