At Isurava Lt Harold ‘Butch’ Bisset, much-loved commander of 10 Platoon 2/14th Battalion, is hit by a burst of machine-gun fire across his abdomen as he distributes grenades to his men.
His platoon has been holding the high ground and has withstood 30-40 separate massed enemy attacks.
Butch’s men make a bush stretcher and carry him as they fight their way down to the main Track where Butch’s brother Stan, the Battalion’s Intelligence Officer, comforts him as the battle rages around them and the Australians begin to withdraw.
After lingering for six hours, while Stan holds his hand and they chat about their boyhood memories, Butch dies in Stan’s arms.
As Stan prepares to join the others, the enemy encircles them, Jap machine guns rake their position and force them to jump from the Track into the surrounding jungle, separating them from the main body of their battalion. It will take Stan and his group five days of bushbashing before they can rejoin their mates.