I don’t remember getting anything until I came out of New Guinea, the only supplies we got were dropped from the air. I mean the, especially the food stuff was dropped and a lot of that was lost in the hills because when it hit the ground it went down the hill and got lost or broke up and medical supplies were very short supply, so you know when you are walking though knee deep mud you are only worried about putting one foot in front of the other.

Frank Patterson, 7th Division Signals. Listen to his story.


Myola was the smallest of two dry lake beds located at the crest of the Owen Stanley Ranges.

Strategic situation

One of the most crucial challenges of the war was being able to deliver adequate supplies to frontline troops to sustain them. In 1942, the Australians soon realised their supply system was inadequate.

The Japanese army were more prepared for the supply problem, but they still struggled to receive enough rations for their troops.

Getting supplies to troops in the jungle

To overcome the supply problem, the Allies trialled Efogi and Kagi areas as aerial drop points. However, these were unsuccessful. Supplies were often damaged or lost amid the slopes and scrub.

Lieutenant Bert Kienzle was in charge of establishing supply dumps and staging points along the track to support the troops. By the time Kienzle arrived at Isurava on 31 July 1942, the need to find ground to drop supplies was urgent.

Kienzle remembered a clearing on his flights between Kokoda and Port Moresby. He set off on foot to find them from Isurava.

On 3 August he emerged from the bush to the edge of the smaller of two lake beds. He raced to tell the officer at Ilolo of his discovery. The next day, an experimental drop was made. However, even from the drop point, it was still a two- or three-day trek to parts of the front line.

Everything—from ammunition, rations, medical supplies and blankets—had to be transported by carriers. So Kienzle established staging points and dumps at Templeton's Crossing, Eora Creek, Alola and Isurava.

From that point, Myola became a major resupply point and drop zone for Australian forces during the Kokoda Track campaign.

After establishing the drop zone at Myola, troops diverted from the previous track through the supply point, forging a new section of track.

Geography and terrain

Myola features two dry lake beds, separated by a mountain spur and the headwaters of Eora Creek, which carved a sparkling stream across its centre.

Described as 'a saucer in the high mountain tops', the treeless beds were covered in kunai grass easily visible from the air.

The next locations along the Kokoda Track are Efogi and Menari.

Papua New Guinea
July to November 1942
Image attribution
Australian War Memorial. AWM P02424.070. Photo by Alan O. Watson.

Related Trails

The Kokoda Track Remembrance Trail

17 Steps