Relief: Arrival of the 2/4th
Aware that the 2/2nd was exhausted, a relief was planned. The advance party of the relieving 2/4th Independent Company arrived on 16 September 1942 on the HMAS Kalgoorlie. A week later, in early evening, the HMAS Voyager slipped into Betano Bay with the 250 men of the 2/4th and 15 tonnes of supplies and started unloading. Hundreds of hidden porters and ponies moved the stores inland.
Tragically the Voyager ran aground and could not be freed.
Spotted by the dawn Japanese reconnaissance flight, bombing attacks followed. Voyager’s anti-aircraft gunners shot down one Zero fighter plane and then the stricken destroyer was scuttled.
Two nights later, the corvettes HMAS Warrnambool & Kalgoorlie evacuated the stranded crew and the 2/2nd’s sick and wounded. Despite the perilous circumstances there was no loss of life.
The 2/2nd soon integrated the 2/4th into the guerrilla campaign.