5 July 1942

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

Owen survived a remarkable escape along New Britain Island by foot and a perilous sea voyage to the PNG mainland with a small group of Lark Force troops.