26 August 1942

The Battle of Isurava erupts. Lt Col 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 on 26 Aug, by 2/14th AIF Bn.