4 December 1942

During the day the 21st Brigade officially relieves the 25th as the main assault force against the Japanese positions at Gona. It means the Diggers now opposing the Japanese forces are the same units which originally confronted the enemy advance in July.

The new attackers are immediately thrown into action against the easterly fringes of the Japanese defences, with no time for proper reconnaissance or acclimatisation. Patrols in the late afternoon hit the enemy perimeter, killing a number of defenders and returning with valuable intelligence.

That afternoon the gallant Capt John O'Neill, company commander of 2/16th, who distinguished himself with his valour during an heroic bayonet attack on December 1, succumbs to his wounds. His men had rescued him under heavy fire but frantic attempts by medical staff to save him fail.