Today we commemorate the capture of Kokoda, New Guinea. The capture of Kokoda enabled the Australian advance across the Owen Stanley Range to continue, leading to victory in New Guinea.
On November 2, 1942 members of the 2/31st Battalion entered Kokoda unopposed to find the Japanese forces had left two days prior. By mid afternoon that day the entire battalion was in place in Kokoda and the airstrip and the Kokoda village was secure.
The impact of retaking Kokoda was immeasurable. At this stage in the campaign 'Kokoda' had become a household word in Australian cities and towns.
The retaking of this small village on a long and winding track through hostile jungle in the Owen Stanley Range was seen by all, even those with little military knowledge, as a huge turning point in the New Guinea campaign.