17 August 1942

A Japanese air raid on Moresby by 24 bombers destroys or badly damages the five available transport planes, left parked wing to wing at the 7-Mile drome. They were to be the supply lifeline of the Diggers now on the Track.

The main body of Japanese South Seas Force, commanded by Maj-Gen Tomitaro Horii sails from Rabaul heading for Buna-Gona.

Late in afternoon, 39th Bn’s 14 Platoon, which had been cut off during the withdrawal from Deniki, rejoins the battalion position at Isurava, having made their way along the bottom of the Eora Valley.

Ralph Honner spends the afternoon adjusting his defences at Isurava, confirming mutual support lines between the companies.

Honner decides to disregard Cameron’s call to disband B Coy. Instead, he gives them a new officer, Lt French, and tells them he is placing them in what he calls the “position of honour”, the high ground where he expects the Japanese will concentrate the attacks. He is confident they will rise to the occasion.