9 August 1942

The young Diggers of A Coy 39th Bn still hold Kokoda plateau. They beat off a series of attacks by a Japanese force of more than 200. Cpl J.D. McKay shows special gallantry during defence, leading his men under heavy fire to support the front of the position, exposing himself to enemy fire as he encourages his men. He is later awarded the Military Medal for his actions.

All afternoon the Japs launch a series of attacks on Kokoda defences, trying to find a weakness. The young Diggers withstand all attacks. During the day they find and bury the body of their late CO Lt Col Bill Owen, who died there in the first battle for Kokoda fighting with his men in the front line. 

At this stage, their temporary commander Major Alan Cameron is unaware they have successfuly retaken Kokoda. Early in the morning Japanese advance forces attack the 39th position at Deniki. At the time only C Coy had returned from the previous day’s operations around Kokoda and the defences are stretched, with battalion HQ personnel called into action. Around midday D Coy returns to Deniki and join the defence.

In the meantime, A Coy remain holding the Kokoda plateau having had no contact with the enemy during the night.