Monthly Archives - November 2017

Leslie Cecil Maygar, VC, DSO, VD

23 NOV 1901: The Boer War and Lieutenant Edgar Leslie Cecil Willis Walker Maygar, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles, originally from Kilmore, Victoria, is awarded the Victoria Cross at Geelhoutboom, Natal. Maygar was born on 27 May 1868, at Dean Station, near Kilmore, Victoria. The seventh child of Edwin Willis and Helen Maygar (née Grimshaw). Both of his parents were originally from Bristol, England, although his father's family were originally political refugees from Hungary. Educated at state schools in Kilmore and Alexandria,...

Scarlet Beach Raid

21 NOV 1943: World War II and the Japanese counter-attack at Scarlet Beach on the Huon Peninsula. The Japanese surprise raid at Scarlet Beach, near Lae, Papua New Guinea, was narrowly held by Australian and American defenders. The Huon Peninsula campaign was a series of battles fought in north-eastern Papua New Guinea in 1943–44 during the Second World War. The campaign formed the initial part of an offensive that the Allies launched in the Pacific in late 1943 and resulted...

HMAS Sydney Sunk

19 NOV 1941: HMAS Sydney is sunk. Sydney was lost with its entire crew of 645 men in a sudden and disastrous encounter with the German raider, Kormoran, off the Western Australian coast. The circumstances surrounding its loss remain controversial to this day. HMAS Sydney, a light cruiser of the Royal Australian Navy with an impressive record of war service, was lost following a battle with the German raider HSK Kormoran in the Indian Ocean off the Western Australian coast. The...

Popondetta Captured

18 NOV 1942: World War II and Popondetta, captured by the Australians, on the steamy kunai plains north of the Owen Stanley Range, became a major Allied base for the attack on the Japanese-held beachheads in Papua. Popondetta is the capital of Oro (Northern) Province near to Buna on the Northern Papua coast and is not far from the beginning of the Kokoda Trail. The last in a series of 'Battles for the Beachheads' of 1942 involving Australians was for...

Somme Campaign Ends

18 NOV 1918: Today, as World War 1 victory seems in sight, and after four months and more than 1,200,000 casualties on both sides, Douglas Haig calls off the Somme offensive. British Field Marshal Douglas Haig refused demands from Supreme Allied Commander Marshal Ferdinand Foch to continue the Amiens offensive during World War 1, as that attack was faltering as the troops outran their supplies and artillery, and German reserves were being moved to the sector. Instead, Haig began to plan...

Battle of Sattelberg

17 NOV 1943: Today in the Pacific Campaign, Australia's 9th Division begins its attack on Sattelberg (also spelt Satelberg, translation 'Saddle Mountain'), a village on the Huon Peninsula, in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea). The Battle of Sattelberg took place between 17 and 25 November 1943, during the Huon Peninsula campaign of the Second World War. Involving forces from Australia, the United States and Japan, the fighting centred on the Sattelberg mission station which was situated atop a hill about...

AWAS to Deploy

15 NOV 1944: World War II and Australian government approves sending Australian Women's Army Service members overseas. Australian Women's Army Service went to Lae, New Guinea, and served in the forward area for the first time. Members of the Australian Army Nursing Service and the Australian Army Medical Women's Service were already serving in New Guinea. The formation of the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) was authorised by the government on 13 August 1941 to "release men from certain military duties for employment...

Battle of Ypres Ends

14 NOV 1917: World War I and today sees the end of the third battle of Ypres, on the Western Front. Australian troops had been involved in the third battle of Ypres for three and a half months and suffered heavy losses at such places as Menin Road, Glencorse Wood, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde Ridge and Passchendaele. The Third Battle of Ypres was the major British offensive in Flanders in 1917. It was planned to break through the strongly fortified and...

WO2 Kevin ‘Dasher’ Wheatley, VC

13 NOV 1965: Viet Nam and WO2 Kevin 'Dasher' Wheatley, Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, is awarded the first Victoria Cross of the Vietnam War posthumously in the Tra Bong Valley, Quang Ngai province; Warrant Officer Class 2 Wheatley was awarded a Victoria Cross posthumously for remaining with a mortally wounded comrade while his position was overrun despite having had the chance to save himself. His was the first such award to an Australian since World War II. Kevin Arthur Wheatley was...

Last Raid on Darwin

12 NOV 1943: World War II and today sees the last Japanese air raid on Darwin. This, the 64th raid since February 1942, was the last air raid made on Australia during the war. On 19 February 1942, 188 planes were launched against Darwin whose harbour was full of ships. Eight ships were sunk, two were beached and later refloated and many of the other 35 ships in the harbour were damaged by bomb or machine gun fire. Darwin town...

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