24 July 1942


11 Platoon 39th Bn destroys the wire bridge over the Kumusi River at Wairopi and takes position west of the river, preparing to meet the advancing Japanese.

Capt Sam Templeton sends them a message: "Reported on radio broadcast that 1500-2000 Japs landed at Gona Mission Station. I think that is near to correct and in view of the numbers I recommend that your action be contact and rearguard only - no do-or-die stunts. Close back on Kokoda."

At 5pm 39th CO, Lt Col Bill Owen lands at Kokoda airstrip.