Monthly Archives - November 2017

Korean Bomb Threat

The threat of a nuclear strike in Korea was real. As Chinese forces pushed back the United States forces from the Yalu River, Truman stated during a 30 November 1950 press conference that using nuclear weapons was "always [under] active consideration", with control under the local military commander. The Indian ambassador, K. Madhava Panikkar, reports "that Truman announced he was thinking of using the atom bomb in Korea. But the Chinese seemed unmoved by this threat. The PRC's propaganda against...

3RAR Secures Crossing

29-30 NOV 1950: Korea, and the Taedong River crossing is secured. The 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, secures the Taedong River ferry crossing, Korea. This was one of only two north-south roads available for the US Eighth Army's retreat in the face of Chinese forces. 3RAR secured the crossing and protected it from Chinese and North Korean infiltrators. For a gripping book on the first year of Korea, including the Taedong River position, by Andrew Salmon titled "Scorched Earth, Black...

Rawdon Hume Middleton, VC

28 NOV 1942: World War II and Flight Sergeant (promoted Pilot Officer) Rawdon Hume Middleton, posted to No. 149 Squadron, RAF, Bomber Command, is awarded the Victoria Cross after a raid on Turin, Italy. This was a posthumous award. Though terribly wounded, Middleton kept his damaged bomber flying, saving the lives of his crew at the cost of his own. Rawdon (Ron) Middleton was born on 22 July 1916 at Waverly in Sydney, a great-nephew of the explorer, Hamilton Hume. His...

HMAS Parramatta Sunk

27 NOV 1941: World War II and RAN sloop HMAS Parramatta (L-44) is sunk by a German submarine in the Mediterranean near Tobruk. Parramatta was part of the navy's "Tobruk ferry service", whose destroyers and sloops kept the besieged port supplied. She was torpedoed and sunk by U-559 (Hans Heidtmann), 32° 20'N, 24° 35'E - Grid CO 6774 with a complement of 162 officers and men (138 dead and 24 survivors). On 29 Jun 1940, Parramatta (LtCdr Jefferson H. Walker MVO...

Empire Air Training Scheme

27 NOV 1939: World War II and today sees the inauguration of the Empire Air Training Scheme. Over 37,000 Australian airmen trained under the scheme, in Australia, Canada and Rhodesia, one of the Commonwealth's greatest achievements in wartime. The Empire Air Training scheme was a programme implemented during the Second World War to train aircrew from the nations of the Commonwealth for service with Britain's Royal Air Force. Realising it did not have the resources to maintain the RAF at an...

Pabu Hill Ends

26 NOV 1943: World War II and today sees the end of fighting at Pabu Hill, New Guinea. The 2/43rd Battalion repulses strong Japanese attacks on Pabu Hill. The 2/43rd Battalion held Pabu, one of the outlying features near Sattelberg, against strong Japanese attacks. There is a battle honour awarded for participation in the defensive engagement between 19 November 1943-26 November 1943 on Pabu Hill and North Hill, north of Scarlet Beach, Huon Peninsula. Shortly after the Australians had landed at...

Battle of Graspan

25 NOV 1899: The Boer War and today sees members of the New South Wales Lancers involved in the battle of Graspan, South Africa. This, one of the series of defeats suffered by the British in the opening months of the Boer War, involved 29 members of the NSW Lancers, the first Australian troops to reach South Africa. Lord Methuen’s task with his division was to force his way north up the railway to raise the Boer siege of Cecil...

Thomas Currie Derrick, VC, DCM

24 NOV 1943: World War II and Sergeant (later Lieutenant) Thomas Currie Derrick DCM, 2/48th Battalion, is awarded the Victoria Cross at Sattelberg, New Guinea. Derrick, one of the great Australian soldiers of the Second World War, seized the summit of Sattelberg virtually single-handedly, leading the way for the Australian occupation of the dominating feature. Thomas 'Diver' Derrick was born on 20 March 1914 in Adelaide. He was the eldest son of David Derrick, a labourer, and his wife Ada. The...

The Australian Regiment Formed

23 NOV 1948: Today sees the formation of the Australian Regiment, which later became the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) receiving its 'Royal' prefix in October 1949. The Royal Australian Regiment has taken a prominent role in Australia's wars and peacekeeping operations since its formation. After the Second World War the Australian Military Forces were reorganised. The Australian Regular Army was formed in September 1947; this was to be supported by the reorganised Citizen Military Forces. This is the structure that remains...

Australians Relieve Marines

23 NOV 1944: World War II and Australian troops relieve the Americans at Torokina, Bougainville. The Australian arrival opened the campaign on Bougainville that cost over 500 Australian lives by the war's end. During 1942, Torokin was occupied by the Japanese. On November 1, 1943 the United States Marine Corps (USMC), 3rd Marine Division landed aboard LCVPs and LCI land craft along Empress Augusta Bay from the Koromokina Lagoon to Cape Torokina. The pounding surf was very rough and 84 landing...

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