During the raging battle of Isurava Lt Harold ‘Butch’ Bisset, much-loved leader of 10 Platoon 2/14th Battalion, is hit by a burst of machine-gun fire across his abdomen as he distributes grenades to his men.
His platoon is holding the high ground and has withstood 30-40 separate massed enemy attacks.
Butch’s men make a bush stretcher and carry him as they fight their way down to the main Track where Butch’s brother Stan, the Battalion’s Intelligence Officer comforts him as the battle rages around them and the Australians begin to withdraw.
After lingering for six hours, while Stan holds his hand and they chat about their boyhood memories, Butch dies in Stan’s arms.
As 2/14Bn begin a fighting withdrawal, Corporal Charlie McCallum, single-handedly holds off charging Japs with Bren gun in one hand and Tommy gun in the other, chaging magazines in turn as they empty.
When his mates signal they’re clear, Charlie fires a final burst and calmly walks back to join them. He will later be recommended for a VC but will be awarded the Distinguished Conduct medal.
Back in Moresby first elements of 2/27Bn move off up Track