28 August 1942

Fierce fighting at Isurava continues as CO 2/14th Battalion Lt Col Arthur Key takes command. Although 39th Battalion should be relieved and withdrawn to Moresby, its CO Ralph Honner realises his men are needed to hold the position against the overwhelming enemy numbers and both COs persuade Brig Arnold Potts to keep them there.

B Company of 2/14th Battalion, holding the crucial high ground at Isurava, survives many human-wave attacks by an enemy determined to wear them down and break into their defences.

The 53rd Battalion's lack of training shows on the other side of Eora Creek near Abuari where 2/16th Battalion is forced to take over the militia unit's positions.

Regimental Medical Officer of 2/16th Battalion Capt ‘Blue’ Steward later reflected on problems of 53rd Battalion, many of whom were just 18. “They had been dragooned into service, given a hurried medical examination and pushed through their embarkation procedure in 24 hours. They had no chance to arrange their affairs nor even farewell their families …”

“Many of them resented the harsh manner of their conscription, their patent lack of training, their inferior weapons and the uncertain quality of some of their officers.”