26 August 1942

Battle of Isurava erupts in full fury. Ralph Honner CO of 39th later writes: “(the Japanese) were met with Bren-gun and Tommy-gun, with bayonet and grenade; but still they came, to close with the buffet of fist and boot and rifle butt, the steel of crashing helmets and of straining, strangling fingers. (It was) vicious fighting man to man and hand to hand.”

Against odds of up to 10, the 39th holds firm until relieved, late in the day, by 2/14th AIF Bn just in the nick of time. Ralph Honner would later claim that his young Diggers were within hours of being overrun and annilated by ther Japanese before the AIF veterans arrived.

Although the 39th was supposed to be relieved and sent back down the Track, Honner tells the 2/14th's CO Arthur Key that his men will stay and fight alongside them. For the first time, AIF troops fight alongside their Militia counterparts ('the chockos').