Monthly Archives - December 2017

Pearl Harbour Attacked

7-8 DEC 1941: World War 2 and Japanese aircraft attack the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. With the Japanese attack on European possessions in Asia the Second World War was now a truly global conflict. The road to war between Japan and the United States began in the 1930s when differences over China drove the two nations apart. In 1931 Japan conquered Manchuria, which until then had been part of China. In 1937 Japan began a long...

ANZACS Withdraw from Gallipoli

7 DEC 1915: Evacuation of ANZAC forces from Gallipoli begins. Though the Gallipoli campaign had failed British empire forces at least planned and executed the evacuation without loss. After the failure of the August offensives, the allied forces were preparing to dig in for a difficult winter. Then on 13 November 1915 Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, Commander in Chief of the British Army arrived at Gallipoli. After weeks of deliberation before arriving at Gallipoli, he spent two hours surveying the...

HMAS Sydney in Korea

6 DEC 1951: The Korean War and HMAS Sydney begins its second patrol off the coast. Sydney's aircraft were used to protect South Korean-held islands on Korea's north-west coast. The HMAS Sydney in Korean waters launching Hawker Sea Fury fighters, a painting in oils by Ray Honisett. Sydney is flanked on either sides by her destroyer escorts HMAS Tobruk, and HMCS Sioux. A rescue helicopter is hovering above the Sydney. HMAS Sydney joined United Nations forces in Korean waters in...

RAN at Chinnampo

5 DEC 1950: The Korean War and the evacuation of Chinnampo, Korea. HMA Ships Bataan and Warramunga took part in evacuating Chinnampo, which involved operating in the very shallow waters of the Taedong River estuary at night. On 1 December 1950 Bataan departed Sasebo for the Yalu River approaches on the west coast and she joined HMAS Warramunga and HMC Ships Cayuga, Athabaskan and Sioux, and USS Forest B Royal on 3 December. At this time the Chinese Communist forces had...

RAAF Enters WWII

5 DEC 1939: World War II and today sees the first official RAAF operation of the Second World War. A Sunderland aircraft of No. 10 Squadron RAAF, flew on the first official RAAF operation of the Second World War. This was the beginning of six years of war for 10 Squadron, which flew as part of RAF Coastal Command continuously against U-boats in the battle of the Atlantic. The prototype Short Sunderland flying boat first flew on 16 October 1937,...

RAN Gulf Action Approved

4 DEC 1990: The Royal Australian Navy's involvement in the Persian Gulf was approved today. On this day, approval was given by the Australian Government for the Royal Australian Navy's involvement in the Persian Gulf. Ultimately eight Australian ships served in the Gulf.

The Siege of Kut

3 DEC 1915: World War I and the Siege of Kut begins in Mesopotamia. Nine members of the Australian Flying Corps serving with 30 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, became trapped in Kut with the forces of Major General Charles Townsend when the town was besieged by the Turks. The Kut garrison surrendered in April 1916. Following the signal (and, to the British at least, unexpected) failure of the Anglo-Indian attack upon Ctesiphon in November 1915 Sir Charles Townshend led his...

First Aircraft Deployed

2 DEC 1914: World War I and the first Australian military aircraft despatched to war. Australian aircraft and their crews left to form the 'Mesopotamian Half Flight', fighting in what is now Iraq. Many were captured at the fall of Kut in 1916. The AFC could only provide four officers and ground staff for what became known as the Mesopotamian Half-Flight or the Australian Half-Flight. The contingent was provided with aircraft by India and on 27 May the AFC undertook its...

Battle Over Sunchon

1 DEC 1951: Korea and today sees the Air battle over Sunchon, North Korea. In the largest air-to-air battle fought by the RAAF during the Korean war, twelve 77 Squadron Meteors met between 40-50 Chinese Mig-15s. The fight precipitated a change from an air interception to a ground attack role for No. 77 Squadron. The Battle of Sunchon was an air battle fought near the city of Sunchon during the Korean War. On 1 December 1951, 12 Gloster Meteor jets...

HMAS Armidale Sunk

1 DEC 1942: World War II and HMAS Armidale is sunk. Armidale was sunk by Japanese aircraft near Timor. As the Armidale sank Able Seaman Teddy Sheean fired at attacking bombers until he was lost with his ship. Armidale was engaged in escort duties in the North Queensland – Port Moresby – Milne Bay area. In October 1942, HMAS Armidale was ordered to Darwin. Arriving on 7 November, she was then allocated to support Australian operations in Timor. HMAS Armidale and...

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