6 December 1942

The Diggers revitalize their attacks on Gona, fearful that the Japanese plan to land reinforcements from Rabaul. Lt Bob Dougherty of 2/14th Battalion leads a 50-man patrol to the west of the Jap positions to test their strength around Haddy’s Village.

The patrol causes havoc, inflicting at least 90 enemy casualties for the loss of six wounded Diggers. Dougherty is credited with personally killing 14 enemy soldiers, while Corporals Stan Weeks and Les Crilly are later awarded the Military Medal for their gallantry as a machine-gun team repeatedly cutting a swathe through the enemy as it tries to encircle the Australian patrol. The two Diggers account for at least 23 enemy.

Bob Dougherty is later recommended for the Victoria Cross but inexplicably the recommendation does not proceed.