11 December 1942

The gallant Lt Bob Dougherty, one of the 2/14th Battalion’s best-loved soldiers, who was earlier unsuccessfully recommended for a Victoria Cross, is killed while leading another patrol at Gona.

More than 1000 Australians have now lost their lives in the campaign since it began five months ago and the grim prospects of finally defeating the entrenched and desperate defenders at Buna and Sanananda mean that number will rise steeply over the following days.