4 October 1942

The main body of the withdrawing Japanese South Seas Force reaches Kokoda. General Horii orders the Stanley Detachment, commanded by Major Horie Tadashi, to defend the Track and slow the advancing Australians to enable the main group to establish their defences at the beachheads.

Back along the Track between Ioribaiwa and Nauro, Diggers begin to encounter evidence of Japanese atrocities as they retreat. They find Australian bodies, one tied to a tree, another decapitated. Both had multiple bayonet wounds and one soldier's arms had been cut off.

The brutality also extended to the Japanese carriers and the Australians soon find a number of ill-treated Rabaul natives wandering the bush who tell of carriers being forced to work until exhaustion at bayonet point. They find the bodies of several natives bayonetted to death.