Blog Grid

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

3RAR Secures Crossing

29 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. Photo; Diggers of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), walk in single file across the sandy river bed covered in [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 by 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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...