5 July 1942

Lt Col Bill Owen, former CO of 2/22nd Battalion and one of the few survivors of Lark Force, which was overrun and captured at Rabaul, arrives in Moresby to take command of 39th Bn.

He finds B Company of his battalion, under Capt Sam Templeton, delayed at the start of the Track waiting for its supplies to arrive so it can march to Kokoda to protect the airstrip there.

He learns that Lt Bert Kienzle has assembled around 600 native carriers at Ilolo, where he is establishing a camp, building accommodation, arranging supplies and assessing their medical condition with the help of another old New Guinea hand Doctor Geoffrey Vernon, a WWI veteran who lost his hearing after a bomb blast at Gallipoli.