On December 2 1942, after forty-two days at sea, the 503d PIR docked
at Cairns, North Queensland, Australia and established an encampment
site about two miles southwest of Gordonville on the northeast
corner of Australia. Gordonville was due south of New Guinea, just
across the Coral Sea from the Port Moresby area. The 503d PIR began
an extensive eight-month training period. During this time, Kinsler
was the regimental commander, Jones was the executive officer,
Lawrie commanded the First Battalion, Major John Haltom commanded
the Second Battalion and Tolson commanded the Third Battalion.
By the time the regiment moved to Port Moresby in August 1943,
Haltom had returned to the United States with a severe case of
malaria and Jones again had taken command of Second Battalion.
Lawrie replaced Jones as executive officer and Lieutenant Colonel
John Britten assumed command of First Battalion.
James P. Lowe