Sequence of Events in the Kokoda Campaign – 1942

7th July:
Captain Sam Templeton with B Coy 39th Btn leaves Ilolo , guided by Lt Bert Kienzle to cross the Owen Stanleys to provide protective force to US troops building an airstrip at Dobudura.

21st July :
Japanese Nankai Shitai troops led by General Horii land at Buna and advance quickly inland.

22nd July:
Japanese meet the Australians at Awala, only 40 miles from Kokoda.

25th-26th July:
BCoy pushed back to Oivi. Templeton disappears.

28-29th July:
Kokoda lost. Aussies fall back to Deniki.

1st-8th August:
A Coy of the 39th retake Kokoda for 2 days while enemy stalls for time, patrolling the Yodda area, building bridges and roads from the Coast.

3rd August:
Bert Kienzle locates and names Myola lakes as a potential solution to the supply problem.

Captain Bert Kienzle on leave in Australia after the Papuan Campaign
(Courtesy : To Kokoda & Beyond . Story of the 39th Battalion by Victor Austin)

4th August:
Kienzle blazes a track from Myola to join the old mail trail at a point he call’s Templeton’s Crossing.

8th-13th August:

1942-08. Papua – Native bearers (popularly known as Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels) carry heavy loads of equipment and supplies for the Australian Troops. (AWM 013004)

26th August:
Horii’s troops storm Isurava with 3 Btns and the battle rages for five days during which casualties are high on both ides. Private Bruce Kingsbury is killed and earn a VC for his heroism.

26th August – 6th Sept:
Battle of Milne Bay. Japs defeated.

Milne Bay 1942-10-01 : Fighter planes from an RAAF Squadron that played a big part in repelling Japanese attack on Milne Bay. (AWM 013329)

31st August:
Australia commences a tactical withdrawal, resisting at every opportunity, drawing out then strangling enemy supply lines. Both sides can take no prisoners.

5th-9th Sept:
Myola evacuated. Australian troops make a stand at Brigade Hill but the enemy outflanks them with disastrous result, earning it a name change to Butcher’s Hill.

11th Sept:
Australians withdraw to Iorabaiwa, Station 44 established by Bert Kienzle.

13th Sept:
Last stand at Imita Ridge.

16th Sept:
Enemy suddenly stops its advance. The Emperor has told them to withdraw.

26th Sept:
Australian offensive begins in earnest. Japs scuttle back over Trail.

11th-18th Oct:
Japs dig in at Templeton’s Crossing. Bert Kienzle reopens Myola as a supply base. Fresh Australian troops push enemy back from Templeton’s to Eora Ck.

20th-29th Oct:
Enemy make desperate stand at Eora Creek. Australians defeat them at great cost.

2nd Nov:
Australians recapture Kokoda.

23rd Dec:
Last casualties from Myola arrive in Port Moresby.

Ower’s Corner 1943-12-16. Flying fox at Ower’s Corner with the Owen Stanley’s in the background. (AWM 061962)