22 June 1942

Gen Morris CO Papuan Area, orders 39th Bn to send one company (about 120 men) up the Kokoda Track “in order to overcome the possibility of enemy penetration from Buna through the Owen Stanley Range by way of Kokoda”.

They choose B Company under Capt Samuel 'Uncle Sam' Templeton. He is 51, the only officer with WWI experience still with the battalion, and one of the best loved characters in the unit. Tough and uncompromising in training and discipline, he cares deeply for his young troops and they reciprocate the feeling.