As the enemy began to overrun his position at Isurava, Corporal Charlie McCallum made a last-ditch stand to allow his mates to escape. As the Japanese closed in on him, he fired his Bren machine gun with his right hand, then grabbed a Thompson machine gun from a wounded Digger in his left hand. When his Bren ran out of ammunition, he kept firing the Tommy gun while he reloaded the Bren and fired it with his right.
He did the same with the Tommy gun and kept up the superhuman juggling act until his mates had withdrawn. Then he fired a final burst and calmly walked back down the Track. McCallum was recommended for a VC but inexplicably was downgraded to a Distinguished Conduct Medal.
He died a week later at Brigade Hill.
Our Kokoda Diggers are all in their 90s and they’re fading. We can’t let their stories fade with them. Renowned cameraman Paul Croll and Patrick Lindsay have started pre-production on a feature-length documentary called Kokoda … the spirit lives.
Help us to tell Charlie's story.