18 August 1942

The main body of the Japanese South Seas Force lands at Gona. It includes Maj-Gen Horii’s HQ, the remaining battalions of the 144th and 41st Regmts with their gun, signals, naval landing and ammunition detachments, at least 700 Rabaul natives and 230 horses.

It brings to more than 13,000 the number of Japanese troops who have landed in Papua, aiming to take 10 days to march over the Kokoda Track and capture Port Moresby. From there, Australia would be at their mercy.

At Isurava, more stragglers from 39th cut off after Deniki reach the battalion position during the day.